Monday, January 25, 2010


She sat there for the fourth time in her life feeling the frustration of telling her life stories in pictures and colors. She looked over the edges of the burned corners from the pictures she salvaged from the fire at her grandmother's house. Aside from the blackened edges and bubbled paper they were yellowed, clearly indicating time had passed. She saw relatively few smiles. She turned and looked at the pictures of her children, some black and white. Others in color, filled with a marvel of emotions. There was nothing in the middle. From a child to a parent and no mention of life in between. For the first time it struck her. This was a truthful reflection of her life. She smirked. It was a smirk of regret.

There had been life, but it was not well documented. She had hidden from both her past and her future, burying herself in books which she claimed were the fault of 'being educated.' Education had offered her an escape from being a child of many trespasses and opened a door to a future she lacked the creativity to imagine. She stagnated, trying to find herself in the lives of the heroins and downtrodden so frequently depicted in her beloved stories. When her identity seemed to be invisible even to the poets and authors, she moved from books and into hard work.

Her days and nights were filled with filling coffee cups, bringing drinks, counseling people on the best shampoo, and any other odd job she could find. No longer time for reading, she attended classes barely enough to pass. She continued to stagnate, looking for herself in her customers as she ease dropped on their conversations and spied on their mannerisms. They neither could answer the mystery of who she was.

She balanced her work schedule with her classes and the load of reading which came with majoring in English. Her grades improved. Her paychecks became smaller. She was forced to find a roommate. The roommate was controlling, abusive, and quite honestly, insane. Drowning in feeling from her childhood, she was forced to stir the waters around her. She found she could float and with a little more effort, she could swim.

Each day became an exercise in asserting herself, her rights, her well-being above others. She went from executing a sloppy puppy paddle to a beautiful breast stroke, gliding through the waters and eventually finding shore. The ground was sandy, but it wasn't wet. She started dating, finding someone who valued her for who she was becoming. This was huge as she realized that from her struggles, she had learned to be somebody. That she had an identity or at least nuggets of who she wanted to be.

And so she grew, with his patience, into someone she respected. She went from being the downtrodden to the heroine. Looking at the pictures surrounding her, she saw her story reflected back. She smirked again, but this time it was filled with a quiet knowing that was hers alone.

1 comment:

  1. This is really quite beautiful.

    I really liked it you did a good job at stirring the emotion of reader as well as subject.