Even her fantasies were laced with worry. And when her fears blocked out the beauty of her dreams, she stopped and reminded herself that she didn’t need to fret about things that were unlikely to come true anyway.
She wanted to know: was there a woman in the world who didn’t think some part of her body was expanding at the same rate as the universe ? And not in a way that was scientifically fascinating or gracefully beautiful.
She had overanalyzed all the intellectual yahoos who had written on the topic of body image and gender bias and oppression and all such manner of things until she thought her mind would break from the absurd surrealism of the mix…and she knew that she was pretty enough. Yet these ideas still crept into her wet brain and grew moldy with false truth. So, even when she knew she was more than the sum area of her haunches, sometimes all she could see of herself was the broad, meaty part of her thighs leading to her sagging buttocks.
It suddenly seemed urgent: she wanted to be sure that she was really truly living her life – and not just to see whether the zombie apocalypse had happened or not.
She was not striving to be famous or wealthy or even notorious. She just wanted to be known and understood for who she truly was, and she wanted her feelings, no matter how messy, to be visible to the ones she loved.
She wanted the people closest to her to know who she was – faults and all – what she stood for, and what she dreamed and hoped for most in the world. She wanted to be a presence that was felt in small quiet ways by those most immediately around her. She wanted to take the ordinary and share her joy in it with people she cared about.
And if she could time it to occur before the zombie apocalypse, all the better.
Her reaction to most everything in life happened slowly, unfolding over days and sometimes months or even years. She was forever walking about with her side of conversations unspoken and rattling around idly in her head. Often, her delayed reflexiveness gave her behavior an aberrant and mildly non sequitur patina. And so it was today, when she burst into tears totally out of context and startled the people at the business meeting she attended.
He emerged, a stranger
Thrust himself between
Her and world.
He knew her habits:
When she traveled,
What she ate,
What she wore,
Who she knew.
She knew nothing,
Only a chance meeting.
Trapped now in
Open busy space:
She fought to
From the crowd,
Inured and numb
To her public pain.
Men finally gathered,
Wrestled he. And released,
She sprang away from
Tight grip and fierce growl,
Saved by strangers.
Knowing good and bad
Could come from the unknown
She decided to keep
Reaching out for it
This whole lamp picking thing was awful. Several people told her not to settle for those eggy short lamps and so she carefully packed them up and sent them back. She agreed that she should stop settling, even when that made things more complex and drawn out.
She hopped back on the Internet, a place cluttered with way too many choices for most rational beings to take in and looked at lighting web pages until her eyes burned and crossed. Web ads for lamps started appearing every time she was reading the news online, checking out the weather or clicking obsessively on her finance website for gory details on how badly she was blowing her budget this week / month / year / stretching into a lifetime. Yes, she basically used the internet for these three functions. And the occasional hunt for children’s party supplies.
So maybe you can understand why she felt her chances were pretty slim of finding a lamp she loved in the Internet wilderness. Roughly ZERO, she figured. She would just have to sit in the dark until the odds improved – though as luck would have it, the days were getting longer.
Well, at least today she had remembered a shirt – and undergarments. But she was not going to get very far in two left boots.
Back to the drawing board.
Sometimes the improbable was intoxicating.
She spent an inordinate amount of time job hunting via Internet in the afternoon. But for her gnawing anxiety about unemployment, she would rather have napped. And so she scanned and skimmed and hemmed and hawed over countless postings. She did narrow searches and broad searches. She looked at all the usual websites and some that seemed unconventional and odd. Nothing looked worthwhile.
Somewhere near the end of her patience for this tedious process, one posting caught her eye – mostly because one of the qualifications was a love of bicycles and another was a love of cold Chinese food and bad coffee. It was as if they had posted it just for her. She was surprised that it didn’t name her astrological sign and favorite color too. Aries and blue, for those paying attention.
She applied immediately and the mere thought of its existence as a real job livened up her entire day.
It was one of those days: everything around her seemed to be a hopeless mess.
All day, she was searching for that one thing – no matter how small – that seemed right with the world. When a man offered to give up his seat on the train home, she exhaled, relieved to have found what she was looking for. She didn’t even take the seat offered: his kind gesture had been enough to make her feel grateful.