09 September 2010

"Neurotic" #Fridayflash


Photo credit: reccaphoenix from morguefile.com

“Hello I’m neurotic
Creating problems that don’t exist…”

Blue Lights  –Pretty Girls Make Graves


The thrumming pulse resonating through the wooden floor was more than Hannah could stand; red lightning flickered in her vision. She beat her head in the corner and clawed at imaginary spiderwebs. The scent of coffee lingered—airborne criteria to indicate that an attack was about to start. They were sporadic, yet eventual, and so Hannah lived the life of the Medicated and Sedated.
Her hands trembled. Her chest caved in on itself. A sundae of eclectic blossoms adorned her vision.
Long. Deep. Bright.

The dinette stood brave under a month’s pile of laundry and schoolwork. There was no school anymore. There were people in school. People in Laundromats. Store-people were different; store-people were occupied. Robotic. Hungry. Hannah tossed dirty clothes to the floor and swept away used department store bags. She bought new clothes every week. She ate pizza or Chinese every day.
The college fund would last at least another year.
Long enough to go outside. To go someplace else.
To hide.

Her hand landed on the orange prescription bottle and she shook out a pill. She shook out two. Water. Washed it down. Shook the bottle and washed more down and scratched her belly until there were red ribbons. She fell into endless night.

~*~
A sound awoke her.
Beeping.
Her eyes fluttered open. Looked around.

She pushed a hand through her hair and stopped midway. Her hand. It wasn’t her hand. It was wrinkled.

22 comments:

Diandra said...

Only this morning I finished reading a book about multiple personality disorder, and I can't stop imagining... what would life be like with holes in your personal timeline?

Deanna said...

The more I read, the more awed I am. You are so astoundingly talented Carrie. I want to be you when I grow up. :)

kite said...

Excellent. Just excellent. To live in that kind of daily nightmare.... you described it well.

Erin Cole said...

Nice finish - life happens so fast, it passes some by, sadly.

Laura Eno said...

Brilliant description. Lost in her own timeline...

Linda said...

Very cool. Though I think her problem's a litle worse than mere neurosis. Psychosis? Well-played per usual, Miss Carrie! Peace...

kite said...

Well, after Brad got back from work, we both read this piece. We are both confused by the last line... "wrinkled." I just don't know what it means. Brad thinks that maybe she woke up one day, went through life dealing with all that crap, medications, etc., and it took her awhile, but eventually she got better. And when she saw her hand, she didn't recognize it because she never took the time to look at her hand when she was on meds. (Sorry, Brad's brief analysis there.) So, what was the wrinkled aspect of her hand? We want to know.

Carrie said...

Kite, thanks for your question and Linda, yes you're right.

The reason Hannah wakes with a wrinkled hand is because she's been in a drug-haze all of her life.

The overdose put her there. Or maybe she wanted it so she didn't have to face her life.

John Wiswell said...

Glad to see I was right about the ending. I didn't think she was necessarily in a druggy haze all her life, just that whatever she thought herself to be wasn't real, and the truth was probably that she was an old woman. Lots of conditions can make you forget time or your own body.

~Tim said...

Some days I wonder, who the hell is that looking back at me from the mirror?

Sulci Collective said...

a sundae of electric blossoms adorned her visions is an achingly beautiful line full of despair. I just LOVE your writing, your metaphors. I think the world may just be ready for your assault on its sensitivities Carrie

Marc

Marisa Birns said...

Oh, the horror of finally coming to cognizance and learning that life continued while you stayed behind.

Description was vividly rendered, as is your usual way!

Clive Martyn said...

Awesome :) well done.

Benjamin Solah said...

This was chilling and disturbing and then got all trippy. Awesomeness.

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

Great job here as always. I thought the last line showed that she'd had a timeslip and suddenly woke up to realize that time had passed and the existence she'd been living in such a stupor (either from drugs or mental illness) had suddenly cleared. Perhaps that clearly was momentary or permanent, but either way she hasn't "been there" for most of her life and that's a tragedy.

Karen from Mentor said...

living in that "stuck" place for your whole existence. So sad.

Wonderfully described with aching clarity.

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent story. Enjoyed it a TON! You described her wasted life very well, and waste her life she did.

Gracie said...

Outrageously good, Carrie. No one writes like you.

Very well done as usual. Killer story.

Bukowski's Basement said...

Eloquent, sad an so very well written... The more brevity you show, the stronger the work seems to be.

Jason Coggins said...

It takes a brave and empathic writer to describe the world of pharmacologically failed mental health. You obviously are both of these things.

Icy Sedgwick said...

"A sundae of eclectic blossoms adorned her vision."

That perfectly describes the onset of a migraine, too.

There's a certain edge of despair to this, both for her (trapped in this net) and for us (wanting her to get out). It's so sad, too, to spend your entire life like that.

Poor Hannah.

G.P. Ching said...

This had a real "girl interrupted" feel to it. So sad how her illness/addiction isolated her. The way you approached this, peppering the writing with one word thoughts was brilliant. Put me inside her head. Great work.