Cleverly Sadistic

Storch-Badge-Master“Clever how the cosmos can, in a single portent, be ingratiating yet sadistic.”  The winter world is starkly beautiful.  Yet monochromatic landscapes make her feel insubstantial.  When dead beige light filters through bare tree limbs and there is no delineation between land and horizon, she feels like a ghost.  A two dimensional her.

She sings to ground herself in the physical, pulling deep breaths all the way from her toes into her lungs, loosing the syllables upwards, an offering to gods whose names she does not purport to know.

Sometimes she thinks that she’d rather scream than sing, but she’s worried that it would never stop.

There are times when she appears still, deep in meditation perhaps.  In truth, there is a running inner dialog where she is talking herself down from a full scale riot.  No, self, you do not want to punch holes in the wall.  Um, but yes, I really do, it would be immensely satisfying.  You would hurt yourself.  Well, yes, that’s part of the satisfaction.  No, self, you do not want to pick up your heavy things and smash them with an almost toddler like glee at the rampant and random destruction.  Oh my, yes, I absolutely and most certainly do.

She wants to spin in circles and wreak havoc, Shiva the Destroyer, beautiful in her fury.  She does not, however, wish to spackle holes in the wall and clean up bits of beloved things off the floor.

So she sits quietly, with eyes closed and fingers linked, and talks herself from the ledge and into a quiet and familiar numbness.  Are these her only choices then?  Rage or indifference, destruction or apathy?  There must be a middle ground somewhere.

She knows that the war that is waged is all inside her head.  She knows that as long as there is no clear winner, her life will not move in any discernible direction.  If she cannot get her factions under control, cannot map out a plan of attack, a path of retreat, a hidey hole for recuperation, if she cannot Stratego her synapses the way she used to organize her gameboard, it will come down to survival of the fittest and she doesn’t know which part of her will come out on top.

Gifted with self-awareness, losing out on sense of self.


The Master Class prompt this week (hosted now by SAM at was chosen by the brilliant Steph (no joke, I absolutely love this woman’s writing) at  “Clever how the cosmos can, in a single portent, be ingratiating yet sadistic.” From Three Junes by Julia Glass

I found myself feeling a straight non-fiction piece, but couldn’t get it to work.  I tried to write a straight fiction piece, but couldn’t get it to work.  So I ended up with this, sort of a poetic non-fiction piece.  Hopefully, even though it kind of makes me feel like a cry baby, it’s at least still pretty to read 😉

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Cleverly Sadistic

  1. A cry baby – I don’t think so. You say out loud what the rest of us are afraid to admit – for the reasons you state – it might never stop. I don’t detect any sentimentality – only awareness and honesty. Beautiful to read. I love your images of Shiva, spackling walls and hidey holes. The best part of her will come out on top. It’s that gift of self-awareness that will see to it. (And thank you for those incredibly nice words! Brilliant might be a tad too generous, but thank you! 🙂 )

    • I think it’s because I worry sometimes about a skewed perspective. So many people have things so much worse, and here I am just wrassling with my own head and so maybe I should just shut up and sack up 😉 But what are you going to do, besides fight your own good fight and maybe help yourself out a little by prettying it up and dumping it on a page. Thank you as always for your thoughtful comments, they make me go back and re-read the things that I’ve written with a fresh eye. As for the brilliance, I just call it like I see it. Or read it….

  2. Even before I read your closing words, I had a feeling that this was creative nonfiction. You’ve done a fabulous job on it, bringing me in and making feel the turmoil in her head. I daresay many many people have found themselves in this same battle. They lacked the talent to breathe such life into it though.

  3. Nah, you’re not a cry baby. Just laying out what goes through all of our heads from time to time. (Although the last house I lived in had a number of strategically placed posters on the walls to hide the results of my giving in to rage).

    I think you do these creative non-fiction pieces very well. In them, your prose borders on poetry without being pretentious.

    • Ha, I have a couple of fingers that are a little crookedy from healing before I was able to tell myself that brick HURTS A LOT 😉 Ah, the angsty teenage years of stupidity, when we don’t realize that by our mid 30-s we’re going to pay for it….thank you, though, very much – if I ever sound pretentious please cyber slap me…

  4. You’ve crafted a beautiful piece that tells a tale of the darkness in all of us 🙂 Loved it

  5. Excellent, I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, It’s hard sometimes, even when you don’t know the people who are reading your stuff, when you look at the page and think eesh, do I really want to say this out loud? It makes it less intimidating when people can relate. Thank you for reading, and taking the time to comment.

  6. I really wish I could do with words, what you seem to do so easily and wonderfully well =)

    • Coming from someone whose writing (both fiction and non) continually tugs at my gut, that really means a lot to me, so thank you very much 🙂

  7. Wish I could say I’ve never been there. (Btw, paneling holds up better than drywall to pummeling)
    Anyway, this is so well written. I could feel the tug of war. *Hugs*

    • Thank you so much, for the hugs and the compliment…ha, I’ll definitely keep the paneling in mind, but I’m trying to save up for a punching bag 😉

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