One Year Ago Today: 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

 

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