Category: Fear

Blicks

Every time I walk
into the place I
feel like an extra

fraud. Now that
I have bangs and
my hair looks like

a wig a bank robber
would wear I take
note of my

reflection, and how
suspicious I
look in giant

dark sunglasses.

Just
walking through
the doors brings up

feelings of dropping
a lunch tray in Jr.
High. I want to

hide. My head
tells me I’m
supposed to know

what all of this
shit is and how to
use it. I try to walk

confidently to the
canvas stretchers – my

area of focus. The
thousands of black
and white tubes of
paint in all sizes

makes me dizzy. I
can’t even bare to
pick up the canvas

stretchers. I feel like
I’ll make a noise and
everybody will know

that I have no
idea
what the fuck

I’m doing. Or worse,
they’ll ask and I’ll
have to tell them, but

I won’t say that, I’ll
start talking like I
had to talk for

10 years of working
in hospitality. Polite,
nice, invisible.

I couldn’t stop
for too long to
look at any specific
thing. I felt like

a shop lifter – just
so horridly out of
place.

I gravitated towards
the kids craft section.

I felt ok there, but
that was it. Debated

buying rainbow shaped
post- it notes, took
note of a gallon bottle
of silver glitter on

clearance for $4.74.

I walked out
of the store with
nothing. When I

came home I told
my husband about it.

He said “You are not
and never will be
polished, organized

materials. Do you
make your art for
the art world or

do you make your art
for the real world?”

“It all only comes
from the places I
come from.”

He hugs me in the
dim yellow glow
of the kitchen.

“Someday maybe I’ll
get to go in there
and not even feel like

I don’t belong. In the
meantime I’ll goddamn

youtube whatever I
need to know.”

I constantly feel
inadequate. Like I’m
supposed to be taking

your breakfast order
in order to be doing
life right.

Going into that
fancy art store the
lonely kid comes

out, the dumb kid,
the scared kid. I

hope someday that
changes but it
wasn’t

today. In the
meantime my

business cards
came in the mail
and I edited 39

images of my
paintings for my
new website.

One foot in front
of the other

regardless,
as
always.

The pragmatic crystal ball

I cut off
most of
my hair the

other day and
it feels

free. I went
to the Dr.

33 years old and
a primary care
practitioner

for the first time
in my life. I checked

“no” for about
187 different illnesses
as Nancy from Missouri,

with an emphazima
cough, oxygen tank and
peering stare took

the waiting room
hostage. The Dr.

sat with me for
a long time today.

Asked me a lot about
being treated by
doctors when I was a kid.

I started crying
like a crazy person.

Sometimes the last
memory I have of
being in a doctors
office is

of being 18 and
9 months pregnant
on a sleety gray

city weekday. My
boyfriend showed
up to the appointment

and said
“I’m out”
and

walked away from
me. I could have
either have followed

him or went across
the street for
blood work and it

was the first time
I just didn’t

follow.
Through my
jobs I have

worked with trauma
on a daily basis for
a few years but I

am always the blank
screen for them to
find themselves within –

so much and so often
so that I have forgotten
a great deal of the things

in my life that I have to
used separate myself. I
just stopped having

the time for pain and
fear to matter so
much.

Until in my modern
adult nearly mid
thirties lie I have to
make a

doctors appointment.

My mind does the same
effortless put it off,
don’t talk, don’t feel

just move forward except
this is my health and

I am terrified.

Of going back to
that girl on

Dempster in the fog
and the sleet. I

don’t want
to feel it

and those long
put away versions of
self come out at

the most awkward of
times, like when my

new Dr. is sitting with
me asking about

heart failure in my
family and

pregnancies and a laugh
at how I’m allergic to

all
narcotics.

Yesterday I
cut off most of
my hair and it

feels like I
didn’t follow

the version of
who I always
wanted to

tell you I

was.

Two hundred eighty eight different numbers

The robot voice
asks for my

social security
number. Birthday.
Zip code. Phone
number. It’s

funny. I
can walk into
a hot room that

I might die
in daily.

I can dye my
hair myself
the worst

colors and
not care what
people think.

I can stand up
in a room and
teach a yoga

class. I can
sell my art.

I can not use
drugs or alcohol
without much

of a thought most
days. I can
show up to my

life with grace,
a lot of the time
but

there is no fear
to me like the
fear of going to

see a Doctor. I
dial the number
and my mouth

goes dry. I
don’t know how
to make appointments

without it being
a big deal.

It is a
vulnerability
and shame that

I can’t place.

So. I’m going
to the doctor
in two days.

Hopefully
I will get
used to

such things.