My life has become something I can’t begin to recognize. Sharp stabbing pains strike without warning. I spent the last week training people with my painted on smile and pretend levity. What is most sad is how much my teaching and facilitating skills are admired. Maybe instead of adrenaline, I am running on pure charisma. I can’t find anything else.

She dreamed of riding in a car going too fast that suddenly brakes sending her face into shattering glass. She awoke when she couldn’t take a breath. There was a hand that touched her forehead but when she opened her eyes she was alone in her own bed. She laid still until she could focus and things began to look familiar again.

She went for water. The message light was blinking with the message she’d already wound and rewound a half a dozen times. She pressed the red button again anyway. She pretended to be a ventriloquist as the water ran easily down the back of her throat. She listened to the voice in her head more than she heard the voice on the tape.

Are you there? Pick up please. I’ve been calling for days. Hello. This is the last time I’m going to call.
That’s what you said the last three times, she said aloud to the black machine and red blinking light.
I mean it this time, the voice continued with less conviction.
Sure you do. She put the glass back on the counter.
Please call me. Then came the familiar pause. OK. Bye.

She laid back down in her bed. The voice in her head continued the conversation until she fell asleep again.

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