Her eyes opened and she was disoriented by the light. What time was it? Mid-morning. Oh yes, now she remembered crawling back into bed earlier to escape his need. A noise from the next room, the TV was on, some kids show. That was what had woken her. Also, the sounds of things being moved around. He was probably hungry, looking for something to eat. (In a corner of her mind she tries to think of what was in the cupboard that a 4 yr old could access.)
She pulls the blankets higher, close around her head to shut out the light, the sounds from the next room.
The dog tries to snuggle close to her, tries to stick it's wet nose in her face. Rage flares and she grabs the dog's muzzle, hard enough to make it whimper. Go Away.
The dog slinks to the other side of the enormous bed and curls up in a miserable ball.
There is a thud in the next room and in a panic of guilt she springs up out of the bed, running to check...
He was choking,
He had fallen,
He had eaten something toxic...
But it was none of that. Just some item accidentally shoved off the filthy cluttered table. However, now he saw her, she was there and he latched on with excitement. So many things he needed from her.
A softness brushed her calf; the dog slinking along next to her, keeping close (in an unobtrusive way).
They needed to get out, out into the bright desert sunlight. Out of the staring walls of the house (she hated those walls, wanted to punch holes in them, scribble black marks all over them).
A trip to the store (always an errand that needed running). And lunch, at that fast food restaurant with the child's play area (to make up for leaving him to scavenge his own breakfast).
Grabbing keys and purse, and summoning faith in the power of "getting out" she loads him in the car.
Hoping it will be enough to draw back the internal tides of thick black waves, enough to ease the scratching of those thousand little claws...
also from the pages of my journals:
(this creative experiment has a second part: before the child was born, a lesson about bad women.)