A Sad State of Affairs
It is three o’clock in the afternoon and she has kept the same position since breakfast, writing in her journal, nursing each fresh drink, drawing it out so that her budget (small) will see her through until she is forced to give up her seat. She is in no hurry to leave, having nowhere else to go, no pressing appointment – except with home, and the house is depressingly quiet and yet still too full, inhabited by a long line of hours waiting impatiently to be filled, the space between now and then too vast to accommodate with any real hope of sustaining comfort or peace. Gaps scare her. Silence intimidates. Inactivity is threatening, like a beast with sharp teeth. She doesn’t trust herself alone, left to her own devices, because that’s when the voices pipe up and the thoughts, up until now hidden away, suppressed, emerge, and all that was just perched on the edge of bearable is suddenly torn without warning from the landscape of manageable beneath. At least surrounded by strangers, up against a window that presents a backdrop that is constantly changing, in a state of flux, she has company and protection. She sighs.. it has been a long day.
In town, her other half rushes backwards and forwards, no time for idling or the privilege of introspective thought. Pulled in every direction, dragged this way and that from location to location in pursuit, he is far too busy to think. Only when his day is done and his dinner eaten, the light upstairs turned out and the room plunged into darkness, does he let the emotions approach, and he has mastered the art of avoidance and learnt how to sedate, drowning in alcohol until all that remains is incoherent and incomplete, no longer a threat.
While she attaches her wellbeing to that short, shared hour: he seeks to achieve the opposite, switching from on to off as soon as he reaches the gate.
Repeatedly, she sits and recounts her day, only to fall silent with the realisation that the words she takes such care to present meet with a body that is slumbering.
As he snores to the left, she stares to the right, holding onto her heart with her hand to stop it from disengaging and falling out. Left with no other option but to return to her morning method of medication, she exchanges the day’s three-dimensional landscape for the television’s two-dimensional screen.


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becsatherton (joined over 11 years ago)
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I have always loved art and drawing has been an important part of my life ever since I can remember. Having creative parents provided me with the right genes and also meant that my naive dabblings were given plenty of encouragement. Growing up, our kitchen walls were lined with huge pinboards which displayed my work. I guess you could say that this was my first exhibition, my audience consisting of family and friends. To date – apart from school and university, where there was always a termly show – it remains the only one. Life interfered with other priorities and stole away my earlier confidence.
Since graduating, I have been a web designer, a graphic designer, a magazine editor, an art director, a copy writer, a literary consultant, a poet, an aspiring novelist, and many other less inspiring things. I have also founded a literary arts magazine called Inside Out, which published two issues before the recession hit.
For the last year, I have been hard at work writing and drawing and would now call myself a writer, poet, artist and illustrator. I use these mediums as ways to better understand myself and find them helpful in exploring and resolving personal problems. This was the focus of Inside Out, which promoted creativity for personal development and emotional well-being. One day I hope to qualify as a creative therapist, offering workshops and retreats and teaching this valuable skill to other individuals.

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