Shadow Hands

I don’t really see their faces or bodies-I call them Shadow Hands because that’s what I see of them. They pull on my skin, jam their fingers in my ears and nose and mouth, yank my hair to whisper in my ear.

You are useless. Worn out. Not worth wasting a bullet on. Lie here until you die.

A lot of the time they’re quiet, like they’ve gone to sleep, and it’s then I see my true self-vibrant, capable of being rapture in the sunlight on green lives or in the cold winter air that dries my skin and brightens the world.

But I am never truly without them, my Shadow Hands. At night they pin me to my bed, invisible but unbreakable until the night is over-and the bonds snap, sending me into shakes, banging my arms against my wall to counteract the shooting phantom pain in my limbs.

Sometimes I can stave them off with ibuprofen, with my pills, with scented candles and chocolates.

Sometimes I take a drink. Or two. I pet my dog.

Other times I run, or try, the Shadow Hands pulling on my ankles telling me that I am slow and fat and should crawl under my blankets and never emerge again, to let them hold me.

I know that they are not real, not in the way that the sunlight and my dog and the people around me are real. That they do not speak truth.

But they are insidious, and many, and I am never free from them.

So I listen. I listen.

And I believe them until I can summon enough energy to dispel them for the time being.



I haven’t posted on this blog in- four days short of two months.


In a way, nothing has happened.

Days go by as they have since we started counting and will go on until they don’t.

I’m in therapy again, which is something like being allowed to clear out a very crowded room after being in perpetual danger of being crushed for a few months. It’s made me a bit more lively. Rescued me from the well of utter dullness.

The dullness is really the worst thing, about my-

(Illness? Issues? Problems? Disorders?)

One minute you’re going along and suddenly you’re on your back staring at the ceiling and eventually you realize you haven’t moved for more than half a hour.

Or you’re whiling hours away online, drowsing and not absorbing anything, if anyone asks you what you’ve been playing or reading or watching you don’t know, it’s all raindrops on glass, after a few minutes they’re gone and you have streaks on the window.

Sometimes you can’t do anything. Your inner life is slow like an icicle starting to melt, with only droplets striking the ground to remind you that you’re awake at all.

If you had the energy, you’d start hitting your head against the wall. But there isn’t any energy. Not really. But you can hear the sound it would make, the thud, the tiny brush of your hair being the cushion that prevents a little of the pain.

Your lips get very dry.