How Not to Get Off (CH. 2)

Chapter 2: “Logging”

He’ll be out all night handling the edges of his ax with precision. The way he lets it float in the air a bit before it lands back in his hands and then the other end floods the middle of the wood with pressure and splits it in two. It’ll go on this way for hours until he’s back at it tomorrow. He’ll be logging all night and then too tired for me. The creaking push of the wingback chair surprised me. I hadn’t realized I was leaning so far into this memory that it could move me physically.

I’ve become so used to only the sound of pounding all day until dusk. I nearly feel the drying wetness of my eyes dragging across the lids of my eyes. If I can keep them mostly open until he’s home, I can keep him out of my dreams where he is frighteningly more treacherous because he can do all to me, but I cannot say “no” to that version of him. These lids pull themselves open again.

I try remembering the lists I used to make. It was far from organized, but it kept me up most nights, solving the problem of that pesky little thing called rest. I’d taken to tracking all sorts of things: mood, sex, weight, upcoming exams, nutrition, fitness, sleep, deviations from trackable items, bible study, meditation, passcodes… Such useless detail trapped me back in my head and freed me from the creaking, pounding sounds all around me.

I do this until he comes home, turns on the wood-burning stove, and walks past me up the stairs.

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