A petite slip of being, she cries because she can’t remember.
It’s a flash, a dry crumpling of her expression in the middle of an exertion, a bullet to your heart and mind when you see it and realize her dismal state.
Sometimes the flash is a series of strokes, giving a false impression of one drawn flash, but they’re small flashes piling together to create an illusion.
She’s all about illusions, the illusions she’s being brave and strong, the illusion she can hold on. She calls others crazy and weird and confesses sometimes those are the words others use to characterize her. She’s articulate and then lost, intelligent and then fumbling, happy and then sad.
She confesses to secrets about abusive alcoholic parents, bankruptcy and a chaotic upbringing, and attending college, graduating and working in hospitals, but it’s the untold confessions that titillate. She shares her art, coming in to show her paintings, and she discusses her programs, like Downton Abby. She shuffles when she walks, a torn piece of yellowing newspaper, trying to remind everyone she is still human.
She’s in a good mood today, chatting about the work she had this week, the precious work because it’s extra income and her income is so, so small, backtracking to clarify and elaborate, to find her way again after tangents lure her from her points. A cold, hard gaze answers when assistance is offered. She doesn’t want assistance from anyone. She can use it but she won’t take it. No.
She is an independent woman. Her name is Carol.