Nineteen Stairs

Nineteen.

There are two halves to the brain—rational and irrational.  In ordinary situations, it is easier to override the irrational parts of the brain.  In emergency situations, like being chased by an ax murderer or held up at gunpoint, the irrational side takes over.  You either freeze or you run.  I choose to run, freezing leaves things wide open for a repeat event..  

Eighteen.

I knew there were nineteen stairs.  I had counted them more times than I could recall.  They were green.  They smelled.  Everything smelled; cigarettes, take out, and countless other things had been spilled.

Seventeen.

I am tough.  I have to take care of myself.  I tell myself to get up, to get up right now.  I have to fix this.  I have to make this go away.  But I can’t.  I can’t fix this.  I can’t make this go away.  

Sixteen.

My once clean and dry clothes are soaking wet.  I leave them behind.  There is no point.  There is no point to any of it.  There are so many things I don’t understand.  None of this is fair.

Fifteen.

The bulb in the ceiling is broken.  It flickers above my head like a strobe light setting the scene for a horror movie, but this isn’t a movie.  This is real.  My mind is breaking down.

Fourteen.

We build up ideas of safety.  In therapy we are taught that we can construct our own world.  This concept simply isn’t true.  

Thirteen.  

My brain screams to hurry, but I can’t.  I can’t get up.  I would fall down all the stairs.  One at a time.

Twelve.

My world has been constructed for me.  I stop to breathe.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t escape.

Eleven.

The human body is an incredible thing.  Even when it is broken it can still persevere.

Ten.

I should never have believed life would be solid and sure.  That’s just a fairytale.

Nine.

Halfway.  I am on my butt.  One step at a time.  It’s hard, but it’s the only way.

Eight.

He hadn’t had an ax.  Or a gun.  That didn’t change anything.

Seven.

I can’t think straight; my brain is slowing down.

Six.

The light goes out.  Dark.  Cold.

Five.

I confuse one with safety.

Four.

There is no safety.

Three.

Dark.  Cold.

Two.

So.  Tired.

One.

Alone.

Zero.

……

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