Lucy woke to evening light. She never liked to wake up fast. First acknowledge emerging into consciousness. Eye lids, linens, glint of evening light across the folds of curtain and dog paw. She had become practiced at evaluating her environment before engaging. It had saved her more than once to pretend sleep and avoid rampage. No rampage here. Just the house that was both safety and suffocating at the same time.
She touched Mission to let him know to get up and they silently got out of bed and went downstairs together. The living room was in deep shadow that requested she tip toe across. Lucy crossed the room to the edge of the bath door and she touched the old button switch inside the door. The choice to have low light as though it kept her just this side of actual immersion into the world.
Fucking bath mirrors. She had been cute at one time. Lucy prepped her toothbrush and made unpleasant faces while she brushed. Fuck you mirror. She rinsed and decided brushing her hair wasn’t in the cards. A dog bowl rattled in the kitchen. Padding to the kitchen Lucy scooped the latest dog food he didn’t like into his bowl. Checked the water and approved it as it was. For herself she found her ” certain days” bottle of vodka and poured a slip with a bit of grapefruit juice.
The front porch was a blissfully safe place to sit and feel the night breeze. Lucy could stay secluded with hedges protecting her from view. Any chair she bought had to accommodate an extra hind end as Mission was insistent in being next to her hip. She slung her arm over him and with her other hand sipped her vodka.
Todays’ panic hadn’t happened in a while. She let her mind flow over each step of their walk. Lucy had felt happy and had been embracing the day. She felt an all too familiar sadness that compressed her chest. Had the grass gone from embracing her to cutting her? Was it the wind that went so cold? The frames on her eyes of his violence now stuck in her mind forever uninvited. Her hair taunt in his fist the rest tangled and wrestling the air unable to help her. Lucy didn’t know her. Dark hair, long. Legs struggling to regain they’re footing in slow motion. Lucy would become the vigilante when her mind was like this. Running with the leash and making a perfect arch over his neck and choking him. Her body always tensed with the hatred and the release of giving a little back. Him on the ground with her knee on the back of his neck. Instead she ran and hid behind the tree. She had failed someone she had never met. She’d had many a wrestling match with the Lord over it. She had always talked to the great man in the sky the same way she talked to herself. Or she talked to herself and let God hear her cursing this piece of shit world he had made so exceptionally perfect.
Mission went to sleep while Lucy tensed up and talked herself down and tensed up again. She wouldn’t sleep till late now. Was the vodka taking effect? Good. About time. She raised her glass to the air and gave a silent toast. Lucy had no physical scars of any mention. She had broken her nose twice. The first time when she was in third grade she had swung her upper half down in a forward summersault from the top of the monkey bars at school. Somehow she had blacked out though she had done the same move a million times. She landed on her face in the hard gravel pack of the playground. It had been a life lesson moment for her as the one girl on the playground everyone fucked with had run to her and helped up taking her to a teacher. Lucy hadn’t cried. Her nose had been broken and shoved straight up toward her brain. Her bottom teeth went through her lip and dug gravel. The teacher had attended to her face as Lucy’s mother drove to the school. Lucy said nothing. Once she was in the car her mother asked her if she wanted to go to the doctor and Lucy said, “No.” That was it. They drove home and she spent days eating through a straw. The second time Lucy was in riot control training at her Naval base. She was on the auxiliary security team and at that particular moment she was in a fight for control of the police baton from her instructor. Her comrades had laughed in surprise when Lucy had come up against another female during practice. They had wrestled over that baton for some time and then Lucy started to growl. Instinct just checked in and she wasn’t about to lose. So they laughed in surprise and at the luck that it wasn’t them up against her that day. While she fought her instructor her hand slipped and the baton hit her in the side of the nose crushing cartilage inward. She hadn’t cried then either. Her instructor told her to sit out the practice and she tried to say no but he wouldn’t hear it and made her sit out. That was Lucy pissed.
So long ago. She felt like there was only a measure of that person left anymore. How could it have to come to what she was now? No moxy left, I guess. Putting her hat on crooked would make her cry now.
Lucy recognized the trail she was on. When it started there would be this long list of all the bad times. People who had devastated her in ways she hadn’t even known could exist. It wasn’t the people she didn’t get over. She often couldn’t even recall their names but the ability of people to be so heartless and cruel left her empty like bones swinging in the winter wind.
Lucy swallowed the last of her vodka and heard an owl. Anything with feathers, fur or scales were her friends. The human race was her abject enemy. Never trust, never turn your back, never let ’em see it, whatever it was. Lucy acknowledged that was her true core. Too bad how that happens. She set her head back against the wall of the porch and closed her eyes.