Straw & Chain Link

This morning I was not in control of my body, or my life. This afternoon doesn’t seem to be any better.

Walking out of my parents’ house at 7am, in yesterday’s work clothes, with lines embroidered into my face from the patterns of the couch cushion and bedhead, because I have been so emotionally drained by this week that I fell asleep after dinner (yes, I had dinner with my parents on Valentine’s Day, if anyone was wondering the status of my dating life).

I watched myself rest my hand on the chain link and open the cold, wet gate as early daylight tries to find it’s way through the overcast, and can’t help but feel that I have let myself down.

I am defeated, and feel pathetic. But by looking at me, you’d never know it.

Jokes, smiles, and energy to keep my work moving. I don’t think anyone sees the shell for what it is. The lipstick I put on before leaving the house is the last few teeth of the zipper to my costume closing. And damn, is it a costume.

It’s been wearing thin lately, though, and maybe some are starting to see the cracks. The runs in the tightly fabricated second skin I bare. Desk mates may start noticing the increased cynicism, and are seeing through the eyelash I have in my eye that is definitely the reason my eyes are watering at least once a day.

“But stand up straight, sweetheart, or your crown may fall off.”
I don’t have this risk, my crown is not able to simply slide off.

I’d like to think it’s not my pride that keeps me from showing my true self, but a mercy for those around me so that they don’t have to tolerate me. Misery loves company and I’m trying to isolate myself as much as possible to prevent giving it what it wants. But it’s slowly winning, I’m grasping at the straws on my back for a chance not to break down.

Regardless of what my shell allows me to be for you, as thin and worn as it may now be, I’m sure you can see the occasional piece of straw poke through.

They’re piling up fast, and this outfit isn’t made of elastic.




2 thoughts on “Straw & Chain Link

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