Baggage

She had accumulated a certain

amount of “baggage”

she was forced to

take with her

where ever she went

It would be

rude

thoughtless

to leave it behind

make the care, keeping

of her personal baggage

someone else’s responsibility

 

She pictured her baggage as

brightly colored balls

floating in a swimming pool

red

blue

yellow

white

black

She avoided touching the

black balls with her

bare skin

they had a tendency

to snarl

bite

draw blood

crunch bone

 

Neat, tidy labels identified them

recurrent nightmares

flashbacks

abandonment

rejection

humiliation

failure

unrequited love

divorce

The list went on

there was a white ball

for each of her dead

She did not like to

count the white balls

It made her too sad

 

She discovered that

it was hard to go about

her day to day business

with these balls

pushing their way to the surface

penetrating her consciousness

insistent

demanding

wanting her to curl

up in a corner

for days at a time

examine them carefully

 

She learned to stretch

herself thin

laid herself over the balls

using her body weight to keep them

below the surface

submerged

out of harm’s way

out of her way

so she could continue the

day-to-day business

of being a functional adult

 

It was a successful detente most days

as long as new balls

were not unexpectedly

lobbed at her

The occasional ball

she could catch deftly

tuck it under a knee

an elbow

quick introductions made

to its companions

before turning her attention back

to the living at hand

 

There were days-

thankfully rare-

where she was

bombarded

pelted with new baggage

and could not submerge

these new issues

securely under her in time

and they would rise

to the surface

 

While she would struggle

to subdue these new balls

these new issues

she would lose her

equilibrium

her careful hold

of her other baggage

Suddenly balls

would be popping up

all over the pool

breaking the surface

careening over her head

whizzing past her ear

bouncing off the ceiling

in a chaotic symphony

of movement

sound

 

It would take her

hours

days

sometimes weeks

to gather the balls back

under her control

wrestle them back under

the surface

leaving her soaking wet

panting

emotionally

physically

exhausted

black and blue

sometimes bleeding

occasionally broken

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

12 comments

  1. i relate to this–the imagery of the balls and stretching oneself thin, attempting to catch them all before they bob to the surface. we talk about juggling balls, but adding the element of water, for me that reflects more accurately the feeling of them slipping much less controllable…

    Like

  2. Will the balls ever sink to settle quietly on the bottom of the pool, perhaps neatly sorted, to be viewed at leisure? That is not likely the nature of such baggage. But even then the inventory would remain.

    Like

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