The Drowning – Friday Fictioneers.

Watching myself through an oblique lens, I’d blown to the four winds. Defragged like a faulty hard disk. Mid-40s, degree, career …now stealing food off strangers’ plates and sleeping rough.    

“No, Julie! Don’t do it!”

Ravenous, she’d snatched the pizza straight off the table, and was scoffing it on the beach like a Bangkok stray… twisted, distorted, wild.

“Julie! Julie!” I slapped. “Wake up”

“Nobody gets me. Never has.”

“What about me?”  I beseeched, but my words fell flat.

Praying for eternal nothingness, destined for oblivion, she slipped into the surf. Floundering. Gasping…

I ran.

Safe on the beach, slowly our breathing merged…again.

…..

This week’s prompt brought many things to mind for me. The first thing which came to me, was backpacking through Europe and being so tight with money and rationing our food and then watching others leaving food behind and feeling like we could almost lick their plates. I still remember that ravenous hunger!

From there, my thoughts drifted towards being homeless and being that hungry, you could snatch that pizza out of a restaurant in what felt like an act of utter desperation. Who would do that? How bad would it have to get to take you there?

I wonder…

I don’t know whether you’ve ever wrestled with yourself like this before where you’re split in two. Perhaps, not in such an extreme situation, but a time where you’ve been through hard times and you end up talking to yourself. Or, you’ve experienced God comfort you. Or both.

Becoming homeless and being swept along that dreadful downward spiral, is only be a paycheck or two away for most of us. I’ve never been homeless, but I have fallen on hard times and have often found this voice within myself guiding me along. Giving me encouragement and strength I didn’t know I had.

Given the very dark nature of my piece this week, I just wanted to explain it a little further. After all, when you play with words arranging them into very dark and foreboding pictures, I felt the need to debrief in a sense. Let the reader know that all is well.

Well, almost!

xx Rowena

This has been another contribution for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff. This week’s photo prompt kindly comes from © Dale Rogerson.

10 thoughts on “The Drowning – Friday Fictioneers.

  1. michael1148humphris

    You illustrated the feeling of sheer hunger so well, and the despair of being cast adrift. Well done

  2. Dale

    I can’t even imagine being in such dire straits. And you are correct, it is only a few paycheques away for some…

  3. Rowena Post author

    A friend of mine is the General Manager of our regional homeless shelter and she said they’re getting an increase in single women in the 50s becoming homeless. It intrigued and surprised me when she told me. The other aspect of that is the social isolation which means you don’t know someone you could stay with. Perhaps, that’s the worst aspect of ending up living on the streets.

  4. rgayer55

    I’ve had some tough times, but never that rough. I agree with your point about social isolation in the comment above. That has to be the worst.

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I’ve been there a few times, but there’s always been someone or something to pull me back out and at some point, the sun came out again. xx Rowena

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