Friday, January 16, 2015

RJ Ames Week 134: You

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RL Ames’s Picture Choice: Both

Title: You

It’s the little things now. The rituals that keep me sane. The slosh of a tea bag as it’s dunked up and down in hot water. The sorting of laundry into color piles. The swish of the windshield wipers as they clear away the rain when I drive to the market. The click of the remote as three hundred and forty two channels flash in front of my eyes. These are the things that make sense. This is what my life has become.

I don’t think. I don’t remember. I don’t reminisce fondly. It’s too painful, and it costs me too much. I wake up. Dunk, dunk dunk. I sort. Whites, colors, darks. Wash, rinse, repeat. Click, click, click.

That’s all I can handle. Because if there’s anything else. If I pause, even just for a moment, you come rushing back in. When given even the briefest of opportunities, the memory of you kicks down the door of my mental reserves, and you’re everywhere. And when you’re everywhere, I’m nowhere. I’m curled up in a ball just trying to survive until you leave me again.

So I can’t. I can’t think about any of it. I can’t remember the Sunday mornings we spent in bed sharing the paper. I don’t think about the walks we’d take on crisp winter mornings, trudging through frozen fields and orchards, or how we’d get so cold I’d swear my fingers were going to fall right off, but you’d just laugh and take my hands between your own and blow your warm breath over my fingers.

And I definitely can’t recall the summer we spent in Europe. How we explored castles so ancient and enormous we’d get lost in them for hours, our voices echoing off the great stone walls as we laughed and chased each other in some sort of grownup game of hide and seek. There were the lazy afternoon boat rides we took along sluggish and muddy rivers whose names we could never pronounce. You’d sigh and lean back, the sun glinting off your skin as if you were born of bronze instead of flesh, and I’d wish for the day to never end.

But they did end. Everything ended.

Do you still remember? Does it feel like a piece of your soul has been torn away, and where it used to be there’s now just a festering wound? Does it feel like there’s nothing in the world, no salve or balm anywhere, that will ever make it better?

Because no matter how hard I try. No matter how securely I bare the door where those memories and those thoughts of you live, you always find your way in.

Dunk. Dunk. Swish. Swish. Click. Click.


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RL Ames spends her time chasing after her almost four year old son and sneaks in time for writing whenever she can. She can be found at



  1. I love this piece, it is really strong. I particularly admire the way that the mundane is an anchor for the emotional turmoil underneath, and the use of the sounds and rhythms of those tasks is a very powerful and effective device.

  2. Thanks Nick! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

  3. Even keeping busy with every day life, he's there, waiting to appear, to torment. As Nick said, a very strong, emotive piece. x