Service

January’s Women & Writing focused on Service as a point of inspiration and discussion.

Here is my first teetering of that day:

In endearing grace and forlorn solemnity we must bow to the ruler who swells to a magnitude greater than a bloated, dying star. These way, established while the primordial blood still steamed fresh and volatile, are community staples. Under these laws we are kept safe. Accommodating these rules elevates us to heights so lofty they exist only in our own minds.

The air is dense with obligation and pomp. Be proud! This life makes you an adult. Maybe it makes you wholesome or affluent and tames the wild-eyed soul clambering up your ribcage. Pay your tithings to establish a position in the hierarchy. Pay more for the chance to maintain: one wrong word, social misstep or sideways glance will send you into an exile of painful delights.

Without this order you would be left to fend for yourself against beasts savage and foreign. The insanity would gladly creep in through the dark gaps in your logic. The loneliness flaming compassion and logic to leave an empty stone fit only for the wall against the edge of the wilderness.

And my second:

The phone rings. The dark abides a small LED to guide my dream-heavy fingers and hand left numb from hours cradling dreams.

Silence.

A brash tone batters my shut eyes and muffled thoughts. I must go further.

Silence.

This lively trill is grotesque at this hour! I must grasp harder.

Silence.

Roused enough to recognize victory I retrace footsteps to return to the fog from which my mind was pried. The cool air is a welcome weight that presses me to my amorphous goal.

The dull thud could have been a heartbeat or a felled tree landing. The story continued around the dust aroused by the intrusion.

A more persistent remark this time: a rapping hard and urgent rocks me out of sleep and into a confusion less real than the fog I just departed.

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