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To Speak of Things (standard:drama, 680 words)
Author: Davef1965Added: Mar 25 2004Views/Reads: 1695/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The things we hold inside give us weight
 



TO SPEAK OF THINGS 

The day after my trip to the hospital the wind picked up. It squeezed
itself through the gaps in my bedroom window. Howling at me in the 
darkness. I couldn't sleep. I listened as it crackled through the trees 
and pushed its way over the roof. When I got up it started to rain. The 
drops spread themselves into streaks across the window and on the 
pavement below the torrent rebounded into the air. 

I pressed my face against the glass. It felt cold and alien against my
skin. I watched the commuters scurrying around below, heads buried deep 
in their jackets, leaning forward with the effort of movement. I 
decided not to go to work, not after my news, I couldn't face the 
pretence of it. Instead I turned on the television and made some toast. 
It reminded me of missing school, sick with mumps or measles or 
something. My mother chasing me around the house with her duster, 
complaining about how I was making the place look untidy. What would 
she say now? 

It made me think of Ali and how she would know what to do. I had never
felt such a deep need move that way, slowly, deliberately. The feeling 
was primitive, rooted to the earth and the stars. A spun thread 
spanning the distance between us, holding us apart, if only things had 
been different. 

I didn't understand it. How could my body could do this too me betray me
like this? I tried to read the book that I'd borrowed from the library. 
The lists, the diagrams, the medical terms, I couldn't hold the words 
in my head; they jumped around the page refusing to be still. The 
sentences seemed disjointed and out of place. My mind distracted by 
everything around me. The air I sucked in was dank and heavy in my 
lungs. It gave me no relief. I felt the weight of the dark sky and the 
rain outside, push down on my shoulders. 

I tried to tell myself that everything was ok, that this was normal and
lots of people get through it. This wouldn't be unbearable. This 
wouldn't be the end. This was just something to get through, something 
to be endured. I decided not to tell anyone, not yet, telling made it 
real, definite. Telling made it solid, not just between the doctors and 
me but out there in the real world, the world of flesh and blood. I ran 
through it all in my head, what the reactions would be. The, I'm so 
sorry, the surprised looks, the feigned sadness. I couldn't bear the 
thought of it. 

The book had a list of symptoms but I didn't want to look at them. I
didn't want to make them real, manifest them in myself. I thought about 
the pain in my head and how it had become so bad that I wanted to run 
head first into the wall. I thought about how I wanted to smash 
everything, the plates, the television and all those things that were 
supposed to belong, but didn't. I thought about what I wanted, really. 
Ali to be here, to hold me, to tell me that everything would be all 
right. 

I was scared by my own hopelessness. Where did it come from? I couldn't
remember feeling like that before. It worried me; my mind was changing 
in ways that I couldn't control. I tried to eat some toast, hoping it 
would make me feel better, but it stuck in my throat like unspoken 
truths. It was a bad start to the day, a damaged day. 

And the rain continued, bringing rivers into the streets. The wind
pressed itself against the window. The street people rushed around, 
coats pulled tight into them, heads lowered, buried in hats, looking as 
if they had something to hide. 

Inside the room I locked the door and pulled the curtains tight. I sat
on the floor with my knees scrunched up and head bowed. Knowing that 
inside me, I did have something to hide. 


   


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