“There will be garbage, there will be chaos, there will be pollution and also there will be a pair of eyes, they will find beauty and capture that.”
Soumik Srabony, a human who still exists, lives and breathes on this earth and loves literature. She is passionate about creating artworks. @soumik.srabony (Instagram)
Today I Counted Fiction by Emily Macdonald
CW: Mental Health
Today I counted the number of times I spoke to you and had to repeat myself because you weren’t listening the first time. Sometimes I counted extra because you weren’t listening the second or third time either, though I didn’t count the names I called you under my breath.
Today I counted the number of times I gave way on the pavement. To the entitled mothers who pushed their prams through, to the young men, striding while talking in those confident tones on their smart phones, and the children who scooted at me, aiming with painful accuracy for my shins or my knees.
One person acknowledged me and said thank you. An elderly woman, who I stood aside for but who insisted I pass as she paused with bags of too heavy shopping and looked at me, so grateful to be noticed that she smiled and nodded and smiled.
Today I counted my steps and my calories and the number of glasses of water I drank. I counted to find a shape of me in centimetres, inches, and ounces.
Today I counted the number of times I became distracted from the task I’d set myself. When my mind drifted, meandered on a path of its own finding. I’d tell you how many times if I could remember. If I could distinguish those moments from the rest of my day.
Today I counted the number of cups, glasses, and dirty plates I collected from the rooms in the house. I counted the socks on the floor, the shoes discarded in the kitchen and left in the hall. I counted the wet towels left on beds, the tubes of toothpaste missing their caps and the bottles left beside the overflowing recycling bin.
Today I counted the cup of tea you gave me with a spoonful of sugar stirred in, though I’ve not taken sugar for over ten years. I counted this cup like a notch on a belt or a black mark in a book. A trigger reminder to add to the sum, taking shape in my secret account, accumulating to build a visible me, shiny, and hard with currency.
Emily Macdonald was born in England but grew up in New Zealand. She has been placed in several writing competitions and has work published with journals including Fictive Dream, Reflex Fiction and Ellipsis Zine. https://www.macdonaldek11.com @ek_macdonald (Twitter)