stress - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
There is a tenseness to my muscles that makes me more like a mannequin on this soft mattress than a woman of flesh and bone. I want so much to melt onto the soft foam, wrapped in eider-down, and drift into the world of dreams. Yet my brain is a violent whirl of stupidity, trying to organize the chaos in my life. It seeks to discover a way to control the capriciousness of people, to acquiesce and please them so that our encounters are softer, less draining. Of course the task is pointless, life is far too random for a human brain to take the billions of factors that come together to form just one day for one person. Though my conscious brain knows all this by subconscious remains stubborn in its attempts to protect me, to ensure my survival. Ironic really, what I really need to survive tomorrow is sleep, at lease six hours would be nice. But for that to happen I will have to be out in less than five minutes and not even the double of vodka I just downed can do that.
In the inkiness my mind supplies demons real and fictitious. It reminds me of deadlines both near and distant, demanding that I slice the time between now and then ever thinner to apportion hours and minutes to each mind-numbing task. I don't want to go over this all again. I wrote a list in my planner, I have alerts from my phone, yet somehow all that isn't enough. I lay down three hours ago after a lavender bath and warm milk, I played classical flute music and lit candles. Now they are all burnt to stubs and if the CD repeats again I think I will snap. It's time to get up. If I can't sleep I should work, maybe then my brain will permit me to rest.
The world outside teases me with its silence; everyone and everything sleeps, save the bears and the owls. Time is marked only by the numbers changing on my bedside alarm. It was long ago that the last of the daylight left my bedroom and it will be hours before it creeps back again. I can only hope that in the meantime I am not aware of every second of every minute. My mind is constantly regurgitating the worries of the day, the worries of tomorrow, the worries of yesteryear. Yet I have no new or brilliant solutions to offer, I can only do what I have always done- take each day as it comes.
From the carousel of random dreams comes some order - a subtle awareness of who I am under the flow of thoughts with their loose connections to my waking life. After a few moments more I begin to analyze them in a lazy way, perhaps these ideas are meant to be kept. Some are composed as if from a book I once read, some are just silly. In another moment they are gone leaving no trace. If they are still in my head there is no bread crumb trail back to them. My eyelids flicker open to the unlit room. No daylight. I close them again, willing the carousel to return, for my mind to tumble back to dreams, but it won't. Now the tasks of the day are demanding I think about them, find solutions, get jobs done by day's end. I am awake and there is no retreat, heart pounding. I steal a glance at the pointless alarm clock, glowing red, and reach out to turn it off. Once 6:30am was a rude awakening, now it is an impossible target. It would take at least a week of vacation to get there...
High above was an eagle; the sultry air was being beaten by colossal black feathers, darker even than the oil that they were drilling from the ground. Against the noise of the rigs and machinery it appeared silent. In that moment Jamie wished he was a painter rather than an engineer. He imagined himself painting the white plumed head and midnight feathers, his mind clear and his heart rate somewhere below the constant pounding that came with the job. He could even make out the yellow beak - but this job paid money and artists starve, so really, was there ever a choice?
Kaleb hardly ever showed emotion beyond fatigue. He showed a polite interest in the lives of his family, of his wife, and otherwise kept himself to himself. But today was different, everything Annie said was wrong, when she voiced the frustrations of her day he exploded in the way he did every few years, with words that pulled no punches. He knew her better than anyone, loved her more than anyone, but in these infrequent failures to suppress his rage at the world he tore into her like only a lover can. He knew her weak spots and deepest pains - she was an easy target. He watched her face change to hurt and anger and it only served to bring his own fury to a higher boil. Annie started to pack her bag, this wasn't a time to stick around. She'd been there, done that, this never ended well. If she stayed he'd break her down into a sobbing mess, then cry himself, needing her to facilitate the reconciliation. This way the pain would last longer, but at least the cut wouldn't be so deep.
And then the chef came from the back, pink in the face, her blonde bangs pasted to her forehead with with either steam or sweat. She was child-like in her proportions but clearly an adult. From the crows-feet around her eyes she was probably forty something. She smiled in the way inconvenienced people do. Likely she had orders to fill and now some big customer wanted to speak to her in person. While she smiled at the suited man, her fingers were being crushed in the rhythmic grip of her other hand. After the exchange she made a small awkward bow and retreated, the smile vanishing from her diminutive features and her pace stretched out wider than looked comfortable.
From the garage comes hammering and a few choice swears. Adam is on another DIY kick. Sal opens the door to find him standing amidst an array of different lengths of pine. The project isn't progressed enough to tell what it is yet, Sal hesitates before speaking. "Hey, Dad, what is it?" Adam looks up, eyes wilder than she'd expected.
"A clothes rack, an airer, something to dry clothes on." His mouth stretches into something that could never pass as a smile and he lets out a huffy sigh. Sal nods, eyes still taking in the chaos.
The stress spread through my mind like ink on paper. I took in deep, ragged breath before placing my hands, enclosed together, onto the table.