With Eyes Half-Closed


The words won’t write themselves. I struggle with them, ropes tangled around my limbs, knotting around my throat. I wake up and I tell myself to write, tell myself that the words are worth something, even just as crumbs that I drop behind me, gobbled up by hungry birds.

So, I write and delete and save a dozen half-finished drafts. What do you say when the whole world is a cold marble floor and you are cheek to cheek with your shadow?

My fingers seem longer than they used to and he traces their length with the tips of his own. He tells me I should have been a pianist. I say I was, long ago, in another life.

He tells me I should go get my blood work done, let the doctor solve this mystery of my body. Promise me, he says, this week you will go.

I don’t have the heart to refuse. I take my cement feet and dozing brain toward the hospital but always find a reason to retrace my steps.

I forgot to fast.

I didn’t bring my requisition form.

I don’t have time.

He tut tuts me and wraps me up in his arms like he can will me better. I can’t stop visualizing the vials of blood. I can’t stop feeling like I’m draining the life out of me and one more vial will be one too many.

I cancel my follow-up appointment.

Pull the covers over my head and let the drowsiness wash over me, falling in and out of sleep with the tide.

Tomorrow I will go for blood work.

Tomorrow I will write.

Tomorrow I will.

Tomorrow I.


Mimicking Birds – Home and Somewhere Else


7 Comments Add yours

  1. emma says:

    If this is fact rather than fiction, get the damn blood work done! If nothing else, it’ll give you another story to write. And anticipation is ALWAYS worse that reality, even when reality utterly blows…

  2. Michael says:

    Oh Birdy-

    What Emma said. Get it done. Some information beats none.

  3. Hunter says:

    I know that feeling of struggling with the words. Just gotta be patient and diligent.

    As for the rest, I agree with the folks above.

  4. William says:

    I connect with this in such a profound way.

  5. Mad Hatter says:

    Tremendous! I generally have the same problems with writing part of a post and deleting or saving it to draft, and with not getting things checked out that need to be checked out.

  6. Kristan says:


    I hope you feel better soon…

  7. J.L. Hutson says:

    Haven’t been by in a while.
    The appropriateness of the subject is one of those terrible, wonderful coincidences that gives me something like hope, which I refuse to call hope, based on the recommendation of a beautiful stranger: my friend, my stranger.
    I got some bad news, recently.

    You write just as beautifully as I remembered.
    Get the blood work done, don’t get the blood work done. It’s that old vertigo of choice.
    Dylan Thomas was banging keys in futility … I think we all go gentle, and the night is not so good. But maybe I’ll meet you there, in the darkness. I’ll know you by your finger-tips, calloused–just so–from the keys you have stroked to such beautiful effect.

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