Kathy asked if I had ever written that story on one of my canvas prints. I had not, which was both surprising and not-surprising-at-all.
So I started. It’s coming out in the disjointed way that these stories do. Not a straight line, but a zig-zag lightning-strike path.
when i was nine, my mother got very sick
Last year E suggested that I write a question with my right hand, then answer it with my left hand.
Q: What are these panic attacks about?
A: they don’t want me they don’t want me they don’t want me
I woke up at 3 o’clock the other morning, having put the pieces together in my sleep. Suddenly knowing that “they don’t want me” belonged on this piece of canvas with the rest of the story.
Back in E’s office, after we finish laughing about the wastebasket, I pull up this picture on my phone. We pass the phone back and forth. There’s not much talking. I zoom in on the details, one after another, so she can see the whole thing.
it got worse. i decided to run away.
A list of the things I had in my pockets when I left:
- two dollars and sixty-three cents
- a girl scout knife
- a small red and silver flashlight
Last, but not least:
i brushed my hair for once.
We’ve been working together for more than five years, but I’m not sure I’ve ever told her that before. I’m not sure I could have said it aloud.
E looks up at me. We’re both crying.
Some things can never be fixed, but maybe you can find a way to stop being alone with them.