Keep Art Alive :: “Readings” :: Art by Kelly Vivanco
“Oh I miss my sweet,
and the birds all singing blue,
Call Me on Your Way Back Home bleeds out of the miniature speakers lodged into each ear. She feels it like a blade slashing open soft skin, vertically, the “wrong way“. She bleeds along with it, dabbing at the mess with the hem of her dress, trying to hide the story it tells, the lack of self-control, the return of her darker self. “It should clot soon,” she thinks, hopes, wishes as the blood pools. She gets so tired of these memory-reruns, the way they come on unexpectedly, all with their own bloody soundtracks. She should stop pushing play, emotionally-cutting deeper with each next track, knowing that all her miseries have a song to match.
“This is just a bad day,” she says, to no one in particular, to everyone. Tomorrow she can wear long sleeves to cover this newly made scar. She can pretty up the self-destruction, beta test her alibis, wear that dress that everyone likes. “You look so thin in that,” they say, oohing and ahhing her progress, the elimination of another five pounds, more of herself going with each one. They think its magic, self-control, a mark of success. She smiles ruefully, tossing back another handful of pretty pink pills that liquify her insides. “Gentle relief for women” is what the boxes say. She laughs as she tears another open thinking there is nothing gentle about this.
That song plays again. Did she push replay, or is this actually tomorrow? Her other arm is clean now, healed over, new. Not like the other one with its angry rose-colored flesh that still screams at her for that last cut and paste. She doesn’t want to do it. No, she never does. But these regrets they cling like decay, like strands of falling out hair, like errant children. All she can do is cut them away.
Call Me on Your Way Back Home (live) :: Ryan Adams