a virtual chapbook of poetry and prose
AND A WORK IN GRAPHIC PROGRESS
AND A WORK IN GRAPHIC PROGRESS
I die on a Sunday afternoon. It is not in a conventional kind of way but slowly, over time like marshmallows on top of hot coffee. I listen to my therapist sometimes but she is a shitty bitch that I don't want to look up to. Funny, in the end, I become just like her and she becomes less like me. She moves away from me and I move closer. We meet in the middle but she is still whole and I am broken. Neither one of us is ever really sociable but she is able to hide it better. She hides her pain behind a veiled mask and grins for everyday folk, smiles at their lies but I know she isn't really interested in hearing the truth. No, the truth is for fairy tales, adventure stories and soap operas.
I am tired of pretending to be something I am not: normal. If only I could go back in time and shake myself silly and beg myself not to make the mistakes that ultimately surprise and destroy me. If only I could look at my younger self in the mirror. Maybe my twin self might scare me but I think eventually, I would get over the shock of becoming someone else. I would tell myself to be more like others: less emotion but less communication as well.
However, then I would not be true to myself and inevitably, I would be forced into a corner, placed in a box where hundreds of years from now, people will walk into museums and look at me through a glass case like a bad science experiment. They will debate what they think that I am thinking right now. I am the product of being taken from one environment to the next in order to see my reaction. Can I adjust? That question is the story of my life and sometimes the answers are like opening Pandora's Box and letting all of the secrets out but then again, I don't believe in that.
Of course, by the time the world really understands how I think it will be too late for me to respond because I'll be in a pine coffin with hard dirt and worms running through my ears. Or I'll be moving toward a better place, playing harp music with a white toga and eating lots of grapes. But then, I realize that I am back on the couch and her bright eyes are waking me from my dream. She is asking me all of these questions, none of them I have the answer to. She says that I am no better than people on television, that are hypnotized and become chickens. They do anything that they are paid to do and the audience claps and reality is suspended for a moment but then, there has to be an end and that's what I hate the most.
Those people talk about how their lives change and it makes me want to gag. My life will not change though because, for one, I won't let it, and two, I am too stubborn to resist anything that I can't see, touch, taste or feel. See, I am like a mathematician. I believe in reason but this philosophy is only hindering me. Maybe if I believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, my life might be a little better but I am scared to embrace anything that's not physically in front of me.
So I grow up to be the opposite of the kind of woman that I promise myself to be as a child. You know the kind of women in the movies that get popcorn thrown at them because they never really grow up. But I am not big on being around other women. For one, I can't understand the need for sharing. That is the kind of woman that I am and that is why I hate everybody but other people's laughter, their crying, their wanting to push some kind of feeling onto me other than sadness and anger. Anything else in my life comes through in spades and tastes like old, churned butter. I approach life like I do a soap opera and prepare for the twists and surprises, which begin the Sunday morning of the day that changes my life. I begin my day like any other. I wash my face, comb my hair and brush my teeth. I have my standard breakfast of oatmeal, orange juice and fruit.
My food begins to speak with me. It tells me what I am doing wrong with my life but I only half-heartedly listen. See there is a good and bad side to me that pulls me in two different directions. One side is the sweet part of me, the good in me that wants to make the most of my day and do a little writing. But the bad side of me will contemplate everything's that wrong in my life and why this day is no different from any other. I dress and head to my appointment with my therapist. It is our last together. After today, I am on my own. I try to tell her that I am hearing voices in my head but I can tell that she doesn't believe me. I look out the window and see a woman playing tennis in the courtyard. It is raining and I am shocked that she is so stupid and I tell my therapist my opinion.
She responds by saying that she is disappointed that I don't live my life like a free woman, not afraid to do the unexpected. I ask her if she thinks my behavior is predictable and she says yes, that I allow myself to be swayed by mathematics and technology, living like a robot that does the same things day after day. My therapist then asks me if I would like to take a moment to think about what she has said. I say yes. She offers to fix me a glass of water and I say yes, only she takes the water and dumps it on my head. Apparently, it's some kind of experiment to wake me up but I am upset because I spend all day Saturday fixing my hair for our appointment. So, I point outside to some kind of bird in a tree and when she turns to look, I slap her with the back of my hand.
Her blonde hair flies in one direction and her face in another. Her nose is bleeding and she begins to cry. She starts cursing at me, saying that I am hopeless. I respond by knocking her books from her shelves to the ground. I begin throwing entire rows of books on the floor. My therapist surprises me then by throwing candy and then dog biscuits (a wonderful treat for pregnant women) at me. I bark a little and start laughing. When this doesn't stop me from destroying her office, my therapist does the unthinkable: She tries to pepper spray me but I duck my head and she misses. I try to grab her hand but then she bites me. I scream and retaliate. I push her really hard and she falls backward into a chair and lands on the floor.
I take her favorite pair of shoes and pull my pants down. With my back to her, I begin to take a golden shower inside her shoes. At first, I tinkle a little pee on my pants but then I concentrate, focus, and aim. It splatters all over her warm, black pumps. She is in shock and ready to call the police on me. I stop long enough to hop over to the door where she is quickly running. I tell her that I need attention and if I don't get it, I'll take a dump inside her shoes and then on her couch. I really am not afraid of the impending poop stains on the back of my pants.
A red flag is waved but I know what she is really flashing before my eyes. I sit back down. I
know that I will leave her office and go down the street or even across town and find someone else
to talk to. I can't bear the thought of being dead for too long. It's too much for a nonbeliever.
My therapist picks herself up off the floor and reaches into her purse. She lights a cigarette,
which she tells me to not to let anyone know that we are sharing. We sit there and puff. Maybe she
has some marijuana somewhere. Perhaps she has a little champagne to share before I go or even
The Motion in Motive
© 2008 Piper Davenport, all rights reserved
appears here by permission
This story was inspired by the darker side of her hometown of Detroit, Michigan.