I remember the back of my uncle’s head.  The smell of the cigarette he smokes, wafting through the window.  His red neck in the driver’s seat my knees brushed up against the back.  Going somewhere, as a family.

I am starting to make promises to God and placing strange things that I find upon the floor into my mouth.  A thumbtack, a button, a piece of yarn.  I wish on them, and roll them all about beneath my tongue.

Where would I put my anger, if I had a place big enough for it?

All this rage, it seems to need its own room.  Its own house.  On some days, I can fit it in a handbag.  On others, it swells into a thing too big for me to stow away.  All this little girl anger.  All this madness.

When I was young, I would eat paper.  I’d tear the pieces of a magazine, a letter, a napkin.  A newspaper in the kitchen.  The See Jane Run book on my bedside table.  My father would color in the books with little hidden spiders in black ink.  I’d tear them out and eat them.  Make the bad things go away.

I make origami birds and hang them from my ceiling.  They are never any good, but they still count for wishes.  I chew on their paper wings.

Somedays, the anger is too big.  The shapes around me taking certain forms somedays the sadness is enough to make me sick.  My heart not big enough for all the energy of grief—too great a space it takes inside my chest.

The only time I see them now is in my dreams.  Sometimes, I get in bed and force myself to think of them, making wishes to the birds.  It doesn’t always work but when it does, I always wake up crying.

I remember the back of my uncle’s head.  Driving us places.  Going somewhere, as a family.  I don’t think that we’ll go anywhere again, now that he is gone.  Not like we used to.

All this little girl anger

eating paper // chasing dreams.


31 thoughts on “oneirology

  1. I’ve been thinking about anger a lot lately. More specifically, I’ve been wondering how I might be able to express anger healthily. The internet self-help gurus often talk about just letting anger go in their list posts, but that’s one of the worst things you can say…it’s equivalent to telling someone with depression to just be happy. I suppose I could try eating paper, as I used to find glue quite tasty. Also lead paint…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No lead paint! lol. And yes, I find a lot of people quite concerned with my emotions. But there is something so soothing in being able to express ourselves in a raw and powerfully natural way. You write about this often and I admire it. There is so much healing in that. Letting go too quickly can have painful results. Good vibes to you, friend ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right, mercury tastes better than lead paint 😛

        It is nice to be able to be ‘real’ with people, possibly because we have to constantly play games to function in the professional world. The deception quickly becomes tiresome, and it’s important to have people around whom we can drop our guards.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shaylee, I’m happy to discover your writing. Your voice is original, your imagery potent. I like this question: “Where would I put my anger, if I had a place big enough for it?” I encourage you to enter Wow Women On Writing quarterly contests. Their website is a great resource, too. On the subject of grief, you might like my Feb. 2019 post, “The Geometry of Grief.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful. However, I would think carefully about describing the anger as “little girl anger”. I have a feeling the anger is justified and raw, and describing it as a child’s could diminish it in some way. Just my opinion, anyway. Hope you don’t mind.


  4. Super writing, Shayleene. I admire the way you link the disparate concepts of eating paper, and making good luck cranes, and the hidden spiders, and make them all into a unity where the emotion is consistent and powerful.


  5. So much anger
    I’ve heard…
    there’s nowhere to put it.
    I don’t know that experience
    so I have to try harder

    And then, a thought…
    Maybe there is something
    something I can do…
    to help
    to contribute…

    I can take it
    Give it to me!

    Give me your anger Woman!
    Give me your anger!


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