What I should have told the first psychiatrist is that I had been writing the Valentine’s Day story when I choked on the cherry pit. She had been grinding up seeds to make cyanide to place in the cupcakes but she had also placed thumbtacks in the batter. One way or another, she would prove her might. She trusted her man’s gluttony. The cyanide was devilish simply to prove that women are mechanics too. Women research too. Women design traps too.  I didn’t tell him that, scared of being dismissed, labeled histrionic, fantastic, childish and I wish I had explained it was the synchronicity that was getting to me. It wasn’t just the difficulty swallowing but the fact that I had never been heard. That the song titles changed when I had the same thought. That the electronics began crashing around me, in buildings, at home. The time in Colorado when the blue eyed woman came to pull me out of my body during a nap. It wasn’t just the thought of someone and then they pop up but the way the signs start flashing the same things. It wasn’t just the phone listening, it was the way the oven timer went off. The way I awoke at 3:33 am nightly. The way everyone who entered said my place was “vibrating.” The way pictures fell off the wall. The way I awoke in the middle of the night, paralyzed hearing my father’s voice before he had his heart attack. It was the psychics and the readings and the time I woke up in the living room facing something that looked like my dead brother, glowing white and face stretched like a crocodile, and he was pointing to a painting of a tree he made long ago.

Trust no one, Cat.

Next thing I know I am desperately crawling back to bed, screaming feeling something tear at my legs. Or the little boy I hugged. Or the little girl that chases me.
No one believes anything as much as you do and no one was there to see the apparitions. I take solace in history because witnesses have existed before my long period of loneliness. My partner once, during a nap, tried to wake me. He said I was twitching, moaning, like I was being tortured. When he shook my shoulders, I awoke and screamed in his face causing him to scream.

“You were having a nightmare!”
“Well, you scared me!”

My men say I writhe, talk in my sleep. They’ve never seen me conversing in the living room but they’ve never really stuck around either. My men heard me in my sleep. My men heard me in my privacy.

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