Guilt, heavier than her pills, had propped her up in bed. Guilt dragged her small frame across the large unheated room to apply for that job she didn’t want. Guilt washed and fed her like a citizen. Guilt dragged her down the treeless lined street to the bus. Guilt reminded her that she was not ambitious enough. She would need to work harder to earn her play. Guilt instigated a smile for the abominable do-gooders, toilers and liars.

In the sunshine her small bones found no warmth. Amongst the sky’s hue her round wide eyes saw no hope. In the tallest tree she cared not for wonder. In the shop’s eyes she viewed no inventions. The passerby’s smile was reviled. From herself, she wanted escape.

She kept herself inside of her room to avoid the god – awful toilers. The fools, in her opinion, that loved to work and enjoyed having tasks given to them by and for others.

She created her own world – a world free to loll and roll and ebb and flow drinking in bed with her lover. Along side of her bed, nestled next to their spirits, written quietly in journals were confessions and hopes from her head. Beyond the shut door, the tall windows spied while she abandoned self-loathing and doubt.  Although very cold, the room was free from clutter and rich with color, offering her space to dream.

Among the toilers, she would silence debates whether or not work was indeed good for the soul. Clearly, she would state, it was not. Balking they would argue there’d be nothing to do, the day would lack structure or meaning. And how on earth could we obtain necessary things – without money, how on earth could we buy?

Surely you’d heard that the 9-5 was indeed a soul sucking lie? She’d retort with a slickness and style. Designed for a “Yes Man” or an insipid little “Atta Girl”, one not entirely attached to one’s soul.

She’d arrogantly avoid conversation for days, weeks, months, if she were so inclined. They would beg for her company, plead forgiveness for offense and cry for her wisdom in words.

But alas, when the door opened she remained still amongst them and continued to give a shit to oblige their missions and retreats and at worst, their philosophies of living. Living became a chore and not being like them was crippling. But within the world of the doer, the mover and the shaker, one must, hold that head up high! Get out of bed! Be strong! Go to work ill and work through it!

These slogans and mantras flooded her brain daily as she strained to lift her puffy haired head from the large pillows. Her mind swirled in the sleeping drug’s clouds.

Focusing her eyes seemed work enough for one day, could she not just lay back down for about 1,000 more winks? Could she not just empty the sleeping aids into herself and just forget the next few years?

Eating up her insides, she invented personas to tolerate what she abhorred. Hiking, now that’s a way to spend the holidays. A party; yes a large party, and please please don’t forget the scrabble board.

Guilt was co-opted by jealousy, metamorphosing with envy and powered her faux persona. So when approached by various “friends” she could coo and awe at their vain discoveries and pathetic distractions.

“Why these foods are the new American.”

Their praise banged in her head as she recalled forcing herself to ingest the cardboard like edibles doled out in increments suitable for an anorexic.

“Suitable for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, what could you possibly hate?” They jeered at her down their noses.

In a restaurant reminiscent of a hospital cafeteria, was this lack of design the new American laziness? She dared only to think to herself, smile, and lie,

“Yes of course this is exactly as food should be!”

Her gut’s daily knots and flutters twisted and turned begging her to let go. Paranoia swarmed and swooping attempted to rescue her humility. At least in her paranoia she knew who to trust and who to avoid. But guilt was running the show and she was crying because she couldn’t have what they had.

Guilt was only rivaled by Fear. Fear and she gathered together late night, whilst all the do-gooders rested up for yet another soul uplifting day at the office. Fear would tell her the most fantastical tales of why tomorrow would be another waste of her time. Fear reminded her that she was not indeed any real prize compared to the money having toilers. No, her lot was that of a weird person that needed to fit in if she was to find success. Fear reminded her that if she wasn’t suitable to get a proper job that her lover would leave her; blame her for his inability to succeed.

“You fancy yourself an artist then where is the money for your art?” Fear would taunt

They shared tales of bills being sent to collections, her unfathomable acquired debt, her responsibility to not write about silly fantasies and putting her nose to the grindstone to suit up for that career in sales. Shivering in the night, Fear warmed her with thoughts of how by not getting any younger that she better stop pursuing childish dreams. Her creative endeavors were meager attempts but not great ones. Fear tossed and turned with her all night and reminded her again and again how the next day was not to be faced.

She awoke the next day exhausted. For Fear and her never knew when to stop. Taking in the light she became more alert and wondered where in the hell was Guilt. She waited. As she felt herself drifting back off to sleep, she quickly sat up in her bed. In the early morning, the house was empty, quiet, and calm. Where is Guilt?

Allowing herself to give in to her dosing, she found herself in a peaceful dream. Her lover mourned of his fears and in her arms he cried. Holding him tight she kissed his tears and promised to abolish all of his fears. She held her lover’s hand and he touched her face, they kissed and he went deep inside her. Awakening aroused, the girl quietly pleased herself. As she shuttered and shook her thoughts came back to Fear. They meditated on all that Fear had promised and pondered all of Fear’s prophecies.

What she failed to remember in the dark of the night, was even the toilers had debt. They, with all their boastful wares and well – traveled ways were in far more debt than she. Perhaps they looked down their noses at her indifference in envy? Perhaps they too hadn’t figured anything out. Perhaps these motivated lot needed to buy fancy things to fill their own purposeless fears? Did they too lie in bed every day and wonder where in the hell was guilt? Did in fact their stomachs also wrench from the cardboard food they’d ingested to keep up with the Joneses? Did we all just really want to pursue all of our “childish dreams?” Did the do-gooders look at her and wonder how she had figured it all out?

Lolling to and fro amongst her bright colored sheets the girl smiled – sipped from the whiskey bottle, laughed, dosed off, and dreamed.

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