“Come on,” I said, “we haven’t got all day.
|There is a||[war]|
After a long and pregnant pause, she replied:
|“But I am not in the||[war].1|
|[grasps of titleship fervor]|
|[breaking and broken ground]|
“I am already broken,” she added.
|“I am already broke.||Something else is already on.|
|Something else is stirring.”|
[End Page 151]
The kind of worrisome therapy to which various simulational psychologists subscribed themselves when they spoke to her was unmistakably narrative in nature. It sited the acquisition of maturity or the sure signs of strong mental health solely within the stealth capacity to get over or beyond the emotionality of one’s affairs.
“They stare at me as I speak,” she said, “They stare because they are rarified enough to believe that if one truly perceives that one can tell the story and not bleed, then one is no longer feeble in this region, then one is cured even.”
The woman herself found this proposition profoundly alluring, but she did not find it mooring, never mind the far more selective designation of “restorative.” “Is recognition of not bleeding enough?” she asked. “Is that even roughly what I need to know in this scenario? To slowly and orally repeat the traumas until I don’t treat them any longer as a wound--but rather only as a dead zone, as a lonely and isolated area of numbness?”
The woman further confessed:
“I know that I am not bleeding. Bleeding is the least of my reasons for dismay. Indeed, bleeding may be the easiest malfunction that I could dare to conceive of. The almost lovely straightforwardness with which once unleashed
its redness pours forth
in sheaves.” [End Page 152]
Emily Abendroth is a writer and teacher currently residing in Philadelphia. Her print publications include notwithstanding shoring, flummox (Little Red Leaves), Exclosures 1–8 (Albion Press), Property : None (Taproot Editions), 3 Exclosures (Zumbar Press), and Toward Eadward Forward (Horse Less Press). An extended excerpt from her piece “Muzzle Blast Dander” can be found in Refuge/Refugee (Chain Links, vol. 3).
1. In J. M. Coetzee’s novel Life and Times of Michael K, a similarly phrased exchange occurs between the remarkable main character Michael K, who is an internal refugee, and his involuntarily assigned medical officer in the camp to which Michael K has been assigned. [End Page 153]