Greetings, fellow indie writers and readers! I am Beem Weeks, author of the historical fiction/coming-of-age novel JAZZ BABY and SLIVERS OF LIFE: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES. My goal in life is to promote the indie movement to the world. I can be found on Twitter @VoiceOfIndie and @BeemWeeks. I enjoy indie films, loud music, and a well told story. Lansing, Michigan, USA.
Slivers Of Life
(An introduction to a life.)
Imagine puffy white clouds the size of a grown man’s fist taking shape right in front of your face. Now imagine those same clouds forming shapes of numbers and letters—letters that never ever spell anything. That’s what I deal with every day. The numbers are the worst. Numbers are just naturally angry—the way they look, I mean. Numbers are all angles and sharp edges—except for 8. Eight is nice and rounded, unable to poke out an eye or stab a person in the back when she’s not looking. And when numbers speak, they never have anything nice to say to me. They prefer subtlety, the way they whisper in my ear, where nobody but I can hear.
I know. This doesn’t make sense to me, either.
I’d just turned ten when they first uttered that ugly word.
Just saying it aloud leaves a copper-penny taste in my mouth. But that could just be the meds I’m supposed to take.
My name is Allison Kanga, but everybody has always just called me Roo.
Kanga-roo. Get it?
Schizophrenia is the diagnosis they laid against all those quirks and bad manners I’d gathered like some sort of crazy baseball card collection. Lots of colorful pictures—minus the stats on the reverse, of course.
And there’s always a buzz in my head, an off-key sort of hum, usually teasing me with some vague melody that I can’t quite ever make out; the meds again—or so I’m told. But how could anybody but me know for sure? See, I’ve always heard those songs—even before the rounds of Stelazine or Haldol or Trilafon.
I’m on Prolixin these days.
Dr. Severnsky, she’s all right. She just digs too deep sometimes, always wanting to know what’s going on inside my head.
I honestly didn’t mean to bite her in our session last week. Besides, six told me to do it, so technically it’s not even my fault.
The talk this week is about group homes and how would I feel about living in one. Pretty fucked, if you ask me. Who wants to live with a bunch of schizophrenic assholes who talk to the air—the same way I do.
But I’m getting better. I swear I am.
Now, if only six would shut up and leave me alone, I just might learn to become normal and not stand out so much.
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