Creep Lightly



It has occurred to me that the little girl I once was still occasionally wanders into my thoughts . Vaguely, almost ghost-like, subtly moving about just at the perimeter of my mind. Glimpses of her caught through peripheral vision. She is always gone from sight by the time I turn fully about. I’ve yet to figure out which corner or shadow she darts to. She haunts me with wild abandon, making her appearance when I least expect it. She plots with precision when she will drift by. She knows full well when I’ve forgotten her and devises brilliant entrances that shake the foundation of who I have become by reminding me of the past.

She’s an eerie, little creature. Her eyes look too old for her face and beneath them are dark circles. Her limbs are gangly and wave akimbo drawing the eye to her slim build. Her hair once long enough to sit upon is now hacked short giving her a boyish feel. She never smiles widely, always a thin-lipped hint of a smile meant to hide the gap between her front teeth. Her knees have scratches upon them that never seem to go away. Scrubbing them at grandmother’s behest with Chore Boy scrubbers never gets them quite white enough.

Sometimes when I stand near a window with blinds I feel her permeate and expand within me. Her hand rises to spread the blind slats apart. Leaning in she settles hazel eyes on the fading tail lights of a familiar car. They never diverge from the rear end of the car until it makes that left turn two blocks down the street. The hope that the car will make a turnabout quickly dissipates.  The slats snap back into place as she exhales a long sigh. Then as suddenly as she has entered she is gone, leaving me with nothing but a dark shroud of memories to reorganize and hide away. A tug of loneliness and a wave of questions emerge but I refuse to acknowledge them because they contradict the love one has for a parent, especially one no longer walking on Earth.

She is content to see me destroyed by self-doubt and self-loathing. I despise her and her story. I no longer welcome her here. No, now I push her out as quickly as my emotions will let me. I have removed the best of her in my aging, the dreams and plans but everything else I leave with her. She owns those wrongs and pain. The woman I am now has no place for anything from this creature’s dark past. I am content alone.  Do not assume this means I am lonely; there is a distinct difference. No longer forced to draw stick figure friends upon the walls that love who I am and accept me for who I am not. They had no choice but to like their creator, they too were locked in the room with her. No escape. But those stick figures have long been painted over, the locks removed from all the doors.

No, this creature is not allowed in anymore. Not willingly. But the ding of a microwave summons her back in. Rushing to grab a TV dinner and sit upon the wood floors. Nose nearly touching the glass screen of the floor model television. The brown mush meant  to be a brownie eaten first as images of what a child’s life is supposed to be like play across the screen. Boggled by the simplicity of their play written characters, I long for my  home to be with one of them.

The back door swings open, the creature’s heart skips a beat. Scurrying around the parent’s feet. There are no hugs straightaway, the doggie bag of liquor must be protected. Settled down with care not a drop will go undrunk. Those hazel eyes eagerly await the only bit of love she will receive this day. Unfortunately, the gin and tonic has dashed that chance away. Straggling back through the house, the button on the television is crossly turned off. The 12 steps to her room are longer this night, one hand slipping across the railing. Tossing herself on the bed, next to her pillow lays a book half read. Once more she escapes to an alternate universe, living her life through words. Hours later the familiar sound of latch and hook once more interrupt the reading of her book. Locked in again, for safety’s sake.

I no longer allow this creature to reside in my mind, heart, and being yet she forces her way in anyhow. It has taken many years and countless visits to push the ethereal creature into the background. But today her visit is but a brief stay. I’ve taken a liking now to brighter days. And, this brightness seems to keep her at bay. But another day will rise and she will creep back through, trying her best my progress to undo. But this woman now has grown into her once gangly limbs, her mouth will break into a wide open grin. When dinner approaches many flock to her table, conversation is overflowing, no way she can be lonely.

It is a fine art this new woman the creature has become. The Art of Divine Chaos has begun.


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Photo Credit: Iskander1989