perches on the
edge of the tub,
a burst of milk white flowers.
Careful of it, when climbing out, she steps
onto the inky black bath mat,
sinks her feet into the frill.
The contrast of dark
and light feels fancy,
and she wishes
she could stay.
and from her window, she
the silken layer on the fir trees before her
vision finds the parking lot below.
She came years ago, but much since then has
changed. The room is a planned
escape. Really not so far from
but may as well be.
She is different here- or wants to be.
She has dreamed
of this space,
plotted for months
seen at night the journey marked
and so knew the winding upward roads
She finds the altitude
up here less dreary
even with the cold
than down in town.
setting quickly now,
and she wraps the weighty
towel provided around her dripping body, thinks
about what brought her back.
bathroom to the phone by bedside
and back again.
Fear stabs unexpected, and so
she opens the waiting
bottle. She glugs. This is
how she drinks.
vice. Like a fish, he always said.
She drinks greedily, hating herself
but rapidly warming. His chiding voice returns when she lights a cigarette-
Another nasty habit. She hits
the air like the
thought is a gnat she can
shoo away. Her muscles give up hurting on the next swallow, and encouraged,
she revisits intent,
opens the drawer of the nightstand and looks at what
she brought. Its promise nestled safely away, and
she almost picks it up
She decides that maybe first, she'll go to the local tavern, not drink alone this time.
Just for a while be with others.
Others like her. Free, like her, ungoverned.
Not stuffy and concerned.
Start a tab, play her favorite songs on the jukebox she remembers, dance.
She feels like dancing.
She finds clothes,
begins to dress. It's hot in here, so
she dresses lightly. And just because she can
she puts on her pink, felt hat,
one he hates,
over applies her makeup,
and once downstairs where those like her gather, she orders herself a drink. Is
her third? Fourth? She chuckles flippantly at the
triumph of her own last call.
The new plan is to pace herself. Sleep would thwart.
because slowness can set in sadness.
Moods announce themselves by degrees.
See, she's aware. In control. She keeps flow
for the next hour, steady,
dances with a guy named Bobby who offers to take her to her room.
She declines but decides he's right. It's time to
she is missing....wishing.....
her eyes betray and droop.
She has not made it
On floor, she
against fatigue's persuasion, but her muscles melt,
and the last
thought she has before passing out is the recognition that she's fucked up once again.
It's not a nice thought but a thought she has often, coming from a voice she always heeds.
Foul minded always she cannot fathom forgiveness.
She knows no cure.
And in this state
what arrives in silence,
see not the
fortune bestowed in a blackout. She'll wake, angry
in the unbearable glow of a morning she did not plan,
pissed off further
by a forced sobriety when she finds nothing to wash down the guilt, nothing to stave off the shakes.
She will not know
why she was saved.
She will self-possess in later hours, drive home,
know enough to not mention where she's been.
She will recover. Then repeat.
And if her
heart can ever manage to
measure the amount of times it has kept on beating,
maybe she'll come to, one day, like new.
And she'll tell this story.
just like it.
She'll relay her plans,
she'll talk about the years spent sick,
the times she wasted, just plain fucked-up.
Then she'll say she was saved and she's not sure why.
And her words will be a tribute.
For the others.
Others like her.
Chained like she was.
For those still suffering.
The Sunday Whirl
Write at the Merge