It’s not the big things that get her, not always. It’s the build up of all the little things. Voices around her, things she should be paying attention to; usually can pay attention to are too much for her today. She has to shut them out to concentrate on completing the things she needs to complete today, but even this is impossible. She shuts her eyes for a moment; covers her ears.
Her inner voices are louder, more insistent.
She has always had these voices; an inner narrator, or a chorus of them, characters of her life demonstrating the things she should have said. Could have said or done to make things different. Scenes playing out in her head that are different than where she is now. If only she had… what if he had… Most of the time she can shove them away. Most of the time she can tell them to shut up.
She paused on the way to the post office, face up to the sky and watched the rain fall into her face, arrowing down into her eyes and for seconds there was nothing; no traffic, no pedestrians no responsibilities, no voices, no shadows. But she blinked and it all returned. She did not drop everything from her hands, did not let everything slough away, though the impulse was there.
Drop the umbrella, the handful of envelopes into the water, turn and just go. Away. Anywhere. How tempting.
She wonders how people do it.
She knows it has a name: disassociative fugue – when people just vanish from their lives and start a new one; walk across a border, real or imagined and leave everything behind, even their identity. Is it like an amnesia? A simple forgetting of one identity and a creation of another, or is that secondary identity there already there, hidden away – like one of her voices allowed to come to the surface? She knows also that there is always something that happens before; a trauma, a trigger. She isn’t sure she’s had anything that would quantify as a trauma – not recently. But then, she never really recovered did she? She still wakes in the night, struggling to breathe, spitting dirt from her mouth, still feels the blood hot on her skin and the sharp crystalline quality of remembered pain. It is the only time when all the voices in her head agree on anything.
Run. Start over. Tempting to forget it all, to just go.
She doesn’t think she could do it, but isn’t sure if she’d know if she did. How do you remember that you forgot? If she did run, where would she go? All the little details of living, eating and being threaten to overwhelm her. She will not run; she can’t.
She doesn’t have the knack of letting go and this; this is why the voices linger. No, it’s because you’re a coward, but she knows even as the voice speaks, that it isn’t true.
She puts the letters in the mailbox, wished – not for the first time – that she could be one of them.
Listening to: Jann Arden – Where No One Knows Me
Reading: Will Self – The Book of Dave
Words Today: 2690