100 Words - Demons

The title's always a conundrum.

I've still not gotten comfortable with how I title these posts. Clearly I can't title it with the title of the post I pick because, well, that would give it away. And I can't title it with the new prompt because, well, that would give THAT away. I need to designate it as a 100 word post since I sometimes actually write other stuff here, when I have the time -- roughly about every three months or so. So the "100 words" at the beginning of the title is the easy part, but what should come after?

Still haven't figured it out.

Speaking of frightened, we had freezing rain this morning. Not enough to cancel my daughter's classes, but enough to set me pacing after she had driven off. Phone in hand I argued with myself about calling her or texting her, but envisioning her taking a hand off the wheel to answer or look kept me from it. When she returned home safe she threw me a flashy little pout and asked, "why weren't you worried about me? I was expecting an annoying phone call."

What a cheeky little imp.

She was satisfied once I told her how I had stood in the front living room and watched her pull out and then shifted to another window holding her tail lights in view until they diminished and were finally swallowed by the morning mist and rain. I stood there a minute or two more, listening, watching, worrying, and willing the universe to listen to my fear.

Then she went out to buy rain boots.

If that wasn't frightening, how about this?

Are the shadows real, or just a shift of the light? Whispers in the dark, incoherent, words indistinct. Reaching out to close the curtain, blocking out the faces, only to jerk back a hand from what lurks behind the veil.

Corners are safer than open floors. Trying to sleep with your back against the wall, facing out, one eye open.

Voices telling you the knife would slide into flesh like hot butter. You can’t shut them up, only muffle them.

To speak of these things, to admit to your demons is so hard. Frightened, you need help, but not pity.

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I own a few electronic books. Non-fiction only, and I'll admit, the portability of my e-reader, the instant downloads, the highlighting and bookmarking features all rock. But I'll never give up on paper and binding books. Books on shelves where I can run my finger along their spines, pulling them off as their titles please or tease me, feel their heft, smell the paper, and discover. I ended up spending a few hours re-discovering Philip Larkin and Emily Dickinson tonight. But I don't like choosing prompts from poetry, so after I  gorged myself I pulled another book from the shelf, one that I haven't read yet and should have. I'll be starting Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin as soon as I wrap this up. Here's your word:

 

GRATUITOUS

pg. 112 "This relation prohibits, simply, anything as uncomplicated and satisfactory as pure hatred. In oder really to hate white people, one has to blot so much out of the mind -- and the heart -- that this hatred itself becomes an exhausting and self-destructive pose. But this does not mean, on the other hand, that love comes easily: the white world is too powerful, too complacent, too ready with gratuitous humiliation, and above all, too ignorant and too innocent for that."