It felt like she was still, and the world around her spinning. The pull of gravity was so strong, not even an earthquake would have shaken her from there. So close to having made it home, so close….
‘Is she ok? She looks like she’s been robbed…’
She could hear voices around her, hushed tones and wanted to ask them to shut the hell up, but her voice abandoned her when she needed it most…
‘Hello? Are you ok?’
‘Shhhhh!! I’m bghtejnfd’ She was pleased with the result of her effort. It had taken all her energy and will to utter those words, ‘I’m ok. I like it here’
‘Can we help you?? It’s really cold, you’ll freeze out here…’
She summoned her reserve energy once more, although how she had any left was a surprise. She opened her eyes a crack, and could barely make out a man and a woman, all heavily wrapped up in their coats and scarves and hats and…. Her eyes closed once more. Her cheek hurt, she wondered why.
Her mind was a beautiful blur of images, all random and yet so connected, and she was glad the people had left. She was happy on the steps outside her building, her world spinning madly on – with her at a standstill.
It was the cold wind that got her up the second time. More specifically, the violent shivering caused by the cold wind. She sat up, and looked around her. Her surroundings looked so familiar, yet so alien from the angle she was looking at. Why were all her things strewn around her??
Once more, the pull of gravity and her current, inebriated state of mind won the best of her, and back she went to hugging the steps, her cheeks grazing the cold, loose gravel.
‘She’s still here… We should help her up…’
Those darned voices again, they were back. This time with a dog. She wanted to laugh at the absurdity. Like she was in a position to harm anyone… Except herself maybe. But tonight had crossed all barriers she didn’t know had existed within her, and a sudden feeling of shame and annoyance enveloped her. This woke her up.
‘Here you go…’ The man handed her her wallet, and tried to help her up. What is it about alcohol, when had in abundance, that makes even the lightest of bodies so heavy to move?
‘Aww you came baaack…’ She uttered, and managed a smile at the man.
‘Of course. It’s really cold out, and we are worried. Where do you live?’
She didn’t respond, like her mind was far away. She started gathering her possessions – random receipts, packet of tissues, chewing gum and hastily (at least in her mind it appeared to be at a speedy rate) stuffed them back into her bag. She was proud to note the fact that her house keys had been held tightly in her hand the whole time, although had now caused a deep key-shaped dent to be embedded into her palm.
‘You guys, I’m okay. Thank you so much for coming back. No really, thank you’. She tried getting to her feet, and almost managed. She sat back down and grinned. She tried again, with success this time.
‘No really, I live juuust here. Thank you so much. I’m fine really’. She wanted to add, ‘I think your hat is ridiculous by the way’ to the woman, but some sense of sanity, albeit belated, stopped her in time.
She stumbled into the building, managed to wait for the elevator, ride up to her apartment and collapsed on her bed. Her world spun again. Time stood still that day, when she awoke. She lay in bed; this time she was spinning, her world quite still.
She felt the same sense of shame, annoyance and utter disappointment at herself she had experienced earlier. Shame at the new low point she had encountered in her life, annoyance that she had let it take such a violent hold of her, and disappointment at her lack of control.
She had promised herself she would never be so lost again, but here she was, in an all too familiar situation. Although the last time she found herself in such a state was 4 years ago, and had hoped that would be the last. No one would ever get so close enough to have the power to hurt her, yet here she was. Wounded beyond recognition – but no visible scars, and this time it was she had who had hurt herself. No one else to blame, no outsider she could hold culpable. She had fallen off the straight and sober wagon, and she had pushed herself.
Her head hurt from all these thoughts and feelings that consumed her, and she closed her eyes – waiting for the day she would finally stand still.