The Quilt Continues

James fretted impatiently for coverage, yearning for patch spread to shield himself from himself. To quieten the internal chatter of critical push pushiness and sponge up his internal turmoil.

With the middle of his back still bare, including 3 hereditary moles and 2 patches of hair, James cracked on with “mission coverage.” He picked up Nietzsche and allowed himself a brief warm smile. A cute little cloud of conceit came into view, circling his bedraggled mess of head curls. “Surely, nailing a chapter of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” would lead to some pretty sweet personal growth…”, thought James.

As he read, curled up like a handsome turd on his West Elm sectional, nature’s calm reliability cycled on outside. Clouds auto-dragged themselves through blue, under the shining eye of their overlord. The sun? Yeah, he really didn’t want them there. They weren’t stroking his ego. Still, rays began to poke through during the evening, leaves bristled in the breeze, and patches of sunflowers persisted in pushing mouth edges upwards.

Between tea sips, Facebook notifications, and self-imposed music duties, James somehow read two chapters. Surging with self-soothing sentiment, rushing from big toe nail to each ear lobe, James felt a change. A warm, sizeable patch of many hues of blues and a sprinkling of glitter now covered much of his spine. Slightly delirious in calm, James spoke, “I can apply this. I can transform these philosophical teachings into everyday tippy tips.” The shielding protection of well-earned patchwork was reaping dividends.

An emboldened James rose from his sectional de-turded. He headed towards the infamous “drawer under the oven”. The drawer that torments every single household in the world. The one that opens and closes with so much crashing and clanging, over flowing with dented rusted quiche pans roasting tins muffin sheets. They don’t need to be there! They never needed to be in there! But habituation has taken hold and they have become “part of the furniture.”

James felt sufficiently self-soothed to deal. At any rate, it was time to make quiche. Happy, therapeutic quiche. Naturally, James would christen the quiche. Oh, and her name? She would be called Lorraine.

++

Outside, rays dwindled and blues turned navy. Sturdy tree trunks continued transporting stuff from soil to leaf, even while Morkie Poo’s cocked a leg and balanced over root structures. A local boy, called Steve Sotomajore, spat residual seed shells as he debated what curry to choose. It wouldn’t matter, his palate was so primitive he could barely discern between a Dopiaza and a Rogan Josh. Still, he was mindful.

But chez James, Lorraine was not cooperating. Burnt pastry tasteless spinach barely set in the middle.

“What a waste James. Why can’t you just not fuck it up? Three things — eggs, leaf, and casing. Oh, and the Picpoul de Pinet you chose? Bland. “Mineral-forward, you say?” Please. You can’t get back the past two hours. No end-product to be proud of for all that time spent. Waste waste, unjustified waste.”

James retorted: “Oh, so I can’t experiment now? I can’t try fool around with Lorraine? I’m being ambitious, unboxed. Who are you to blame, criticize, antagonize?

The internal dialogue marched onwards, as James spooned Lorraine into the trash. Raw “cage-frees” dripping over maggot larvae and an unrecycled, empty box of Shredded Wheat.

His self-destruction seeped outwards. That lovely, bluey, wide patch achieved through Nietzsche-powered enlightenment was under siege.

Fraying at the edges, threads of cotton unwinding themselves, the patch shrunk readily in response to James’ self-annihilation. Soon after, the patch had completely disappeared, and all his other patches, strategically accrued throughout the day, began to fade. Feeling the volcanic heat of civil war, the patch received earlier in the day for a what’s app call to his cantankerous yet sickened uncle, jumped free of the suit and plunged into oblivion in an act of suicide. Always teetering on the edge, James was again under the spell of his own vulnerability.

Sitting on the sunken, creaking floorboards of his living room, unprotected from himself, James spent an hour outsourcing the blame for how he felt. He shouted nonsense at a picture of Keith, his ex-lover who had left him to pursue dreams of taxidermy, and at his dad, for internalizing in himself the most oppressive bully he could imagine.

But there was no resolution. No. The more he tried to outsource the more patches shriveled across his shoulder blades. The bloodshed of war left James naked to himself, as cannons roared through his cerebrum. The inside had won.

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