In my head there lives a girl… she’s tall and thin and prettier than she thinks she is. She’s just moved out of home and got a new job and made amends with her dad.
Shes’s standing next to an open grave, her red shoes on the edge of the carpet that borders it, staring into the freshly dug earth. Trying to make sense of something that’s completely nonsensical.
She’s one of the stories in my head.
Another girl — let’s call her Jane, is folding discarded clothes into neat, size specific piles. She hates her job. Especially today when her head pounds with a hangover and she can still smell last night’s transgressions rising off her like waves. She’s hoping everything will be alright later — her head particularly. It’s never hurt like this before. It’s imperative that she gets better. Her world depends on it. She doesn’t know what will happen if the truth comes out.
But it won’t be alright. Of course it won’t. Because she’s not alright. Hasn’t been for a long time. Not since before the thing that changed her; before the time she even knew she could be changed.
I think of her often. Hoping for redemption. Hoping she’ll be alright.
I have to. She’s one of the stories in my head.
Another girl sits alone on the couch in her minuscule living room. The night is long and dark and she hates that single parenting has forced her to be the person who stays home on Friday nights with nothing to do. That’s not who she is, and while she loves motherhood she chafes against its restraints.
Her phone lights up with a message.
I smile when I see it. Maybe she won’t be alone for long. Maybe she’ll get her happily ever after yet.
He’s been waiting too long. The minute she sees him, she funnels her guilt and regret into anger. How dare they leave him there, with his wheelchair pointed at a TV that plays nothing but infomercials. What need does he have — will he ever have — with an ab workout machine? Don’t they know him at all?
She opens her mouth to yell; but streams of abuse lay frozen on her tongue. She wants to scream at them, to tell them off, to tell them to look after him better. Know him better. Love him better. But the truth slaps her in the face like a wet cloth. How can they do better, when she, who knows and loves him best, has left him here for this long? Silent and alone. Abandoned.
So she stands there, quiet for a moment, before she turns and leaves. Because once again it’s all too much. Once again, the words are not enough.
Those words lie dormant in my mind.
When life is busy, and non-stop. When I feel like I rob time from Peter to spend with Paul, or in this case, time from my kids to write lengthy essays. When I look at the never-ending housework and wonder if I will ever catch up, I stop for a few minutes and listen to the stories in my head.
They aren’t ready to be written yet — which is good, because who has the time? — but still, they sit there in my mind, waiting for me to give them an audience. And I listen to their stories and relax. I share their triumphs and put out their fires. My heart swells at first kisses and then breaks with horrid arguments. And the stories in my mind play out for me in snippets, ready for the day when I can write them down in full. Take them beyond the turrets of my mind and onto the pages on a screen, and then, hopefully, maybe, one day, a book.
In the busyness, I stop to dream and remember who I am. Remember that this is just a season and the time for writing will come again.
Writing the stories in my head.
My apologies for not yet getting through last week’s IBOT posts. It was one of ‘those’ weeks.