Kristina Anderson

Selling It

Kristina Anderson

Well damn. I did it.

And I thought, “Now that’s really living.” You know?

All the anxiety, all the importance. The built up nothingness around it had become suffocating. Like a twisted maze that took you nowhere but right back to shitville where you’d come from. The same rat infested room with four white walls and a popcorn ceiling.

So, rattling down this road, looking back at the dusty signs and trash on the shoulders, I couldn’t help but smile. The testimony of what I’d done was on the backseat in a torn duffel bag, in the slash on my thigh that still bled, sitting in the glove compartment quaintly next to a registration that had someone’s name on it, but not mine.

A day and a few hours later, the sun was clocking out and my stomach was getting mutinous but I saw city lights, and the damn smile crept a little farther up my face.

Keep it up, and you’ll reach my eyes, smiley…

I pulled up to a motel and parked. Had you ever seen such a beautiful place? I checked in and the key was all mine. The door opened and the room was empty and quiet, no shouting, no television choking the function out of my head. It was dark and the bed was hard and inviting.

And you always have some kind of fucking misgiving right before falling asleep, right? So I didn’t worry when the worry tried to press in, stuck a knife in at the edge and pushed around. I just laughed.

This was different. This was no shitville.

The morning came hot and I was like a reborn child, springing up and embracing the vitality.

This is new! This is mine. I looked at my hands, the same as yesterday. My clothes, the same too.

I showered and wrapped myself in a dirty towel. And still with the mutinous stomach I sat on the bed and stared at the duffel bag. My eyes closed and unbidden came images. Of shitville, of the memories.

I shook my head and opened my eyes again.

I would have to open it at some point, so I dropped the towel and walked over to the damn bag and unzipped. My big toe was good for poking through the contents and my empty stomach twisted with pleasure and regret and guilt and hunger.

I fell to the bed and stared up at the popcorn ceiling.

And then, for a moment, a damned moment, all the anxiety, all the importance… creeping at the edge of me.

No! This is new. This is mine. This maze had a new end and opened up so wide for that new end that surely I would be able to breathe for eternity.

I looked down at my toes and my legs and my fingers and arms. The same I had always known. And my thigh, with the new cut and the same old ugly.

This would be beautiful. There was nothing but forward and smiling and I could feel it down to my bones.

And I thought, “Now that’s really selling it.” You know?