18 May 2012

Friday Flash: "Awake"


"Awake"
by Jen Brubacher

She wakes up, again. Always the same.

Here is the room she left yesterday, and the day’s new light filtering through the curtains. There’s no more night to be had. No amount of closing her eyes will bring back the hours.

She puts one leg out from under the covers and rests her foot on the floor. That's a start.

To continue she has to move her body, sit up, and she doesn’t want to do it. There’s an endless line of tasks after that movement. There are stretches to wake up her muscles, and she can hear the cat maiowing from the kitchen, asking for breakfast. There’s her own breakfast to create and devour. Bite, chew, swallow. Repeat. She needs a shower and that would involve stripping and standing and washing and rinsing and drying and dressing. Dressing requires clothes, choosing the clothes. Every day it’s the same. Every day the line of tasks that are necessary and tedious and too much when seen from here. Too much viewed from the first moment of every day, every day.

She could take the first action. She could swing her other leg out of bed and let the cold from the floor soak up into another foot. She could start the assembly line grunting to life, familiar monotony from one breath to the next. She could do that.

She watches the day’s light move across the ceiling.


Photo: bed and pillow by kreep on flickr

15 comments:

  1. This has hit a thousand jangling nerves for me. The days I wake up and think, wow, I'd just like to be able to stay here for a while and simply "be". But with three children, there is always one urging me to get up for whatever reason.

    This story is deeper than that, I know. The protagonist sounds like she is in the depths of a bad depression. Quite scary when you really think about it.

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    1. It is scary, especially when someone can get further and further into this feeling where every action is too much to face. Thanks for sympathizing, Rebecca.

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  2. You really said a lot with this, and I felt every bit of it. The last line alone...this one will be on my mind all day.

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    1. That's good to hear, Laurita, thanks.

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  3. She sounds sad. The nights are short. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed either. :)

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  4. You totally caught the feeling of not wanting to face the day.

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  5. Man alive, how I wanted to bring back the night hours this morning. Perhaps I should have found it depressing, but at my present level of fatigue, it simply seemed sensible.

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    1. I understand it very well too, so I don't find it too depressing, though it's a slippery slope. Thanks for reading, John.

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  6. A very saddening, and insightful glance into the mind of an unfortunate person who clearly needs professional help.

    Good writing.

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    1. I like your straight-to-the-point perspective! Thanks Steve.

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  7. She sounds almost agoraphobic. Nice one.

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  8. I can't tell if she's depressed or lazy or suffering from something specific but I like that ambiguity. There's also a sense of futility that comes with reading it, which was uncomfortable but I enjoyed that aspect.

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  9. I must have missed this last week. Sorry about that.
    But, this is stunning. It captures with acute accuracy the depths of depression, makes no judgement, but lets it be what it is. Fantastic writing.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. Discussions are always welcome.

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