16: Feb 2017 #13 - Ubiety

Authored by Joyce Nancy


by Joyce Nancy

There is a story where a girl can’t remember her past except in brief bursts of image. She thinks they are dreams, floating back to her from years ago. It takes her a long time to figure out they are not. She tells herself I am here. I am now. I exist. My feet are rooted to the ground like every other thing, dead and living.

When she walks she likes to feel her muscles working, like that makes her real, the undeniable trueness of a body in motion. She eats for proof that her body knows how to communicate: hunger, fullness, pain, guilt. The body is an enemy, she learned. Vulnerable to attack from all angles. Better learn to deal. No one is coming to save you.

She stares at the patterns on bedspreads, curtains, radiators. Looks at everything up close, the membranes, their delicate latticework, humming but still. Silent. Made to be used, discarded. I am nothing, she says, I am a disappearing act, empty and tired and throbbing. She goes a day without speaking to anyone, then two. Forgets that she ever had a voice at all, has no recollection of using it, of ever being heard, seen. Turns to face the world, finds it to be hostile and unforgiving – driving rain and blaring sun.

Every night she dreams she is in the same bedroom, same hallway. The bed in the spot where she left it. Gone now, all proof she was ever there. Maybe none of it was real. But the truth lives in her body, if nowhere else. She is sick, sicker, sickest. As one ailment resolves, another arises. Forever a patient, pathologized, damaged. A problem for others to solve. She shuts her eyes, forgetting. She is nowhere, never.