GUEST POST BY PENNY LONG
It arose from her. It uncoiled itself from her bowels, shrugged itself off from her heart. She sighed a long, world-weary sigh and breathed it out with the vapour of the wine she had drunk, exhaled all the disappointment that she had tucked away in her being, not to be seen by others. Her sins, her opinions, the unredeemed monologue of her suffering, all these loosened themselves from her, like the button of her jeans that she had undone before sitting down. Some sought company with her other secrets – the cravings crawling into empty bowls in the sink, frustrated longings creeping under the bed. Unkind thoughts formed themselves into a film on the window behind her, making the room just a little bit darker. And the howling, lamenting unforgiveness oozed across the floor and sat erect in the chair opposite her. All these unacceptable things once settled, the sad loneliness finally found itself a place next to her on the couch, the last and most deeply hidden, stowed away in the lining of her nervous system, hiding in the hooded lids of her eyes, peering out always from its hiding place, observing the lives of others. Relieved of the need to carry her secrets inside her, lighter now, she breathed in the air of her home, the lingering aromas of stew and sadness.
Sitting alone, yet not alone, she stared at the screen in front of her and pretended not to see all the things that slithered and scuttled around her. All the bits of lies, the sarcastic remarks she had uttered that evening, the unintended wounds she had received gradually found their way into the dust on the cushions, each showing itself in her peripheral vision on its way. Occasionally one distracted her from the story she was watching, forcing her to relive an uncomfortable moment before it wheeled its way to the ceiling to join the heavy canopy of regrets. She populated her solitude. She allowed her consciousness to fill the apartment. Her thoughts and ideas, repentance and lamentations found their usual homes in the empty chairs, on the unused side of the bed. When at last they had all been released, she looked around her. Ignoring the darting and glaring of that troupe of transgressions, she perused the familiar furnishings, her eyes sliding past the carpet stain and the regret, affirming her condition: Home. Alone.
Penny Long ©
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