Paint it BlackMonday, August 22, 2011
I am flimsy, like a paper doll that’s been cut from a magazine. My upper body flops forward and back as I try to walk with no knees. I wobble, barely remaining upright.
My face is frozen in its expression. It is unable to change, to warn people of the kettle of emotions boiling underneath my skin. My eyes are bright, and my smile hides agony. All of my tears are checked inside of my flat, paper soul.
If I could, I would paint myself black. Not even in shades of gray. Just pitch black.
In the night, I would almost disappear against the sky. My outline would only be visible because there would be no stars shining from my skin. I could sneak around and no one would notice me. I could curl into a corner, and people would mistake me for a shadow. If I could paint myself black, I would still feel like a paper doll- flat and flimsy. But maybe it would give the illusion that I had substance, or depth. You wouldn’t be able to see my one dimensional features. My masked grimace (which so many people mistake for a smile.)
Inside, my organs have begun to work against me. My heart keeps pumping, even though it is shattered- I had thought it was ripped out. My lungs keep inflating. All that I think of when I think of that particular mechanism, is that hers would not inflate, and that was why she died. Blood circulates and causes me to feel warm in the face or cold in the feet.
I wish they would stop, every once in a while. All of these things inside of me, designed to work so well together. Each of them contributing to another day where I am here, and she is gone, this daughter of my heart.
I communicate in phrases that mean nothing. “Have a nice day!” is a code for something that happens to other people. “Thank you,” is what is said to people when they haven’t given you your heart’s desire, but something that you probably didn’t need. “Are you ok?” is what people say when they expect to hear “yes” from your mouth (any other answer will get looks of sharpness and disapproval.)
It’s all the same, because I am thinking, and I am breathing, and walking and grieving.
I had a life, before (it’s funny- the “f” key is sticky on the keyboard, and every time I write the word life, it first says “lie”, and I have to go back and correct it.). I had a litmus test of just what I thought I could withstand. What was acceptable to me, on the misery scale? Pain was always about what I was willing to endure. I was willing to endure dental pain, because I hate the dentist. Pain was always about a choice I was making. Now pain is all about wanting to paint myself black so that I can blend in with the shadows.
Forms and speculations move in and out of my dreams. My thought process is retarded in growth. I cannot process information any longer. Retention is all about remembering her.
It washes over me in sudden moments.
I know what people mean now, when they talk about something "welling up" in them. I can feel it building like a balloon in the pit of my stomach, and it rises up towards my mouth. I also know what people mean now, when they talk about "keening". That's the sound that comes from your mouth when the welling up over flows. Its an animal sound. There is no humanity there. Sometimes I think that I don't need to paint myself black- that sound will surely turn me black from the inside out.
There is no room for this in me. It flows over and out. It makes messes that I don’t have the tools to clean up. It starts sentences that I can’t finish. Sentences about "how nice things are going", and how "I'm feeling much better now, thank you."
All the while, in between keening and welling up, and wanting to paint myself black, and feeling like a flat, floppy paper doll, I am there, in that second where she was mine. I'm trapped like a fly in a bottle. I am unable to move from my enclosure.When I close my eyes, I can smell that hospital smell on her. I can feel the warmth of her skin. She was mine for a moment in time. Of all the babies ever born, all the babies ever loved…. this baby of mine runs wild through my mind. Her hair trailing behind her like spider webs. All of the rooms I can contain her in are occupied by other objects and items. She slowly slips away, all of the time, she is slowly slipping away.