by Cheri Bermudez
I’ll be an author. I’ll simply publish a book, she thought to herself, rationally. Then she laughed. For someone who was (obviously) having delusions of grandeur, she certainly wasn’t having illusions of grandeur, her surroundings the same, as they always were. An apartment, a bedroom. Nothing permanent. She paid rent month to month. Every time she took the rent check to the main office she imagined $650 being flushed down the toilet. It might as well be. Where she was wasn’t home. Nothing was home right now.
She hadn’t always been so lost. At one point in her life she had felt very much at home; she had even imagined one in her head (a home, that is). Now she couldn’t picture home in her head. She had no idea where it was. Well. She had an inkling. But it was pointless to focus on that inkling, that feeling. Because the home she had once imagined in her head was now an impossibility, due to stupidity and circumstance. Better not to focus on that now.
That was how she handled things. Well, things that provoked any emotion. Not right now. It should be her motto. She always told herself she’d deal with it later. Whenever that was. It wasn’t her fault that she was so fucked up (she told that to herself too). It was a psychological reaction to anything that made her feel. Feelings are too powerful. They can take over who you are, make you do things that shouldn’t be done. It’s much better to be rational. Neutral. A lesson learned the hard way, but, she thought, at least she had learned it early in her life. Perk up, sourpuss! It wasn’t so bad. It really wasn’t. She thought it akin to what being haunted by a ghost may feel like. A moment, a feeling. It reminded her too much of a distant past that she barely remembered and of a more recent past that she remembered all too well. A paradox. A conundrum. Call it what you will. It was her life.
She became lost early in life, due to circumstance. At one point she had found home. But due to stupidity, she became lost again. Sheer stupidity. She could attribute it to being young, but nineteen isn’t so young. She really should have been more honest. Honesty, such a simple thing, may have saved her home. But because she had lied, the home was lost. Simple and plain. Why had she lied?She asked herself that every day, and that alone would bring her close to tears. So, not right now. Best not to think of that right now. Blink the tears away and keep on chugging. Or drifting. She wasn’t sure which she was doing. Probably drifting. Maybe paddling just a little, she thought to herself, trying to be positive. But really, she was drifting.
Failure, failure, failure. The words repeated in her head in a taunting rhythm. Her other motto. Or maybe it should be a nickname. Failure. She wasn’t really a failure though- as previously mentioned, she was simply drifting. She hadn’t found her spot in the world yet, and at 26 felt like she had somehow missed out on her entire life. The days would just pass. One after another. One the same as the other. She needed to find her place, her niche. Until then, the days that passed were nothing but failures to her.
Now back to this problem of feeling. In order to find her niche, she knew, she would have to feel. Something she did not at all want to do. Despite her distain for feelings, she wasn’t a sociopath. Not even close. She did feel things, but feelings are not logical, so she tried not to give them much merit. She had feelings every day, and some she didn’t mind so much. Like the feeling conjured when seeing a puppy or a kitten. That feeling was okay. But there were specific feelings she tried to dodge or elude. Every day was a fight, a match. Her vs. Shitty Feelings. That’s how she thought of them- they almost had their own persona. Shitty Feelings. Sometimes she won, and she managed to dodge Shitty Feelings for a day, but usually she lost. Sometimes she would dodge Shitty for half of the day, but he would take over the other half. Shitty Feelings was a man, in her mind, since most of her shitty feelings had something to do with men. Two men, specifically. Maybe it should be a woman though, because she also had a lot of shitty feelings about herself.
She thought about him specifically though. A lot. Every day. At least one million times a day. Or at least that’s what it felt like. Her heart, her home was with him. And he was gone. Gone forever. How does one cope with that?
There is no coping. Only survival. And survive she would. Scratching and clawing to get through each day did get a bit old at times, but it was what she was use to. It was what was comfortable, albeit not very healthy. That’s ok, she told herself. It’s how life is suppose to be. Life isn’t the fairy tale she had once believed it to be. Being young and naïve had its perks, but she had been disillusioned long ago. Besides, everyone has to grow up at some point.