It’s like a RoadRunner cartoon.
I’m moving forward, and bang! slam! I hit the wall.
A transparent wall, an invisible wall.
I don’t break through it, though. I slam into it and leave a human shaped dent in the force field in front of me.
I am stuck there as I feel my limbs start to pop apart like a cheap toy, buttons pushed and springs ejecting the bits. My shins fall to the ground, followed by my torso, then my hands, and my arms fall onto the pile below me. My torso pops apart, moulded bits of plastic chattering down, and then my head falls, topping the pile like a cherry on a sundae of broken parts, which now have the ozone and smoke smell of burning electronics.
Whatever was of me has slid down the wall in broken bits, and I am now a heap of scrap more or less inert on the floor, even if my eyes still see and a body part quivers now and then.
I was at the supermarket, free and fair, no problem, whatever people were noticing of my body or imagining about my history & motivation. Then I pull into the cul-de-sac, and after I dash through the garage door, one of the first warm days locks me inside.
I can hear the kids playing outside, and in the cold basement I think about how nice it would be to go into the sun and feel some warmth on my skin.
But unless I am willing to be very, very public, crossing the line in front of the block, I have to be between.
The rage wells up in me, a half-century of denial. Could I pop out with an automatic rifle and clear the street of laughing children, children who remind me what I had to deny? Or could I just go crazy in the car, mowing down pedestrians until I fly off the bridge and land in the river?
I’m not at all close to doing any of those things. It’s my own death I am closer to, working to summon the fear and discomfort that will serve me when my parents return at the end of this week.
I still fall asleep in clothes and maquiage, not wanting to take them off, and knowing that soon it will be denied to me. It’s been thirty years or more of that; my father even used to tell me to take off the “girl pants” when he caught me wearing tights to bed in fifth grade. I so hoped it would be over by now, and a visible skin care regimen would be more fitting for a woman my age.
From a simple shop in a supermarket to an invisible wall that shatters me, all in the course of an hour or so.
So simple, so traumatic, so unconveyable to anyone who hasn’t had the experience.
But I have cleaning & preparation to do, and denial & dismantling to execute, bringing back the fear and discomfort that cripples me. Yeah, maybe I should call my girlfriends and feel empowered in reflected beauty and power, but, well, none of them around, eh?
I have hit this wall countless times before, and survived.
How can you do that when you keep slamming into their walls of fear and expectation?
How can you do that when you keep respecting their walls of fear and expectation?