Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Entry #49

by Joni Haws

She felt the mist roll in, sticky and seeping, the cold finding her deepest places. Thumb and ring finger rubbed the skin of her eyelids and she popped the tasteless pill the color of her midnight tulips. She gulped it down without water.

I know he loves me. It was a plain truth, but the mist sparred and rejected it, her chest just swampy and dark.

How long had that baby been crying? Leaden bare feet trudged across the gummy linoleum. The gray air in the house hunched her back with its weight. The stairs loomed, daunting.

She noticed her hand on the railing and stopped. The chipped red paint on her toenails stared up and mocked her. The mist was thick this time.

He’ll call soon. But what time was it? She must have sat down. She fingered a thread trailing from the sleeve of her night gown. Tearing at a hangnail, she felt the sting, saw the blood, and did not fight the compulsion to pull it further. Like ripping paper. The tender skin was rich with pain. She could feel this.

Had the baby stopped crying? No. The angry screams barely reached her. What did he need? She could not remember.

It’ll be okay, he’ll say after the muck has drained a bit. And I’ll produce another smile, and keep my lips closed so he won’t see the shadow inside.


Jaye Wells said...

This was great, you really capture the essence of postpartum here.

JLB said...

I really appreciated the way that you related some of the haze of depression.

Joni said...

I've been reading everybody stories and catching a bit of a theme. So I looked at the picture again. It's a power pole! Didn't catch that the first time. Looked like sort of a shadowy person to me, so this story is the result of THAT inspiration.

Bhaswati said...

The story had to be based on your interpretation of the image, and you did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Great use of verbs to convey her depression. You've captured the emotion very well.

jason evans said...

Joni, congrats on fourth place!

Whoa. Serious and powerful description of depression. The weight of it wrapped around me and refused to let go. High marks overall.