Only So Much

Once home, after throwing up what she has gobbled hiding in her car in the supermarket parking lot, Marie sits on the couch with some haphazard dinner, a book within hand-reach and the television on, all of them excuses for the real thing. She will throw up again later, anyhow, and almost never reads anymore. The News could provide neutral company, if they weren’t harping on a NATO summit in Brussels, of all things.

Marie eats bread and butter with a will, doesn’t bother to toast the bread and adds a deluge of ketchup.
And stares unseeingly at the screen because, if she listens, she will start crying again.

By the time Marie attacks the chocolates, the news broadcast is finished. She gobbles on and worries the velvet of the couch with her fingernails until the commercial begins.

Marie blocks out the good-looking man in a huge car and strains to listen past the velvety voice chanting the many perfections of some brand of tyres…

Seemingly random piano chords soar in a crescendo, take shape and then explode into melody, painting a life where Marie awakes to find it is snowing and eats breakfast looking at her garden through the window; where she writes for a living; where spring comes, and then summer, and she does her gardening and dances flamenco in a lantern-lit Spanish patio…

Marie switches off the tv. There is only so much perfect life you can cram in thirty seconds’s tyre jingle…

Some day she’ll have to start using proper crookery again: doing the dishes would steal some time. A little less time before the next anti-depressant.
Some day she will. Just not tonight.

Marie curls on the couch, worries the velvet with her fingernails and doesn’t fight the tears.
In a minute she’ll go and throw up.

Only So Much


Joined October 2007

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