She’s up late again, itching. Wincing from a particularly sore self-inflicted scratch, she watches the lamppost outside, waiting for it to make its move.
It doesn’t. Of course.
She listens for the passing trains, imagines the stories of the carnies on this one, the smugglers on that one; the potential for passing circuses and moonshine distillers ripe at 4am.
Who cares that it’s the twenty-first century. The dresses were better back then anyway.
Wouldn’t it be easier to hitch a ride somewhere, change her name, live on cash, wait tables in some roadside diner on roller-skates for cash and free meals? That’d get rid of debt, expectation, her past.
Not that it’s a sordid one; nope, it’s just boring and sad. Treading water in a sea of debt – most stupidly earned, not even fun – and uncontrolled emotions like a giant, fat baby who was never made to grow up.
She blames most things on abusive boyfriends, daddy’s money, birth order and “the economy.” They probably get some of the credit in reality, too, not just her mind.
But bootstraps are more like treadmills, online bill-pay and graduate degrees these days; no one can do those for you. And that’s just overwhelming.
Which trickles down until it hits things like “prospect of brushing hair” and “likelihood of wearing pants” and “possibility of checking the mail,” making “chance of folding laundry” and “potential for leaving house” and “opportunity for social interaction” feel like moving mountains.