Joy Comes in the Mourning

SHE wasn’t herself. She couldn’t put her finger on it; it was nothing palpable. It was like a vapour, a mist. This aura had settled over her and with every breath was changing her. She wasn’t depressed per say. Repressed maybe? Suppressed? Perhaps. She has everything she wanted but nothing she needed.  A recurring theme amongst her contemporaries; a sign of the times.  She was a product of her baby-boomer parents. She had been over-parented and indulged. A modern princess unacquainted with trouble and estranged from struggle.  She had it all, whatever it was: a loving family, loyal friends, a fulfilling profession, the urban postal code, a dog, the boy.  Looking through the pictures saved on her phone, she smiled absent-mindedly. Images of her latest travels, parties she’d attended, gourmet meals she had savored and memories she had made. Her hair and make-up were always tasteful and on trend. Her face always smiling…always smiling.

03010005                                                                                            ***

ON this particular morning, she lay in her queen-sized bed staring at the ceiling, looking but not seeing anything really.  She was attempting to empty her mind and failing miserably.  Her mind was her greatest ally but most grievous  foe.  It was too early to get up and start her day.  It was her day off, after all. She wanted to relish in the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy being agendaless.  Truthfully, though, this was beyond desiring a few more moments under her duvet. She was utterly exhausted.  An overwhelming fatigue had taken her body hostage. And…her period was late. Five whole days to be exact. This finding was more than worrisome as you could set a watch to her cycle. She tried to push any related thoughts to the back of her mind.  Her efforts had proven futile thus far.   Her heart rate began to pick up its pace. Her mouth had gone dry, her breath caught in her throat. She knew. She knew.

 

THREE  minutes. 180 seconds of agony. And then a blue cross. A sound escaped her, something somewhere between a gafaw and a sob.  This was a comedy of errors.  Here it was: this thing she wanted and subsequently could not have.  Joy and despair mingled into a serrated blade that was cutting a whole in her heart with surgical precision.  Time can be an unrelenting and uncaring master, unconcerned with any details or individual needs.   Why now? WHY NOW? Six months, a year even would have proven to be better timing. But no, the time, evidently, was now. She went back to bed.

THE rhythmical tic and toc of her bedside clock was both a disconcerting and  and calming.  She covered her head with her blanket. Sleep was a welcome escape. It was her Saviour.  Her bed was her cocoon of solace.  She slept.  Inevitably, she awoke and with a new found clarity.  She expertly removed her fragile heart and gingerly placed  it on the pillow beside her.  She then reached for her cell phone. She made a call. An appointment was set and so was her resolve.  She took a breath and inhaled her courage while exhaling her now surmounting fear.   When she told him, it was as an aside. He joyous, she cautious. Her heart remained under her pillow where she had left it.

***

FOUR weeks came and went. Some days were better than others. She was not herself.  It all passed as if playing before her on a screen. A silent movie, lurching forward in an unnatural dance. Her body was not her own. Her mind was not her own. But her heart, she ensured, was safely tucked away, guarded and set apart.  He was golden. She was titanium. He attentive and she elusive.  She dressed herself in nonchalant gaiety and painted a grotesque red smile on her clown face.  Her world was a stage and she the main player.

Graphic 3 (2)

AND so the day came.  She awoke. Sleep had robbed her of his company. The Sandman had been a fair-weather friend.  She took a breath and put her game face on. She knew this was her cup to bear and her mountain to climb.  She mourned silently, internally and profoundly.  She boarded the bus and found a seat near the back. She put her earbuds in and turned her music up, so as to tune out the world.  She couldn’t help but feel naked and dirty, exposed.  She felt she wore her fate like a scarlet letter. You see, the thing about shame and grief is that they are malignant.  They eat away at the at the soul.   They poison the mind.  To the untrained eye, they present as anger and indifference.  They slowly and with steady determination begin to change their host. Some can fight, some succeed.  Most are not so lucky.  They are overcome and they are consumed.  Capture

 

SHE arrived and she signed her life away.  She was interrogated and drugged, poked, prodded and probed.  It hurt. It all hurt her dreadfully.  Her pain was her penance; her cries her petition for pardon.  She was not herself. They held her down and whispered reassurances, but the pain was beyond visceral.  Her very soul was being torn from her body. And then, it was over. It’s completion as abrupt as its commencement. They drove home in silence. Then she went to bed.

 

 

by @e_marie83

photo by Yasmin Al-Samarrai

etre

We are a creative hub urging you to fall in love with the fullness of who you are, a platform for introspection through all types of artistry. In essence, then, we press towards capturing the shared experience of the human condition with the appropriate blend of charm and raw honesty, offering ourselves and our subscribers a new way to conceive of and appreciate the richness of life, including even its tragedies.