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The Sadness

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

I must have been 4 years old when I asked. Walking down the street with my mother I shared the pavement with a girl not much older in age than me, but older in a quality I could not transfix, confined to a wheelchair. Not understanding the reason behind the why, my mother’s response was definite and very Catholic. – “Sometimes misery can cripple you”. In a literal sense, I applied this new intelligence to the rest of my living days, 5475 days that is, my 15th birthday today.

My family had been brutally bludgeoned by sadness, including my granddad, one eye short, my auntie’s depression which drove her mad and incapable, and me, the only person who has managed to take control of this virus. However, this opened the door to a deeper and more regretful threat. It hid in every corner, its darker eyes feasting on my gibbering thoughts. Misery was in the backseat and fear held the steering wheel.

I long for youthful wonder and blunder and am consistently amazed at the callousness of today’s youth.

My silent companion, a smiling mute by the name Bertie, a discarded teddy bear with only two black buttons for eyes and dishevelled pokey ears was the one I confided to, an empty stitch where his mouth was grafted.

Every time I think back to my family I feel my lip quiver, a pre-emptive stroke as sadness webs me. I shake clear of the illness.

I have made my own in nature. The wonderful joy of pure life and lack of human obstruction and influence cleanses me. It’s been two months; I have escaped the toxicity of the city and the morose embrace that suffocates my family. Still felt like I had one foot in the ditch and another in the track.

Days I thought about trying to reverse the curse. What would it take for the crippled to walk again? It’s an emotional dead end, it seeps up your body limb by limb like conium or a ph stick.

I move, always on the go, I rarely keep in the same direction so for all my efforts I could end up in my back garden in suburbia. Having avoided roads and being spotted I try to make haste and run but something physically immobilises me. And like internal bleeding, I balloon with emotion on sight of my Missing poster. Funny sometimes how love can make you hate so much.

Every vein in my body pronounced itself in luminous colouring as if I had swallowed a bucket of dye. In a moment of weakness I had surrendered to the great Sadness. And now lying on the road on my back unable to tilt my head or swallow, I felt myself choke.



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© 2016 by Phaedra Vlahos.

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