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Five minutes later she sat up. Damn waste of time. Somehow, tired as she was, she couldn’t let herself rest. Wearily she picked herself up from the sofa and went to the kitchen. She took another caffeine pill. Back to the sofa. Look at the clock. Three hours and forty-five minutes until the rendezvous with her show club friends.

She flipped through their music library, and then through all the free radio stations. Nothing on. Pulled out from under the sofa the device Eryx had been reading on earlier, flipped through its contents. None of the books caught her eye. She didn’t dare use Network unnecessarily. Absently she scrolled through the pictures. There was Eryx. There was Periscus. There was her dear husband. There was her. She closed the pictures and sighed. The device was put back under the sofa.

Was this exhausted, unsettling boredom--disinterest--was it from the frustration disorder? Or something else? It happened to her fairly often. Her doctor didn’t know, of course; the last thing she wanted was one more prescription. Did anyone else ever feel like this? This kind of boredom--sometimes felt like it had itself wrapped around her neck and was trying to choke her. Other times it just made her anxious and fidgetly--made her constanly move between rooms, erratically inspect and abandon all forms that entertainment came in, sit only for a few twitching seconds in a chair or on a bed before restless movement reovertook, even open up a Tome and try to find peace hidden in its pages--until the medicom would ding and ask her if everything was alright, if she wouldn’t maybe like a tablet or two of sedativer?..., if it should call her doctor---No, she always told it. Violently told it. God knew how those tablets would give her hell’s dreams for weeks. She had taken them exactly twice in her adult life, and twice was enough. If a person reported negative reactions to a drug three times, then their medicom would stop suggesting it, their dispensers would stop providing it, their doctor would be notified--in short, they would never take it again without a direct, single-case prescription. Aerope didn’t have the will to make it to three times. Twice was hell enough.

She flopped onto her stomach and buried her face in the pillows. The next thought came without warning: What would it be like to die? She shot straight back up. God, don’t think like that! she screamed at herself. A slight tremor convulsed down through her arms into her hands and out her fingertips. That’s how people wind up strapped to cushy white tables in the miscementis wards of Help Centers.

Calm down, Aerope. It was just a passing thought. Nothing more. Nothing like when you were in high school. Just lie down again and breathe.

Slowly she laid down on her back. Closed her eyes again. Breathed.

Empty your mind.

She breathed.

Empty it of everything: Periscus, Eryx, Dexios, the club tonight...

In, out. In, out.

...the mirrors in the gym downstairs, the Mod Shoppe appointment tomorrow...

Each breath blew a thought away. Like leaves, they shot upwards, swirled, writhed, calmed, drifted out of the realm of her concern and off to a new resting point.

In, out, away. In, out, away.

Forget about the nightmares last night. Forget about Disabledness. Forget about Questioning. Forget worry. Forget fear. Release the restlessness. Forget...

In, out, away. In, out, away.

Dicard it all: Reason, fury, exhaustion, numbness, discontent, emptiness. You are nothing. There is nothing.

In, out, away.


Submitted: March 02, 2013

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