As long as I am good, then I will be permitted to continue to exist in this four wall paradigm of roof and floor, bathroom and toilet door. As long as I am good I will be allowed to continue to ruffle my son’s curly head and sweetly kiss him goodnight, and bid him good morning too. As long as I am good and do as I am told, as I am bidden, as I am demanded, I might be allowed to continue to eat bowls of noodle soup made with handfuls of fresh coriander and cruelty free tofu curds. As long as I mirror what I am told to display I might be permitted to have another day, and another upon that. As long as I am good.
As long as I don’t have an opinion and I apologize then I may be allowed to continue to write here and there, a small scrap of despair, a slither of joy, a fragment of memory that pleases me. As long as I say, I am sorry for this bomb, and I am deeply sorry for that death, and this maiming, that indignity and this injustice. As long as I am a good girl I might be permitted to continue to do what little that I do that pleases me.
As long as I, hand on heart, don’t think or try or attempt to start any movement or habit which might help cease the constant physical pain I am in, or the mental anguish that is so distinguished as being some fault of mine or other. It must not be allowed, if I am permitted to continue, that I receive succor or release.
Numbness is banned, as is euphoria or relaxation. I must feel the pain in all it’s glory, in all it’s multifaceted diamond-like glinting hardness, pointed and gouging, cracking and breaking. As long as I am good and I do not chase any kind of relief from suffering, I might be permitted to be allowed for an unspecified time, to continue as I am within four walls, paradigm of roof and floor, bathroom and toilet door.
If I, at any time, choose to feel fingers run through my hair which are not mine, or if I desire some kind of pleasure, then my existence here must come to an end, and thus all existence at all. There will be no visitors, no dating, no long silver fingers of my sisters or the sweetness of their picking up the stitches that were dropped somewhere between here and there.
As long as I am good I might be permitted to continue a while longer, at the discretion of the world, though that permission might be withdrawn at any given time, for no specified reason. The world reserves the right to deny me service. I wonder if it is some genetic destiny that this is so? Did my mother set in place some current of events, some cascade of supernatural curses, which I then, a cursed child had to survive? I laugh at the bizarre idea of me being beloved of anyone or thing. I laugh at the idea of a curse. I laugh and then cover my eyes and consider googling sigils to paint over my door to hide the corruption within.
I am just a woman who has to be good. Who must not speak too loudly? Who must not be insistent? Who must not grieve? Who must not falter nor fall? Who must be a seeker of Nice? A follower of biddable. An acolyte of genial. A devotee of good.
The casement window gapes open, a mouth or an eye. I close it quickly, so as not to let the heat out.
One night, whispered the story teller through open window and cool night air, one night I sat beauty on my knee..and found it lacking…..so long as I was good.