Wednesday, April 18, 2012

HAWMC, Day 18

Wednesday April 18
Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.

I only have one fictional book in the house, a neighbor lent it to me. All of mine are still in a box in our old city. I miss them. The phrase I chose comes from Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind. Page 326 of the hardcover, a little more than halfway down the page:

"'And there's no other way but this cave or the ledges?'"

This excerpt comes from a portion of the story I haven't read yet, so I don't know the exact circumstance, but from the phrasing of the question it sounds like our fearless heroes are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know that feeling well.

Do I stay inside to keep safe from the light, noise, smells of the world? Do I miss all the events, lose touch with all the people, for the sake of saving myself from pain? Or, do I force myself through it and accept that I will suffer for my efforts? We choose our paths carefully, and mine tends to waver between the cautious one and the one that has all the fun on it, depending on the day.

I try not to beat myself up for it when I cancel plans or decline an invite to something I would have loved in another lifetime. Sometimes the experience isn't worth the pain, and I just can't let myself feel bad for it. Other people may not agree, in the past year I've missed a few birthdays, a baby shower and parties that I'm sure were a blast and I know that at least one person had their feelings hurt by my lack of attendance. There's nothing I can do about that, besides apologize.

And when I do force myself to make an appearance at the party or go to so-and-so's for dinner, I tend to be a strange guest, with my sensitivities and low tolerance for anything, not to mention the bizarre symptoms I show when migraines start coming on. The slurred speech, stumbling and the twitch combine and I become that relative that everyone's got one of. (Is she high on something? I don't think she's well.) Whether they'll admit it or not, no one wants that version of me at their party. But that's the only version I've got for them, that's what so many people just don't get. Normal me is gone. Twitchy, scowling, pained me is here, and she doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so let's turn down the volume and lay off the fragrance, shall we?