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Ugliness

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It’s raining. I don’t know this because I can see the millions of falling droplets, because I can’t. I can feel the streams of fresh water on my face, pouring and relentless. I turn my face to what must be the sky and let my skin be soaked. I am clean.


I’m an insomniac, but I might as well be sleeping. My eyes have been eternally closed by his hands and his poison. Put me to sleep where I can’t ever dream. It’s lonely here, in this world of so much blackness and nothing pretty to look at to relieve tired eyes. I’m dripping by this time, the streams running through my hair and between the fibres of my thin cotton shirt. I can’t tell you what colour the sky is, but it must be the grey of the sadness that sucks the life out of you, that elicits tears that leave you winded. Empty. I am empty.


I’m in her office. She has old-penny coloured hair, I can tell by the way her voice is ripped and frayed around the edges. She asks me why I don’t sleep. I ask her if she’s ever been powerless. She asks me why I can’t see. I ask her what chlorine gas does to those fine veins and retina filaments and fibres. She closes her eyes to breathe, digesting. I can tell by the too-long silence that fills the room. It’s toxic. She asks me if I’ve tried sleeping pills. I tell her I’m afraid to dream. I don’t want to see the horrifying scene that is in my rapid eye movement. She asks if it hurt. What? I lie, pretending not to know what her invisible words are alluding to. The room smells like roses and Kleenex. A tear pricks the pink, naked skin of my tear duct. It’s caught by an eyelash, diminished. Silence fills the room again like the coffee she sips. I tell her I still feel rough palms on delicate shoulder skin. I tell her that that bruised for weeks. Then she said it. What about your eyes? I focus on the smell of her coffee; imagine that her eyes are as brown as the beans. They’re probably looking at me right now; focused, unshaken, seeing. I tell her that chlorine gas isn’t acidic but it might as well be acid rain for the way it burned my sight away.


“He only wanted me to not be able to see the ugliness of the world anymore.”




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