Academic journal article Hecate

Coming Up for Air

Academic journal article Hecate

Coming Up for Air

Article excerpt

When I come to the white door it opens and she says, now don't cry, everything's going to be alright. The white door shuts and I am in this long room, so long it takes little bits away from me, scatters them down the long corridor and under the beds. The floor is melting, flowing up to the ceiling. My feet have dissolved into the sheets, my hands are hanging off my wrists and somewhere far below my vagina is filled with rocks breaking and scraping together. I look for the little white trolley by my bed and black rafts of hair. They have taken her away. Just rest, she said, for a little while, then we'll bring her back, but I am wandering down this long corridor.

I've been here before, saying too much when I thought everyone was listening, feeling my pulse banging off the walls, their eyes steering clear of me. I see the swollen mothers in the rows of vegetable beds. I am saying to them as I move slowly past, get up, it's your carpet. See them fixing things up around you, sweeping things under the beds, putting everything back into place, swabbing and wiping as if that's all you need.

My mother is bending over me, her lips moving with her hands. That scooter was the only thing I ever asked for, I wanted it so much. Fancy asking for something like that, my parents said, you'll be wanting a horse and carriage next. So I marched up and took it, just took it and hung on. They were puce in the face when they caught up with me. I want it, I want it, I said. My mother's hands are pressing into me, bunching me up like a cushion. …

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