A po-em I wrote years back about my least favorite emotion, FRUSTRATION.
(proofread by no one)
Sometimes the muscle tightening is voluntary, other times it happens without notice or command. One box falls on the head, another on the foot each weighing a ton. To avoid the third falling box move away from the shelf but expect to step on the cat. Numerous scratches and underfoot animal screams then lead to knocking the glass off the counter.
A short and simple pause and a breath bigger than a house may settle the bad luck and routine of misfortune.
Without thought the naked foot steps down into the pile of glass shards.
Only the blood awakens the brain to consciousness.
Drop the box and hop to the couch. The trail of blood dots the freshly steam carpet.
The dog licks the blood without concern. The contents of the box leak and run all over the kitchen floor.
The doorbell beams into the ears over and over and over.
DONG! DONG! DONG!
The barking dog hauls to the window. A non-stop brick of yapping
“Give me strength….”
Holding the foot and recalling the series of events that led to the glass in foot and bloody rug begins long before the falling boxes.
The search through the boxes had to happen because the table was cleaned without consent, the trash was thrown out moments before the streets & sans-men collected. The argument that ended with self-induced forehead slapping didn’t stem from the missing papers, but rather from the growing ineptitude of the neighbor and their ilk.
Pulse is rapid and hard. Sweat stinks upon the opening of the swollen pore.
Standing in the mirror with anxious and speedy internal monologue led to a face–to-face, slap red forehead to slap red forehead gritting the teeth and entering the reflection.
The brain again awakes to consciousness seconds before the blood tongued drooling fawn fur sticks to the lap.
The glass shoved deeper into the foot.
Someone will be home soon so the glass must be removed from the floor.
The transparent shards are seen only from an angle across the kitchen.
Back up towards the stove and block the eyes.
In slow motion the scalding Columbian Roast pours to stable foot.
The coffee whiffs under the nose for a moment, ingesting a memory of caffeine only to be deleted by the whole foot burning from within and without.
Bear down on the bloody bare foot for balance only to plop down on the crusty linoleum to tighten the forearms again. This time voluntary with enough force to levitate the body.
The skin turns red all over, much like sunburn.
Avoiding the verbal assault into the room is impossible.
“FUCKING GOD DAMN IT! FUCK! FUCK!” with neck cocked back and eyes tight.
Cower into a ball with one maimed foot swaddling the other. Shaking hands cover the sweat and tears from clogging the nostrils.
No audible sound, just the furrowing of the brow to maximum capacity.
Inhale salty tears to a numb tongue.
The tense back longs to rip the shirt in half and will do so with just one more flex.
“Where’s the rest of the glass?”
It is time to open up and look at the mess. Finally, the perfect angle.
The shards are contained to a small area and can be swept.
The dog will intercept on the way, so crawl as to not step in the glass again.
“Where’s the broom?”
Why isn’t anything where it is supposed to be? This was never resolved during the earlier blood pressure spat.
The same argument that always looms and rarely taken to the hieghts of this morning. Talking to a wall with fingers in its ears. Hiding the wall’s wallet or toothbrush to share the anxiety. It’s a winless battle. Much like scooping the jagged glass into a trashcan.
The feet still burn so without haste the shards are tossed into the basket. Hurriedly shooting for the can is futile but the only option with the impending foot loss.
The same split decisions that led to the original domino rally are now in place. Foresight is absent.
The trash bag is going to rip on the way to the alley.
The can will tip over and then glass everywhere.
More cuts to the foot or the hand or a seizure from the stress.
Returning home, the rest of the house will join in the blood and swearing.
It is best to sit catatonically and regret the day and vow to never repeat.
But the pain cannot be crushed so swiftly and thoughtless action must take place, again leading to a series of misfortunes awaiting closure from more blood, broken household items, nosey dog, and a mess to clean up for days.
The presence of such a mess being the spark of the argument that led to laying on the kitchen floor and walking with crutches from now on.