Monday, March 11, 2013

Paper House

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I'm staring down a thick stack of paperwork I have to use to detail every facet of my pain and disabilities so that I can claim benefits. It's a half-inch thick and weighs eight thousand sleepless nights. The ink to answer the questioning papers is made of fear and choked-on pride. Thicker stacks of papers tower in precarious piles in several rooms demanding payments for surgeries and medical tests.

The house is made of paper and flaws. Unfinished drawings, lost photographs, overdue everything. Leaks from the roof to the faucets. I want to raze it all to the wavering foundation and fly away on the smoke. I want to bash out the windows to let in the sun, to float the house to the top of the hill rather than squatting in its shadow.

It's a moment, a perspective. It'll shift: I'll see the way the light falls on Molly's shoulders as she practices spelling on lined green-gray paper and it will be the most warm and beautiful home imaginable. We'll get a puppy and she'll make little clack-clacks on the floor and I'll remember Shane working in jeans and bare chest to pull up the dusty carpet so his bride could walk on honey colored wood.

I'll wipe down furniture with Murphy's Oil Soap and Mom will be there with me. I'll sit on the bed covered in a handmade quilt and fold the luxurious new towels from Dad and I'll be a contented nest builder.

This is important: Reminding myself that thoughts are colored by emotions, and emotions change. It's something valuable to be in the moment with the dread and annoyance and depression. To treat it as a real moment that is worth experiencing, instead of feeling ghost-like and just haunting the space waiting to be real again.

It's claiming my experiences. I have to own them. I'll close up the laptop and complete the forms. Just words on paper. It sounds so mundane but words on paper are what constructs my life.

Writing this there seem to be hours of staring at white space between each paragraph. Long, heavy hesitations. I'll just go find a pen make tea take a bath make some phone calls gaze at the walls.

I'll do the forms. Do my homework. File my claims. Own my life and write what terrifies me.


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