The Loft

It smells like the dew at dusk, sweat, and freshly-cut hay in the tightly-packed loft.

I can’t breathe; I’m exhausted; I can’t move my little 12-year-old body anymore.

The bales drop
I can’t keep up
They pile up

Finally, the last bale completes the tower of defeat; the twine tangles in the escalator.

“What’s going on up there?!”

I know I’m in trouble. But I can’t move.

I look at my mother; there’s visible steam coming off her spotted skin. Her shirt is rolled up; she blows on the white flesh melting over her sweats.

I disappear.

We’re doing the best we can

I’m light-headed….I’m in a trance as I step down the wooden ladder.

One day, my life will be beautiful, because I’ve survived the ugliness…
I’ve survived.

The air is cold. chaff glued to my sweaty skin…

And then things get dark – is it nighttime already? – then it’s black.

Mother, sitting in a support group called The Loft, glues a photo to her card stock…

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