Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / CC BY-NC

I scratch until blood oozes but the itch lingers. Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / CC BY-NC

I avoid the keyboard. An ocean of thoughts swell into waves of ideas, mounting to feverish tsunami. Words and phrases rise and fall, swirling into sentences and paragraphs. The undertow sucks at my feet and pulls me down. I know from experience only drowning awaits; I will myself away from the desk.

I must get busy. I must distract myself to kick free.

Endeavors to distract deceive like riptides under calm waters.

I plant hosta, I weed the phlox bed, I water the new sod, I dead-head black-eyed susans, I pay the electric and cell phone bills, I balance the household and business banking accounts, I send invoices for my husband’s and my businesses, I fulfill ad design contracts for my best client, I visit my three children, I play with my grandson, I call to check-in with my mother and step-mother, I write a short note to my Grandmother, I send a postcard to my neighbor who is at her summer home abroad, I sign a birthday card for my nephew and raise the tiny mailbox flag to signal “pick-up please”, I review restoration plans for my historic home, I call and ask the contractor if he ordered the plumbing fixtures for my new bathroom, I change the sheets to my favorite flannel, I shower in the small downstairs stall, I avoid looking at the disgusting mold that won’t bleach clean, I shave my legs even though my husband is out-of-town working, I swab my ears, I floss and brush my teeth after eating almonds,

I peruse catalogs for dresses that will make me look and feel slimmer,

I count the Xanax refill and wonder if 26 pills would kill me, I uncork and consume good wine, I chat with my husband, I pretend and plan for travel that won’t happen, I organize photos on my hard-drive, I see myself with shorter hair in them and contemplate if I should cut it again, I back-up those photos on a portable drive for nostalgia’s sake, I heat leftovers for my dinner, I watch television shows and movies,

Avoiding your destiny?

Photo credit: theglobalpanorama / Foter / CC BY-SA

I wonder how to make a proper noose and whether the attic rafter will hold me,

I curse the low-level nicotine patch on my arm and contemplate driving out for a fresh pack after a month of no-smoking, I think While I’m out I’ll get a chocolate milkshake to savor when Mad Men is on in an hour ….
I stay as busy as I possibly can to avoid this keyboard.

Depression whisks into frothy desperation as the brewing cauldron of my mind bubbles in lure.



originally written April 2011





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  • Alexandra

    great grit, you’re really brave, thanks for sharing such a personal piece. i like the way you combine consonants in succession, nice flow

    • Thanks Alexandra! Never considered myself brave but I’ll take the compliment. And I’ll tell my hubby next time I’m overly gritty with him that someone out there called me brave 🙂

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