I’m remarkably fractured.
That whole part where I had a life is on hold. Far cries echo, still familiar, and something reminds me at a distance that my brother keeps phoning at boneheaded hours from a correctional facility. Some piles of clean laundry insult me, messing up the reading room. It’s late, I’m tired and although I cannot form my thoughts into a clear message I know that I must sit here, anyway, in memory of something having to do with the way my hands tell me where every lettered key is at. Although, admittedly, my fingers tend to collapse into each other while dominant fingers hog these pokey strokes.
The survivalist at the wheel, sitting just behind my eyes suggested for the first time tonight, “Perhaps it is alright to stop caring about work so much” and I felt the rest of me ease up a bit. I had an uncomfortable interaction with a man I stopped to help only because the sellers were busy selling, and he got this look across his face that made it clear he had lost clarity. Just a half-open mouth and his pointer finger directed nowhere.
“Something about electronics, I’ll bet!” I encouraged, smiling, taking a step back to give him space.
“You’re just so beautiful that I forgot why I came in here,” he answered. I loathe compliments, struggle to accept or believe them, and would rather not mindfuck over them.
Perception how, due to what, compared to what I saw or didn’t see this morning, in regards to how I generally- with or without mascara, oh, jesus, just try to forget he said anything.
I hear it a lot. Probably several times each week, either specifically or that I “have a wonderful spirit” or nice hair. In the world inside my mind, when someone references the fact that I am not just a floating ball of light, no one wins.
Anyway. I deal with it. I figure, at least, it is better than hearing that I emit rays of ugliness. Today though, the man asked me out. This is also something that happens occasionally and I laugh, insist that I’m flattered and explain in some let down how I cannot process their request.
That’s quite alright, I insist. I act like I didn’t even really hear you, anyway.
“Thank you for coming in today!” (“Thank you for not stealing though who knows what you might have done had I not been standing right here-“)
He called the store an hour later. That was the new thing, for me. The increased level of godmakethisnothavehappened. Asked for me by name and I actually began to walk off the floor because I assumed it was an officer or an investigator. But no, it was like those little scraps of paper with numbers on them, the ones you wait until they leave to throw away, crawled out of the trash and up my khakis.
Then I thought about it. And I just knew.
“I think you found out that I went to lunch. You definitely want to take a message.” I broadcasted over the radios.
He called again, an hour after that. Some gentleman was flung a million miles away, transferred to 1-800-TechSupport. Normalcy returned.
The encounter made me sick, because it was so out of place. This was not ME time. This is not where you go to reach ME. I am not here and what part of me is, is monitoring you.
That smile you see is my camouflage.
But I’m glad that you think you like it.