Chalk and ghost – TLP

“Your problem,” the doctor began, laying down his stethoscope “Is in being too real.”

The carriage clock on his desk chimed nine. “Your heart-aches, the dreams, memory loss, the peculiar sensation of moths in your lungs can all be attributed to this cause.”

I pinched my cheeks, rolling my tounge around the cavern of mouth. That couldn’t be right, I had been trying so hard not to exist. I had read all the right sort of books, while eating, walking, waiting for the train. I had changed my name at least three times in the last week. I had thought in the third person and past tense. I had even memorised The Jabberwocky until I could recite it backwards.

“A healthy girl of your age,” he continued, I wasn’t listening “ought to be no more real than a silk slip or a corn husk.”

My shoes felt too big all of a sudden. I was gripped by the fear that perhaps I had tried too hard. Tulle, ice, spectacles, fog.. I was forgetting something.

“Not to worry,” his bony hands scrawled something illegible on a yellow pad.

Windows, raindrops, crystal, plastic wrap.. oh, that was it. I had gone through to the other side, like cordial through a gauze sleeve. In unbecoming, I was nothing, and through nothing you can see everything. Everything, more bright and bold and painful than a gasp.

“Take three in the morning and two with your afternoon tea.” the doctor handed over the script.

I thanked him, turned, and walked through the wall.


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