|The Deconstruction of Dennis (standard:Psychological fiction, 9317 words)|
|Author: Karen Fellows||Added: Mar 06 2009||Views/Reads: 2201/1365||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Dennis was deep in the grip of a severe illness but could find no help, even from the people he loved the most. He was trapped.|
THE DECONSTRUCTION OF DENNIS By Karen Fellows This is the story of my demise. It is also the truth of my demise. For some, the downward slide into madness starts as the result of a crushing emotional blow, or a cataclysmic lurch in some homeostatic process deep in the organism. No one expects it to be gradual and insidious. Conventional thought embraces the idea of a sudden trauma, a happening that we can point to and say “ah, so that's what did it”. But despair can creep in slowly, an evil seed taking root in the depths of the psyche, watered by indifference, fertilized by caustic comments. It grows unseen in the head and heart, blocking out the light and taking over like a noxious weed, crowding joy out of its way like a rude stranger on a bus pushing other travelers aside. It settles in and spreads, becoming a thing unto itself, a smothering heavy nervous dictator constantly harping, weighing down the soul, and pulling toward the dark bottom of life where hope has died. The day I choose to die dawns with a merciless heat, yet my house is cold as always. When we had this house built, it was an image boost. Set in a nice new neighborhood with prefab precision, it looked almost, but not quite exactly, like every other house on the block. But I have been proud of this house. It is an achievement for me, having a house built. Brand new, a visible manifestation of years of education, hard work and planning. Who could have predicted within its walls would lay the coldest realm on the face of this earth? No furniture created by man could defy the empty feeling of this house and no thermostat could prevail over the chill. This July morning I rise from the sofa where I have spent part of another sleepless night. I wonder if my family is still slumbering in my daughter's room, door locked against me. I want to go to them but I don't because there is an invisible barrier. Their indifference is a strong wall, and I am too weak to hurl myself against it anymore. The low-level buzz of sleep deprivation hums continually in my brain. I try to tune it out and go again to the mirror to check my hair. More of it is gone! A sickening lump of dismay slides down inside me, leaving a trail of disgust. I gently part my hair and carefully check my scalp, tilting my head this way and that, examining each area. To my rising horror, I find several more spots where my hair is sparse and thinning and when I take my hands away, I see that several hairs cling to my fingers. I would weep if I weren't so damn tired. This is at least the thousandth time I have checked my hair since midnight. My long vigils have drained me and I feel the fatigue deep in my bones and my soul. I can almost hear the persistent thoughts out loud now, just on the periphery of my awareness like a low chill voice in the next room...I look terrible, I am worthless, I will never get past this, I can't go out in public looking like this.....on and on until I think my spirit will crumble to dust and my body fall away in a puff of smoke. I pace the kitchen, then the living room, then go back to the mirror to check again hoping that I am wrong. Sure enough, more hair is gone. Little pieces of me, missing. They must lay scattered here and there tucked within the fibers of the carpet, or hidden among the rumpled clothes in the hamper, or evaporated into thin air for all I know. But they are not on my head where they belong and I am turning into a freakish caricature of my former self. It is agonizing for me to watch my disfigurement grow each passing day, hour, and moment. What will I do? How can I function? How could I present myself to the world looking like I do? I am weary beyond measure from the worry of it. I am driving my family crazy with this. My wife says my hair looks fine, this thing is all in my head. She believes it is a delusion to which I am stubbornly and deliberately clinging. She has pointed out many times that I am selfish, possibly even lazy. My daughter tells me I am “acting like a retard”. Maybe he is even faking it, she speculates. They no longer want to hear my concerns. I have worn them down and they have distanced themselves from me emotionally. Now at night they retreat to my daughter's room and lock the door to get away from me. If I bring up the subject of my hair, they grow angry and cold and roll their eyes in annoyance. They have become desensitized to my pain. I am losing my family. Maybe I have already lost them. I know this is my fault, but I can't seem to keep my fears to myself. I am lonely. One night I ask my wife if she will please just hold me. I tell her we don't have to do anything or talk about anything, but would she please just hold me. I long for some connection to reel me back in, away from Click here to read the rest of this story (739 more lines)
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