Sarah Lindsay just graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Professional Writing. She’ll be
working with River Styx, a literary magazine based out of St. Louis, MO, this summer. She’s hoping to nose her way into the publishing world one piece at a time. You can view her digital portfolio at sarahlindsay.net and can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are days when I just don’t get out of bed. They all start subconsciously; I turn off my alarm in my sleep or even preemptively set it for 8 p.m. instead of a.m. (whoops). When I started college, whenever my alarm didn’t go off and I was suddenly jolted into the morning with the realization that I was late for my
class/appointment/responsibility/meeting, I’d fling myself out of bed, sweaty, disheveled, upset, cursing myself for my laziness. Nowadays, I embrace it. If I wake up at 10:30 instead of 9:10, I say, “fuck it” and roll over. And I truly mean it. Fuck it.
Moment of Truth: Things I Did While Writing These Last 103 Words
The process of building a house is simple on paper. Cement, drywall, wiring, tiles and carpet, roof shingles and brick. You start at the base; you have to make a proper foundation. “It’s like raising a kid,” my uncle told me once in the three years it took him and my fake aunt to design and construct their two-story house. “You have to start strong and make the rest of the project follow suit.” Baby Mozart and organic formula and shit like that, I
guess. I don’t think I could ever be a parent; not even a “good” parent, but a parent altogether. It’s the same
reason my house would be dilapidated: there’s too much you have to give up. I couldn’t say “fuck it” about my kid
and just roll over. When you build a house, you have to worry about things twenty stages ahead while you’re building the foundation. Where will the closet go, and will the fridge fit if the kitchen is only 20 feet by 20 feet? My mom told me that selfishness goes away as soon as you hold your baby for the first time. “You don’t know anything other than the absolute fact that you would die for it,” she told me once. She showed me the picture they took of me at the hospital, after they’d cleaned me off. I don’t really have any absolute facts in my life aside from oxygen and water; I don’t know anyone I’d die for. Maybe my dad, though I suspect he wouldn’t let me.
Moment of Truth: Things I Did While Writing These Last 258 Words
I nicked my ankle shaving a few weeks ago. When I was four or five (they’re interchangeable, really), I fell off a jungle gym and smashed my face on one of the metal bars, breaking my two front baby teeth and soaking the front of my shirt in blood. I looked like a massacre victim; I still remember how hesitant the teacher who got to me first was to touch me. Eli always teases me for how clumsy I am with a razor; the first week we were dating, when smooth legs and fresh breath still mattered, I sliced open my toe after stepping on my Venus and limped for a week. The cut on my ankle wouldn’t stop bleeding and I felt like a wimp, contorted on the floor of my bathroom between the wall and the toilet, my foot above my head, resting on the tank, and my neck and head smashed against the white tile wall. I felt woozy and I checked my two adult front teeth with the tip of my tongue as the blood soaked into my Kleenex (or facial tissue, I don’t know if I’d bought the brand name that particular time). When Eli happened to call in those ten minutes my body was coagulating blood cells and tissue back together, I let it go to voicemail.
Moment of Truth: Things I Did While Writing These Last 223 Words
Apparently, grapefruits mess with your digestive system. Their acids and general makeup make it harder for you to break down nutrients, so if you take vitamins every day, you should avoid eating grapefruit. My roommate told me this right after she told me she wouldn’t trust a doctor with tattoos as we were smoking cigarettes on our balcony last night. She doesn’t trust a girl who’s had sex with more people than her age in years, either, but she trusts me to pay half the rent on time each month. She trusts her dog not to shit on our carpet and the central heat we pump into our rooms to keep her warm. I like chain smoking with Jess. I like to put my feet up on the little table we have outside while she crosses her legs with her free hand in her lap. I wear shorts and sweatshirts when I smoke; she wears a winter coat and boots. She has an electric toothbrush and I don’t. She eats pears, apples, oranges and pineapple, using the rinds as compost whenever she’s back home, and I drink grapefruit juice in my boxers.
Moment of Truth: Things I Did While Writing These Last 192 Words
My mother told me about essences once. Everything has an essence, from items to animals to people. I guess you could call it a soul if you needed to; when we run out, we die. When a thing runs out of essence, it’s time for us to let it go, to give it away, or throw it out. When we use up another person’s, their role in our lives is
over. You’ll move away, end a friendship, or break up. Essences are a part of everyday life and I suppose the idea of them is a coping mechanism. Not everyone is comfortable with change.
I get migraine headaches a lot; during my freshman and sophomore years in college I suffered through several kidney infections and I broke both my leg and my wrist in high school. When I complained about the pain, my mother always told me to “breathe through that body part.” Imagine your breath moving through the muscle, bone or area that hurts. Take deep breaths and close your eyes, she’d tell me. Concentrate on healing. Hear the breath in your nose and imagine that windy sound within your body. Try it sometime; it works.