Slumps

Been working on several short stories and trying to get into the mindset of sharing my writing. Recently finished polishing this piece (or at least it’s in a place where I feel ok sharing it). XX

Slumps

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I know I am in a slump because that is when I cannot look away from my flaws, and I pick at the ugly sensation hiding behind my collarbone until I feel raw and sadder than before. I have put on seven different outfits, and my cheeks are flushed from exertion. I pick until I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I pick at myself until I forget that I actually love my body, I pick until I cannot anymore because I need to go to class.

It is hard, because I am a rational person, so I say ‘You know that’s not right. This isn’t what you really think. Be kind to yourself’. But I don’t want to be kind to myself, or love my body, or do what all my caring friends tell me to do. I want to nap and be left alone.

I cannot look in mirrors, or be around people, or be left alone. Looking in mirrors will only mean I see more flaws. Being around people means having to pretend I’m not in a slump. Being left alone only lets me fall deeper into it. Slumping is hard.

I am in a slump and feel chubbier than I deserve to think of myself. I chastise myself for not exercising, for going for the extra fry that I didn’t really want to eat. In the mirror, my shirt doesn’t fit right. I eat a salad – not because I think it’s delicious, but because I’ve been taught that lettuce will make me thin. Later I will eat three cookies to quell my hungry stomach, and feel even worse.

Slumps happen regardless of rain, of time, of work and rest. I am always working. I’m working on class assignments, I’m working on my friendships, I’m working on becoming gentler with myself. But on slump days there is also anger. I am angry because I cannot do enough – because I am not as talented, or beautiful, or smart as my classmates. I am not as nice as I want to be. I do not like myself in a slump; my personality, my soft stomach, my laugh.

When I am in a slump, it feels like a day destroys a lifetime’s work of loving myself.

The thing is, it doesn’t.

I am not writing about my slump because it is a cry for help. I am not scared of my slump. This is a bad day, and I am a person who feels bruised on the inside. But I am better than I was a year ago. That helps, the knowledge that I can be flawed and feel bad, but know that I have made changes to move forward. The nice thing about slumps is that they remind you that you are human, and imperfect.

“I will be okay,” I think as I eat my third cookie and wish that I didn’t have to go to class “Bad is ok.” Maybe tomorrow I will like my laugh again.

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I feel bad today, and that is alright.

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Wolves

Just something I wrote around Halloween. Playing around with story telling modes.

Wolves

When we bought the house, they assured us the wolves wouldn’t come near us. They told us not to worry. Of course, you’d think it foolish of us, but we bought the house anyway.

Who could blame us? You’re here after all. You see our house, with it’s fine interior. Of course, it’s so nice of you to drop by, we rarely get visitors. So lovely to have new neighbors. It’s been quiet since the last family moved out. It’s what was best for them, I like to think. After what happened to their little boy. I shudder to think about losing a child like that.

Come sit, have a cup of tea. What was I saying? Time slips away from me nowadays. Oh the house – yes we bought the house. Me, my husband and our daughter. Around your age now, aren’t you such a darling? Yes, it’s good tea. Look how it shines through the cup. Thin as bone. Thin as bone. My mother always told me that was the sign of quality china.

We bought the house. Isn’t it lovely? Yes, I think so. Look at the way the floor boards shine. Never a creak with these floorboards, even after all these years. I like the wallpaper as well, though we’ve had to reply it a couple of times. Accidents happen all the time my dear. Sometimes the stains show through though. No matter how much you scrub, there’s a lot that won’t come out of these walls.

Oh that noise? No, don’t worry about that. Old pipes. Old walls. There’s history around this place, don’t you know? They told us that when we bought it. Surely they must have told you. Sometimes the creaking gets a little loud, but after all these years I’ve learned to ignore it. I’m sure you will too. My poor daughter had such a hard time the first couple of years.

While I have you here, I may as well show you a photo of her. Indulge an old woman, won’t you? Yes, there she is. What a beauty, just like you. She won’t ever pose for photos any more, mores the pity. Shy, I guess.

Do you have children? No? Such a shame, such a shame. My daughter was the apple of my husband’s eye, don’t you know. Spoiled her rotten he did. When she wanted to go camping she’d go. When she wanted to sleep under the stars, she did. Used to worry me sick, thinking about her outside. Wrapped up in nothing but a blanket. There’s something unbearable about the thought of the stars, such cold, unfeeling things. My daughter loved them though, surely she did. She used to go outside all the time, even when the wolves howling was a little too close for my comfort.

It was such a tragedy, what happened to that little boy. I’m surprised they didn’t tell you about it when they sold you the house. Such a tragedy. Still, children get into scrapes all the time. Why, one time my daughter came home with such a bite on her shoulder, you wouldn’t believe. It was around two weeks before the accident. Still, it healed up right nicely it did, even if she was a little twitchy when the wolves howled. Still, They told us not to worry about the wolves, and we didn’t.

Forgive an old lady for bringing up the past. Strange, the way that lantern light turned her eyes gold. Gave my husband and I quite the turn when she came home that night. It was only the day after that we found out about the little boy. Can you imagine if it had been my daughter? It still makes me shudder, even after all these years. Oh yes, old walls in this house. They’ll remember that night long after I’m gone.

You look a little worried. Don’t worry, there hasn’t been a wolf attack in years. I remember because the last one was right before my daughter left for college. I’m quite excited you know. She’s coming back for a visit. She’s going to be arriving any minute. I’m sure she’ll be so interested to hear about our new neighbors, after all, she did love that little boy so. I shudder to think that such an accident could happen again.

Oh you have to go? What a pity, I hoped you’d stay. But it is getting dark out, isn’t it? Let me lend you a lantern, it’s a lonely walk back to your car. No it’s no bother – walking by the stars light is all well and good when you can’t see what’s in the shadows. Be sure to drive carefully dear! Come back and visit soon, it is so nice to see new faces.

Don’t forget to worry about the wolves my dear, when you’re looking up at the stars.