the key to survival is not to look up…dont make eye contact

even now…even after…even after the storm that left your 2 yr old pounding and screaming at the door at 1:30….even after he leaves and you lie crumpled on the bare floor praying he’s really gone

dont look up…dont make eye contact with her or the door

and most importantly…dont make eye contact with any reflective surface

of course the split lip you can taste…the tears and the newly bruised and raw skin you can feel…as you gather yourself and creep toward the bathroom…

telling yourself that it all can wash away…it all will wash away and no one will guess

let your mind wander…whoever is looking in after midnight and again around 7 AM (well mostly between 11 AM and 1 PM) and again after 4PM and before 8PM…sometimes around 10PM. tell yourself that it was ok to gage it because whoever was trying to send you a discreet message…a sign…hope. tell yourself that he wouldnt be able to access your thoughts and doodling if there was anyone else important in his life

and leave it there…dont let your mind process anything else

because once you look at the reflection…once you look any deeper into motives

it’s all there lurking

you get hit and preyed on because it is who you are, Melissa…you are a spectacle…a freakshow…complete with scars and flaws and amusing self-embarrassing moments.

he is in someone else’s bed. he has always chosen to be in someone else’s bed. he is not/was never a part of your life (why would he want your mess anyways?) he hinted…it was always there

you pose hopeful, Melissa and you only shame yourself (and infect your daughter).

you pretend that you can say “no” to whoever else wants a piece of you

and you only make it worse…you bring on the charge, the stampede…the slams against the floor and the cascade of what follows.

just submit…allow..

the actually act is less than 11 mins

and then after

watch him leave (pray that he’s finished for the night and returning to her)

wash up

lift Lilly from the floor and return her to her …sleepily snuffling…to her bed

but dont ever turn on the lights or look at your reflection

(you will be completely appalled by what you see looking back)

he, whoever is looking in may need something brainless to do during middle-of-the-night feedings…

yes, i’m an embarrassing display…loving still, someone who has really not thought of me since the goodbyes

(used and released…and returned to the exact life i had before Dec 2005…drowning in my own shame)