11.16.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from The Aviator's Wife
Image from The Aviator’s Wife

November 16, 2013: On her bad days…

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3 thoughts on “11.16.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    There are days when she wakes with a song in her head and those mornings she seems to be dancing when she moves from room to room, or skipping. And kisses are not brushed away and she laughs and all her words are soft as dove calls. I call those days blessed and I call her Vera then and I call her dear.

    On blessed days we make plans of how we should spend the time, our time, and we make plans to be together. I phone into work sick sometimes and we pack a picnic of her favourite things and we take the car to the coast. Come rain or come shine, it makes no matter. And we drink coffee in cafés where the windows are misted and a girl there takes our order and extra cream for Vera she writes on her pad. And outside the sound of gulls screaming, but we do not hear them, see only the gentle wheel and wheel of their flight.

    Sometimes we drive away from the coast and deep into nowhere, not looking at roadsigns or maps. Driving till we are lost and we park off the road then and make out in the car like teenagers. And afterwards we sit with the windows rolled down and Vera feeds me fingers of celery or carrot, and she tells me stories that may or may not be true, and I believe her when she tells them.

    Sometimes we just go to a movie, a whole day of movies, one after the other. And we sit in the front row eating popcorn from a bucket and drinking coke through a straw. And Vera cries or laughs or holds onto me tight as tight. And we stay when the movie is over, until all the credits have rolled and we are the last in the cinema. And we kiss then, and it is like a coming back to who we are, who she is.

    On blessed days anything is possible and I look for those days coming, look for the small and smaller signs that a song might be in her head, or a skip or a dance in her step. But I never can tell and so I pray instead. Not that I believe in God or some higher power that guides our path. But I pray anyway. And I wake on those days and I am always surprised.

    For there are dark days, too, and they are many and more than her brighter days. And on her dark days cups are broken and plates, and Vera stamps her feet and punches walls till her knuckles bleed. And she does not know me on those days and I do not dare go near enough for kisses, and anyway she screams for me to be gone from her if I do go near. And so I leave, not because she asks me; I leave for me, leaving like a thief, closing the door behind me with the lightest click. And I sit down on the other side of the door, listening.

    And one dark day folds into another. Sometimes weeks of them or months. And I do not know why I stay then, except that I also do not know how she would be if I left. It is not me, she says, when the dark days are behind her. It is not me. I am her lifeline. I am her blessing. And so I stay, waiting for the sun to come back to her days and to mine, and when it does she is my blessing, and I drink deep, and I write it all down in a book so I will remember long after, in the days when the sun has gone.

  2. Lindsay

    Mental illness is such a difficult thing to bear. When a person is broken, they are always hard to fix. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and I am glad that it moved you. I feel so sad for Vera, and sad, too, for the narrator who stays.

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