• Melissa Volker

No Time for Metaphors

I have no time for metaphors. In my living room, a half empty coffee cup on the table, a cat retching up a fur-ball in the corner -- and then five other places around the room as well, as his body plumbs the depths for the offender; in the slat of sun doggedly shoving its way through ashen clouds and wedging across the wooden floor, revealing floral-shaped splatters and pockets of dust...and cat puke; in the living room I stand impossibly still against the paralyzing spin of the earth beneath my feet as though drunk. Inebriated. Out of my mind.

A layer of dust across the mantel, a used tissue escaped from a pocket, a hum deep inside the back of my skull shoving its way through wrinkles of gray matter, wending its way around shreds of tender tissue toward the back of my eyes where it festers -- a dull, insistent pain.

I stand, braced against the whirling beneath my feet -- 1000 miles per hour -- hurtling through an unfathomable, ageless, inky blackness, all of time and space coalescing in my lungs until there is too much space too breathe.

I have no time for metaphors. I'm too consumed with the effort of remaining upright. Gravity exerts itself, demanding my acquiescence, my deference, but I resist. I resist. I resist.

It is time for lunch. My stomach echoes hollowness and a child calls from above. But my feet remain -- stuck.

I need to clean the cat vomit, the offending hairball finally finding its way to the light, half in the slat of sun, half in shadow. I need to clean the coffee cup, still half empty, sludge gathering at the bottom. I need to move. To take a step in any direction. But the sun has found the base of my neck and it seeps like death's embrace across my shoulders -- and I have no time for metaphors.


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