Pancake

She roused herself enough to make tea and tidy her room. After, she was spent.

These were the days of the morass. The deep bone tired that seemed to radiate from her heart and spread out to blanket the whole world.

It was not something that was calm or sweet. It was a life-suck, a full-on vacuum, turned to the highest setting. Though she was there, in her own body as it descended, she could do little to halt it. The ache in her head was from the panic at night. She awoke, freshly terrified of her imminent demise, and was sure it lay just around the corner.

The pain should put her down, unable to do anything but lay flattened like a pancake on her bed.

Why could she not do it; just be with the being tired? For it felt too fragile, too raw and too vulnerable to do anything. As if her guts had been left out in the cold.

She was the one who shoveled them out, for examination. But now, they were stuck outside her. Every little movement would harm them, hurt them, freeze or scald them. There was no way to put them back in, her guts. They had changed, morphing to a new version of what she was in this world. They had evolved with her, just as she had changed.

Those days, she wandered the world with her knife of certainty that she was the only one so heavy. Unable to claim the solution that was effortless for each being floating by her.

Good lord. She hates that when she is alone, she falls to the tired trance. She can distract herself by switching into everyone else’s minds. She puts herself in a field of flowers that look at you, all fluffed and strangled. And she thinks, who but the birds could have demonized these flowers? Their puff and petal linking together across the field and coating it with heat and color.

That day, she was spent. She would spew words tomorrow.

Fungus Child

That squirrel, that body, is dead. He lies in the grass as if taking a nap. The last time I saw a dead squirrel, I was eight. It had decomposed for awhile and the maggots had dug in. The smell reached too far up my skull. But here today, aged 27, I look out on an English garden.

“You want some squirrel pie?” Stuart jokes with me, gleaming.

I quickly suck out the laundry, squelching wet noises, pile it in the basket and scurry away. He wants me to laugh, I feel it. He wants me to share in this death. He wants. And here, up in the attic, surrounded by the smell of vinegar, I have made a tea stain on the carpet. Why now, do I feel deserving of being shot, out in the English garden, like that “damn squirrel, he deserved it! They dig up all our pots!” says Stuart, justifying the murder. That squirrel was shot for improper gardening conduct. By extension, I should be shot for my carpet blunder. Stuart, reassuring himself that he is a good person. What is a “good” person and a “bad” squirrel? The one who is resting, always resting, was bad. Maybe he will make it into a pie. We could feel great about the circle of life then, no wasted calories. Even if we don’t make a pie for the humans, mother nature and her fungus children will find a use for squirrel body soon enough. Soon enough, he will be scattered in the dirt, making his way as many tiny mushrooms, or flies born of maggots.