You Had Time

By Katrina Joy Plam

I keep cutting my nails down super short because I think they will grow back the way I want them to: long, strong and beautiful. The truth is: the same nail always breaks in the same place from the weight I dropped on it when I was fourteen. I am self-conscious of my nails, my hands, and how they shake. I might be shaking because I am nervous or because I am pre-disposed to trembling or because I drank too much the night before and my blood sugar is low; either way, I am scared of my past.

The numbers with significance in my cell phone have all been erased so I don’t do something foolish like call and apologize; these days, I feel like I am always apologizing but it’s mostly in my head. I know I have messed up to be this alone, like crazy alone but at the same time, I must have done something incredible because I am close to my family again and they seem to accept me despite all the years I spent away.

I gave up on online dating because it sucked real hard and that sneaker kicked me in my face when I wasn’t looking. My weekly confession: I sort of gave up on everything like the running, the writing, and the motivation. It’s Sunday afternoon and I keep reluctantly thinking about a year ago where luxury was a given and magic-mushrooms with a famous cult winemaker every night was a reality and we both took Viagra to make our orgasms last longer and I swallowed pills to sleep at night and I was having panic attacks at the grocery store during the day and the words, “you ruined everything; I can’t trust you anymore,” will not leave my mind. I screamed at him and cut my forearm and tossed an ice bucket in his face and I was shoved back into the sanctuary room where I had been living on wine from his cellar and pills from his drawer for several days. He told me, I was hard to love and asked me to leave.

My nails are super short and my hair is super short and I keep thinking I can start over and be: long, strong and beautiful one day only I am scared of the damage I have caused others and the pain I have caused myself. There’s that bit of sun coming through my window and there’s tomorrow I have to show up for and these things are enough to forgive my weakness. I made a list of things to do: grocery store, clean top drawer, query letter, laundry, organize papers, and for now these things seem to be enough of a beginning.

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