Life Therapeutics Presents the First Three Chapters Free!
It’s moving slow; then off it goes like a gun’s been
Shot, and the race is on.
Then it stops again. That’s how they move. Start and stop, stop and start.
That’s how people are too. Just bigger starts and bigger stops. Awake and sleep, sleep and awake.
I think of them as our roommates. We have so many roommates. And what did my roommate have to say today?
It’s like a tiny crunching. If a twig could talk, words were put through a blender, then used again. If a tree whispered as softly as it could, so softly you convinced yourself it was all in your head.
That’s something what a cockroach sounds like if you get close enough. Just make sure it doesn’t touch your face.
And if one gets in your food, throw away the food. They’re dirty.
Speaking of dirty, don’t use the dishes on top. They’ve probably been walked all over. And who knows what else.
If it’s dark, walk on your tippy-toes. You’ll have less chance of stepping on one. It’s an ugly feeling to press the body of a bug into your skin with one quick crush.
Last of all, don’t leave things on the floor or counter, like your toys or games—the same reason as the dishes.
I tried talking to someone at school about all this, but he said he “doesn’t have cockroaches.” It made me wonder what he did have.
Everyone’s different, I suppose.
A lot of people are afraid of it. I’ve heard them say so. They’re so scared of what they can’t see.
It’s different for me. I’m afraid of what I can see. And hear.
Some nights, when I close my eyes and lie down, there’s a moment of silence and then a distant scream inside my head. I jump up, like one of those blow-up dolls you hit just to have it swing back up so you can hit it again because that’s what people like doing.
My parents let me sleep in their bed when this happens. When they need to sleep, I stop jumping up, even though I want to, and just open my eyes real quick. The screaming stops if I’m awake. When I begin to doze off that it’s much too noisy to sleep.
My mom says she’ll pray for me. That means she’ll ask God to solve the problem. She says it’s “mortal mind” causing my problems, which means my mind. So I guess if I think right, I’ll get better. But I don’t know how to think right. I’m too tired.
I lie awake for hours and hours, then at some point, I just wake up, and it’s the next day. I never can remember falling asleep. It just happens eventually. I suppose it’s like fainting.
But until that happens, I watch the darkness. It’s always moving. Shadows come slowly toward me, slow like they’re on their tippy-toes and trying to sneak up on me right in front of me. But mostly, the darkness just floats around in chunks, like it’s been broken into pieces. It’s like the darkness is relaxing in a pool, the way they move, like something tied to a string and hung where there’s always a slight breeze.
I tried to tell my mom that shadows move, and she told me to stop being silly. That’s what she says when I’m afraid of things. That’s why I don’t tell her much anymore. Anything that isn’t silly is prayed for and never seems to do anything.
Why is God not listening?
I just started sixth grade. I learn a lot there.
Today, I learned that it’s time to start doing my laundry. Someone made fun of me for wearing the same shirt two days in a row. I didn’t know this was a bad thing.
That’s how I learn most things. The other kids tell me. And sometimes they hit me or throw rocks at me. That’s when I learn the fastest.
Two things are hard about doing laundry:
1. Walking to the room with the machines. It’s not far, but I don’t like going outside too much. It’s where all the bugs and people are.
2. It costs money.
My parents have quarters sometimes. They keep them in a dirty cup in the shape of a duck. But sometimes the duck is empty. That’s when I make sure to wear different shirts anyway, carefully picking the least dirty one.
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