personal blog: simon

breathe, breathe, and pull over.

it’s starting again. my chest squeezed. my body in cold sweat.

I turn the car engine off and relax my shoulders, pressing my back to the seat. my wrists tightly holding onto the steering wheel that my fingers turn from red to white.

breathe, breathe.

‘breathe. breathe.’ my father’s voice bouncing inside my head. ‘be brave. be brave.’

how much I hate the last sentiment.

the swimming lessons were fruitless after I sank to the bottom of the pool and the disappointment in my father’s eyes was enough that I didn’t earn a star that day. I wasn’t brave enough. I wasn’t brave to stand up to a fight in my father’s eyes because I didn’t make tight enough of fists, because I never stood up straight enough, because I hanged out with the wrong crowd, because… of whatever reason. my father wasn’t pleased but then his mood would swing and I would be ‘the special one’, the one who my father indulged in.

‘the special one,’ and my throat tightens.

the darkness that looms inside of me. the darkness that casts over the light, no matter how much the sun shines brightly, no matter how many lightbulbs are switched on, no matter how many flashlights gather in the drawers.

because my father’s voice always wins.

because my father’s touch always surfaces.

because my father’s scent always lingers.

‘don’t cry. don’t cry.’ but here they are, the tears of pain and guilt. the tears of shame and anger.

breathe. breathe and watch the glare of headlights reflect on the wet surface of the road.

read more: ← wednesday 21:55wednesday 23:23 →

© simon whittle — second act