When I notice you’re working
I don’t use self-checkout
And I buy organic arugula
to seem interesting
In my apartment there’s
I don’t remember why I came in here. It’s easy to forget. My short-term memory deteriorated when I quit opiates, I’m still learning how to take compliments. Children of abused children don’t. Not well. Adults with a history of abuse are more likely than the general population to experience physical health problems including diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, headaches, stroke, hepatitis, and heart disease. You’ll lose your passion.Then your hair continues to grow after you die. I’m right in the middle. Hoping you swim to the side and now waiting for phone calls. Maybe just don’t touch me for a while.
Solipsism and Sensibility
I’m half-asleep but I know where I am. It’s warmer than I’m used to, and I don’t remember falling asleep wrapped in blankets. After sleeping outside, being indoors feels oddly abrasive. Like the wind on freshly shaven skin. Lying on my back like a rerun, I haven’t opened my eyes because I’m afraid of what will happen. They’ll be met with disappointment and accountability from whoever else is in that room. Other than a heart monitor there’s no sound, but I can feel someone there. I can also feel the jeans I had been wearing for the last two months are off and my body’s frail, I’m sure I look like a horse at the end of a Steinbeck novel. Buzzards circling overhead I can see my fate unfolding in complete darkness. Which might be why I have a song by Karen Dalton stuck in my head. Dying while the sun’s still out feels so derisive in a way. This isn’t the place where this should happen. I think about running. I think about people in movies yanking out tubes, storming out of the hospital, clothes in hand, ass peeking out of their gown, I want to do that but I’m too weak.
It’s wrong to say everything I ever did led me to this point. Making the seventh-grade basketball team or the mistake of having bangs was not a catalyst in my self-destruction. Maybe I just wasn’t that lucky, or I have a bad judge of character, or maybe I’m deflecting because failure has become such a fluid concept to me. The world keeps spinning and all I do is create excuses for the vertigo it causes. That’s what I’m doing now, blinding myself from reality and avoiding any sort of responsibility, I’m taking deep breaths to fill up with enough air so that maybe I’ll float away quietly. In my head, I start planning my future, while the hot sun shines on my face making it harder and harder to imitate peace. Like my therapist the air-conditioner is loud but seemingly useless, I’m sure it tries its best which is why it’s still employed. The sheets are starting to itch, and my sense of guilt and shame are creeping in. My brain and jaw hurt from clenching my teeth for the last two years and my neck feels bent like an old crutch. My stomach screams for attention and I’m starting to accept that this is my life now. The sleeping man could be my greatest trick yet, instead of outer space or the depths of the ocean, I can explore my subconscious and if I live another one hundred years maybe I’ll make some sense of it all. As I lament for my waking life, I feel a familiar touch. An embrace that has always brought me back to solidity. My eyelids are crusted over, and reluctantly part, like forcing an oyster shell open. Eyes white like pearls, they burn from the midafternoon sun and fluorescent lights. The world is the same as when I left it, however, it feels more welcoming than before, and she’s here holding my hand. It’s better this way.
Sam Heuring is a writer born and raised on the north side of Chicago. Their work has been published in local publications and national media including The Doe.