Frosted with bitterness, sprinkled with self loathing and ruefully self-aware. Trials, falls, failures. Her righteous rage poised spear-like at whomever dared approach. It would take Spartan strength to hold a gaze so heavy as hers. Why must the torturesome memories of being wanted, happy and safe remain? Those realities far gone from her life, yet unceasingly haunting. Not unlike a long dead lover. Too much a part of her to release, yet now too foreign to remember why she held on. Unwelcome were flashbacks of "the good days." With arachnid swiftness, they were enwebbed and committed back to the furthest recesses of her psyche. Memories are not inherently cruel...except when they are. Frozen snow crunched rudely under her boots. The sound reminiscent of a thoughtless child open-mouth masticating hard candies. The harsh, consistent sound rankling her to the core. Hastening her footsteps, she deftly avoided the filthy roadside slush. Kicking a dirty snow pile and ending up with a used hypodermic needle piercing through her shoe as a kid, well, it taught her not to go bothering what ought not to be bothered. Vividly visible in the winter air, a ragged sigh incurred whimsical winter contemplation. Such a shame this raw December morning couldn't swallow her up; rendering her one with the universe. Birthing her anew, pure, as unsullied snow. Perhaps, mercifully, allowing her to melt away forgotten, upon winter's end. Spring felt more like idealism than renewal, and her current internal season had no end in sight. Abysmal anhedonia buried all joy, all hope. Her soul became Pompeian, blindly choked in post-Vesuvian ash. A lightless, brumal night. Horoscope. The topography, a screaming silence of sunless skies, rabbit holes and slippery slopes. Her pitcher plant mind, patently unwilling to release its prey. Suicidally consuming at its own excruciating leisure, any positivity that dare arise. Growth destroys with a mighty closed fist. It must be so. The seeds of healing require openheartedness. Darkness despises a flourishing flower. Keep pace. Cover your existential disarray. Blend seamlessly into the background. Living is self defense. Self defense is remaining alive. She walked on. Approaching the stark, imposing psychiatric office, icy blasts of wind bit mercilessly at her face. Jaw clenched and body shivering, she wished she'd worn that hideous pink wool scarf. A gift, of course. Bright colors repulsed her, the way fresh carrion might repulse another. The value was in its warmth, paired with a rare sentimentality. It felt like a hug from her late Grandmother every time she wore it. Ugly, still. Breathe. You're late. Oh well. You showed up. Where does your "give a fuck" hide? Glaringly obvious, your giving of fucks is sparse. Hold on tight to that tattered half-a-fuck you have left. Or fuck it, don't. After choosing the furthest fold up metal chair from the other freaks and presiding therapist, the nearly unendurable Dialectical Behavioral Therapy commenced. "Therapist". She scoffed to herself. A nauseatingly typical, neo-hippie, midlife twat who went in big for archetypal blame games and self-help spoon-feeding. First always came her favorite, the "individual check-in." AKA, let's coax out your naked soul for public judgment. A dead rose by any other name. Ghastly, forced socialization with women she'd never see outside this room. Devoid of truth or meaning. Perfunctory. Being in an all women's group would be comforting, they said. It was not. At. All. Breezily, she navigated through the insipid psycho-mockery being inflicted upon her. Controlled tones. Calculatedly vague, monosyllabic replies. "Good." "Fine." "Yes." "No." Appropriately timed affirmative nods. Controlling her micro-expressions for a face that appeared comfortable. People paid less attention that way. Mark that as success. Staring blankly out the single bay window offered no relief. Swirling sparkling fractals, innumerable, drifted earthward from the foreboding gray sky. How might freezing to death feel? In a way, she already knew. Shrugging internally, she'd ceased seeking pity long ago. This wretched hour of farcical fuckery was far more cruel and unusual punishment than the "support system" it had been sold as.
C.J. Jaye is a Neuro-divergent, New York based writer tickling your brain mercilessly through thought provoking flash fiction and poetry.