I make tons of lists and notes. constantly and incessantly, I have to write things down for fear they will not happen, I will forget or it will not be purged from my body if I don’t. some I delete, erase, tear up, burn, drown but others have to be witnessed, spoken to a human and released. I have dozens, thousands really, of notes to myself. the mundane lists to the abhorrent (I will drown my daughter in the bathtub one day) to the secret.

I have entire secret notebooks, drawers, places. when the men come around, it is a secret. if it were up to me, I would have entire locked rooms they could not access. but I like them as witnesses.

“you’re brushing your teeth a lot.”

“I don’t want my teeth to fall out.”

“will brushing your teeth make it worse?”


“Of course not!”

and then such fits of panic. I try to maintain myself in front of them but I become unraveled slowly with the hiding. they don’t trust my need for solitude or long walks. if they touch my phone, I shriek and ask for it back. they cannot borrow my computer or use any notebooks. they can’t come over unannounced for fear i will be entranced in some game and they will walk in the way my ex did once to see my face contorted, me affixed on the straw. and then the way I watch myself.

but then sometimes we can’t have the mirrors anymore.

“help me move this.”

a house with five mirrors reduced to none, all covered with blankets or placed in the basement or storage. or the one time I made them throw out the doll for fear it was watching me.  and I can’t look at my teeth, or my skin or my hands or anything suddenly so no one can have mirrors and everyone must sit and wait for me to outgrow another panic.  when the men come around, it is heightened. and they are the only witnesses too.

that is why I bought a two story two bedroom house recently. there will be a room they can’t enter and passwords on everything and the kitchen is huge. I will make dinner and keep the mirrors up and spin for them and I will begin like this:

let me tell you the story about ___ first.

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