We all play the game

and when we dare

to cheat ourselves at Solitaire

inventing lovers on the phone

repenting other lives unknown

that call and say come dance with me

and murmur vague obscenities

at ugly girls like me…

“At Seventeen.” And now. Jesus, I’m such a cliche. Janis Ian sure can write a song. I’ve been singing these lines over and over just now…I’ve a pretty voice. Did you know that? Only my oldest friends and my ex know, have heard it. Now it’s the kitties and I, maybe my neighbor, who listen whether we like it or not.

Like writing, I need to sing. God, I sound like some dreadful teen sensation’s biography. Wanting, not much. It hurts. I’d rather do anything else than those two things. Most times. My writing’s been for shit since I left the hospital. Maybe that’s why it comes more easily.

Last night I laid on my side on the bed, ice pack balanced on incisions. I’m not well, fever, sweats, dragging, drained, that well. I hum, “You Are My Sunshine” to reassure the kitties, myself, with traditions. The phone vibrates. Mom asking about me. Loaded tears collapse, my humming quieted by them, quiet themselves. For one perfect moment I am impenetrable sadness.

Lying alone in bed, tending new scars, family, sick, empty, heart fissures, with song. One I attach too much meaning to, as I do all songs, with a pretty voice no one hears.


  1. How I feel for you! This sounds so desperate I don’t know what to say that could possibly make things better, except they will get better. I know the only thing worse than pain is lonely pain and my heart goes out to you, but be of good voice. It isn’t forever.

    1. Just offering means a great deal. This darkness snuck up on me. Thought I was handling it well. And it’s anger, not fear, though fear’s at the heart of it, I’m sure. I wasn’t prepared for the anger at my body, life, good for nothing self-care, seeing who didn’t step up to the plate to help, healthcare system, Western medicine, doctors– you name it. The cliched “one step forward, two steps back.” To start over…again. Tiring and tired of it. Oh, I’ll do it. Have to find out how the story ends, don’t I? Peace. xo

Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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