Week 12

It was just meant to be one coffee. One quick catch up with old friends and then promises to “talk soon”, but don’t. You know, the usual.
But waking up has evolved into a desperate attempt to hold onto the bed, hoping not to fall off of it as the room spins seemingly clockwise and counter at the same time.
Head pounding, throat burning, body bruised. As eyes are peeled open there are just smudges of outlines, not quite forming shapes. Arms are heavy as fingers attempt to rub around eyes, but nothing comes into focus. And what would be seen anyway? Just the edge of a nose and the creases of sheets.
Bringing the knees sideways to join the chest with the plan of rolling onto them and eventually sitting up suddenly seems like the worst idea ever as it is put into action.
The rolling is bad enough as the mattress shifts with weight, but the task of curving the back and bringing head to knees, or worse, keeping the back straight and lifting the head up, now seems impossible.
The mind continues its drumming even as the body is kept still, forehead flat on sheets. If it would only stop for a second it would be enough time to move. Deal with the pain later.
Streaks of light and the glitter of dust are starting to take over the room. It’s still morning, but how much of it is left?
The pain’s not going away. Going to have to move through it instead.
As weight shifts backwards, and the dragging of forehead against cotton begins, it’s not so much pressure on the head as it is a lack of, causing problems. With movement, it’s like the skull is growing a metre out each way leaving the brain to battle gravity on its own. Just as the head is being lifted off the sheets, gravity takes over. The skull rushes back in to protect the mind as lights blur to black and the head hits the bed again.
One coffee. How did one coffee lead to feeling like this?
A name badge, that’s how. And three letters: M A X.
Max had brought over the coffees and got chatting with the group. Some flirting back and forth and then a suggestion to head to the new wine bar next door led them all down the rabbit hole.
Attempting to lift the head once more, eyes stinging and pressure building across eyebrows, a business card comes into focus on the side table, next to shapes resembling a cellphone and watch.
A business card with a phone number.
Double beat of the heart.
Max’s phone number.
Maybe this morning’s pain is worth it after all.

Week 11

Blue, purple and pink, they fight for attention, bobbing in the air and pulling away from their restraints.
The balloons wave at passerbys and excitedly point down the driveway to where fairy lights and streamers paint the house.
The sounds of squeals and giggles float around the property and invite grins as well as sparkles of nerves amongst the young children, still to make their way to the party.
Parents, on the other hand, brace themselves for an afternoon of headaches, tears and the odd tantrum.

Week 10

A metropolis of dishes. Bowl stacked upon bowl, utensils balancing precariously amongst plates and glasses. Something is growing in a plastic container, its belly a soft vanilla with bubbles of olive stretching outwards; pocket copies expanding around the grooves.
Newspapers from a daily delivery and bi-weekly sit pushed against the wall. Tiny steps of black and white leading to a grime covered window. A cardboard castle of boxes, all overflowing with once important documents, blocks the entranceway to another room where cobwebs stretch from wall to ceiling.
The rest of what was once used as a lounge is filled with books and food wrappers, fabric bags and odd shoes. A deflated ball sits as a crown atop a tower of broken electronics.
Photos in cracked frames have been neatly stacked on the only visible flat surface.
Worthless. All of it.
Except for a sparkle of pink, a stone covered in dust, set in a gold-plated ring. To many it appears to be nothing more than a cheap piece of costume jewellery, barely worth a few dollars.
But to a girl of eight it is a tiny reminder of the wrinkled woman who once called this clutter “home”.