THRICE Fiction Apr. 2014 - Page 16

White I Drain An Observation by Gloria Garfunkel magine we are looking out the window from a dark, empty cafe at the blizzard blowing, the flakes swirling in the lamplight, no one in sight. We both live nearby in this small northern town and will have no trouble walking home. As you finish your first cup of some sort of sweet alcohol and caffeine potient, I’ll order a second. Then we order a third. I know that’s our limit because we’re both on medication. Now let’s get this straight. Who are you and who am I? You are a troubled individual who thinks you can’t write, and it’s the only thing you want to do and have put it off too long in your life, helping others as a psychotherapist instead of helping yourself. I am your subconscious mind who knows for sure you have it in you and that your insecurities stand in the way. As the snow falls heavily and you are feeling more and more relaxed from the alcohol and energized by the caffeine, you know I am right, that if you just let go it will be there, all of it. Famous bipolars like Virginia Woolf, Sherman Alexie, Beethoven, Byron, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allen Poe, Jackson A s a man stood in front of his mirror gazing at the image of his freshly shaven self, a tree fell on the power lines outside. All of the lights promptly went out, and the man’s image disappeared. He knew he had left his razor lying on the sink, but he had ceased to see it. He feared he might cut his finger or worse. There was the possibility that he might knock his razor off the sink in an attempt to exit the room, and then the blade might land on his bare foot. In addition, of course it would land with its sharpest edge aimed downward at his toe, since things—especially inanimate ones—learn to be aerodynamic on the fly, as if it is second nature. Indeed, the razor might fall or slip into the sink where it would become dislodged from its handle. What a nightmare might then ensue if it were to shimmy down the drain! Who would get it out of there? When washing your hands you would remember something sharp and then look down, but all you would see would be darkness. A great drain of darkness that would become a citywide phenomenon at its end. No doubt, it is better not to move at all, better not to let the blade fall. Pollock, Robert Shumann, Mark Vonnegut, Francis Ford Coppola, Abbie Hoffman, Vivien Leigh, Van Gogh, and on and on never let it stand in their way. People have overcome much more difficult obstacles. Why let it stop you? You have the help you need now, finally a good doctor who doesn’t change treatment plans ten times in one session or poisons you with overdoses. You are isolated, but you do not need others to write. You need yourself. That’s what you want to do and there is nothing but your own self-criticism stopping you. Another expensive writing program isn’t going to do it for you. You have to do it yourself. Be brave. Take risks. Be your own critic when you revise, not your own demoralizer. Remember Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own: “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.” Let’s bundle up and make fresh footsteps in the knee-deep snow and have a fierce snow fight in the flawless night. EMILY GRELLE received an M.A. in Russian studies from Stanford University, and she is GLORIA GARFUNKEL has a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University and currently studying Russian literature in North Carolina. Her work is forthcoming in Spoon River Poetry Review and Zaum. She enjoys the company of children and animals best of all, but when she is with adults, her drink of choice is a Bloody Mary. writes flash fiction. 14 THRICE FICTION™ • April 2014 Emily Grelle Issue No. 10 15