Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yesterday My Forehead Had the Number Nine on It, Today it is Eight

Timed writing prompt.

I am not crazy. I am not crazy. I am not crazy!

My eyes are closed and I’m doing deep breathing exercises and trying to calm my mind. This is not happening. Breathe in. Yesterday was just a bad dream. Breathe out. I open my eyes. The number eight is still drawn on my forehead as if in ash. Yesterday the number was nine. No it wasn’t. I turn on the tap and fill my hands with water and splash it on my face over and over. First it’s cold, but soon it is hotter than I can stand and I have to stop and turn it colder.

I take the nubbin of soap and work up a thick, white lather in my hands then press them to my dripping forehead and scrub and scrub and scrub. Minutes, pass. My face feels raw. I stop and rinse my face again and again and again. Finally, I turn the water off and glance up at the glass. My face stares back at me, the smeary grey number unchanged. I press my palms against my eyes until I see flashes of light in the darkness. When I take my hands away and blink until the afterimages fade, the eight is still there.

Only it’s not. Of course it’s not. It wouldn’t make any sense if it was. It didn’t make sense yesterday and it doesn’t make sense today.

“I am not crazy!” I scream at the mirror.

“I am not crazy!” the mirror screams back.