Conversations With Myself by Maggie Millus

If my hearing gets any worse, "Huh?" is going to be my epitaph.

If my hearing gets any worse, “Huh?” is going to be my epitaph.

Insomnia.  Got it again. It must be tracking me.  Like a demented bloodhound.  This means I’m going to sit here tonight. Out in the living room and for who knows how long.  Maybe I should just sit here and talk to myself, as in….Hello brain.  I’m here again….Yep.  I think I’ll talk to myself.   There’s nobody else here.  No back talk.  Just me.  Sitting  by myself.  In the dark.


When you can’t see a thing because you’re surrounded by pitch black, it’s easy to feel  like you are locked  up inside your head.  Like your cranium is an enclosure, a guard dog for more than gray matter.  That’s when weird  thoughts start coming at me,  like flying tomatoes at a bad comedy act.   Weird thoughts…as in why do gardeners keep plants in cages?  I once saw a catalogue with cages for eggplants.  Now, I ask you, what have eggplants ever done to anyone except give them gas?


My mind keeps pushing on, challenging me, sparring, jabbing me with stupid questions.  What is it like to be chased by a wild boar?  Or what if I was chasing it?  Who would be chasing who?  And if I caught it, what would I do?  Go to the emergency room?  How would I explain the bites and scratches and my new asshole?  Or maybe I would be lucky and have wild boar for supper (if I didn’t bleed out first).


When I can’t see, my other senses go into overdrive.  It feels like there’s something crawling up my sleeve.  It feels huge, like a mega-sized cockroach .  Nothing like having a 12 pound cockroach scrambling up your arm.  It’s  enough to make me scream 120 decibels and  wake the neighbors.  They probably  wonder what’s going on in our bedroom.  They must think they’re hearing animal rutting sounds. Loud high pitch squeals and screeches. I bet one of them just said,  “ I swear.  They must be out there doing it in their kid’s sandbox.  Or under our bedroom window…”


And then there are the guilt feelings.  I have guilt, mountains of it.  Guilt about overeating, abandoning my diet.  The guilt is trying to burst out of my abdomen like an alien larva.  A human stomach can only hold so much.  What if all that food ferments and makes a gas bubble the size of Detroit?  All that combustible gas!   Could I explode? Would there be a mushroom cloud?  Who would clean up? Would they be paid more than minimum wage???


I’ve always wanted a robot mower.  In the dark, I can fantasize about how easy it would be too keep our overgrown yard  from swallowing our house.  Me in a bikini, on a lounge chair, sunning myself.  The neighbors still complaining.  But I’m in control. At least I think I am.  For a while. I see me hitting the remote, telling  the mower to turn  right then left.  But it doesn’t. It goes rogue.  Just what I needed,  a rogue robot mower.  I hit the remote again and again.  The mower still doesn’t respond. I yell at it.  Real loud because maybe it’s hard of hearing.  The mower is coming at me.  It’s rabid and its teeth are bared. Its eyes are glowing.   Maybe I’m dreaming.  I hope so.  I better wake up soon.


Yesterday, my husband, Howard,  said I never listen to him.  At least that’s what I thought he said.  But maybe it’s true.  I’ve said “Huh?’ so many times, it’s going to be my epitaph.  Sometimes it really sets him off.  Like yesterday when I forgot to take the dog out.  It’s not that she didn’t ask or I didn’t hear.  I just didn’t notice.   But I did notice when Howard came into the living room, curled his nose, and said, “I smell dog piss.”’  I heard that.   But why should I admit it, then I would have to clean it up.  But sitting here, in the dark, by myself, really does improve my hearing.  As a matter of fact,  I’m going to go into the kitchen. I think I just heard something moving  in the closet….



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