Sleeves of Tapestries

By: Victoria Lydon

Adam woke up drowsy. He doesn’t know where he is. He thinks he’s in bed but it could be somewhere else. He could be outside. He doesn’t know how he got there. He doesn’t know where he came from. He can’t see straight. Everything is blurred. He thinks he’s talking out loud but he’s not sure. It sounds slurred, but it’s making sense in his head. He thinks. So many thoughts racing through his mind. He feels everything. He feels it all. The universe is flowing
through his veins. It’s all so overwhelming. He is rain clouds before a storm. He is about to burst.
He needs to leave. He can’t concentrate enough to move. He can’t concentrate enough to know where to go. He needs to find it. He’ll be OK once he finds it. Breathe, Adam. Just breathe.

Adam’s body was a poem painted with verses that people wanted to read. His sins wornon his sleeves like battle wounds of the soul. Colors absorbed into his blood from the outside in, trying to become the universe he created on his skin. He wore them proudly without any shame. The honest voice of his past echoes in their vibrant silence. With honor he accepted purgatory and decorated it’s cage. His body became a shield. Warm colors of acceptance became his armor. Protecting him from himself. His mind the battleground.

His tattooed arms pressed him up from the browning front lawn to his depressing home. He doesn’t even want to call this place his home, he has a room in a house that so happens to have this belongings in it. Flustered, he walks through the front door and up the stairs. He floats. Then he falls. He finds what he is looking for in an old shoe box in his closet, wrapped in what
was once part of a tapestry that once belonged to someone that was once his.

He takes what he needs, and then more. He always takes more. That’s why what was once
a solution is now a problem. Isn’t that how all issues are solved? With a dose and then not at all?
Medicine is a tapestry. Covering up what is always ever present. Always there. Always floating.
It hits and relief relaxes his body. Every tense muscle loosens. Pupils dilate. Shoulders
slouch. The world stops spinning. Adam stops thinking. All is OK. Adam breathes.
Shot with sudden thoughts of her, he lays down on his bed. He looks up at his bedroom
ceiling and stares at her. He doesn’t see her curly hair or bright eyes. Nor her high cheek bones or
sly smile. He sees her soul. Tapped on Adam’s ceiling are old folded pieces of looseleaf with
ripped edges that hold her loopy, crooked hand writing. Tapped on Adam’s ceiling is all of
Rose’s poetry.
With calm eyes and a blurry heart he stands on his mattress and forces himself to read the last one she wrote him. 
Forces himself to feel.

“All I think about are storms
The rain and the thunder,
Even the lightning
All I can think about,
is how you,
Remind me of them.
My memories are not evil.

But I still feel the sharpness of your tongue

And how the blood tastes
I’d grab your face and kiss it
Until you felt better
So I could feel better

And I’d taste the bitter iron flavor

Of your words

Dripping red from your lips to then mine

All I think about are storms
And how they are so calm

After the rain and the thunder, and even lightening

How we’d lay there bare together,
Dried blood on our mouths

Holding together what is meant to fall apart.

- R.”

Adam thinks of rain. He thinks of the way it falls all at once. Together. They all go down
and hit the earth, each drop, one right after the other. They don’t leave each other’s side. They
don’t let go of one another. They all just fall. And hit. And drown. And then evaporate into the
atmosphere and do it together all over again. Emphasis on together.
Adam did not expect Rose to fall with him, but he wished she would. He knew she was
too good for him from the moment he met her. She liked to help people, she cared for those who
were filled with hate. She wanted to fix everyone. Maybe that’s why she fell in love with Adam.
But she could only fall so far. She could only descend onto the earth to a certain extent. She
always talked some mobojumbo about how, “grateful she was for the earth below her and how it
held her.” She has no idea.
Adam was the earth. He was the dirt and the soil and the thing that people stepped on to
be held up. All his life he was being put down. No one understood that. No one got that. No one
ever would. There it is again. Hate. Anger. The calm is slipping away. The rage is filling. Adam
was so angry he wanted to punch another hole right though his wall. Emphasis on another. This
happens often. The hate. It embodies him, he becomes it. He can’t help it this is who he is. He
tried to explain that to Rose. He tried to tell her it wasn’t his fault. Why couldn’t she understand

that this was not his choice. Why would he choose to be this way. No one would want this. Adam
would not wish this on his worst enemy.
He hated Rose. He hated that she left when he needed her most. He hated that she
promised to always be there and she lied. She did not love Adam. No one would ever love Adam.
He knows he will always be alone in this world.

Closet.
Shoe box.
Tapestry.
Relief.
Calm.
Memories.
Anger.
Self- hate.
Repeat.

This is how Adam’s days go. He doesn’t know how many of them pass by. He thinks he
went to work, he can’t remember. He must have made himself food because there is a dish on his
bedside table. He doesn’t know what he ate though. He doesn’t know how he got here. He
doesn’t know how long has passed since Rose’s curly hair or bright eyes or high cheek bones or
sly smile was laying next to him in bed. It could have been yesterday. He thinks it may have been
yesterday. Sobering up always came with so many questions.
Then he looks down at his arm. His sleeves.

His tattoos covered wrist to shoulder. They represented every hardship he’d ever been
through and survived. They were his battle wounds. They became his armor. Everything he could
not talk about, everything he could not express, all spoken in visuals on his skin. His skin his
tapestry.
He looked down at the skin between his wrist and elbow. There, bright red, screaming on
his arm, was a rose.

“Signs and symptoms of Xanax abuse typically can infiltrate nearly all aspects of a person’s life. It is common for people with Xanax problems to have strained relationships with close friends and family, as well as marital problems. Professional issues are also common, as those struggling with a Xanax dependence will often miss work due to them not feeling well, especially if they are unable to take Xanax and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Other common signs of a Xanax addiction include memory loss and lack of sense of time. Mood swings and excessive anger are also common.
Additionally, someone that is overusing Xanax will appear excessively tired and lethargic while lacking the motivation to engage in normal activities of daily life. They will show signs of lower interest in tasks that require sustained attention.”