“Belittle” by Kelsey Parrotte

Yesterday you were five foot ten and today your toes don’t touch the base of the bed.

You cocoon yourself deeper into the blankets, stuffing your face into fluff and exhaling deeply.  Drummer Boy beats on and urges you to peel away the covers. You groan.

It happens too quickly for alterations. You slide into your jeans and fold them over once, twice, three times.

“Again?” your roommate asks when you stumble into the kitchen. You nod, pushing up on your toes, reaching for a mug. “Maybe you should go talk to someone.”

Your beat-up Integra waits for you. You hate this car, really, but it wasn’t yours in the first place. You pull your seat forward until you can finally jam the clutch into the floorboard.

“I need the parts to fix this,” you say, stepping into the shop. The mechanic acknowledges your gesture but shakes his head. “We don’t sell parts like that here.”

Back in the car, you tilt your rearview mirror down. You strain your neck muscles as you look behind.

“Have you tried rewiring it?” the electrician asks, not looking past your shoes. “Wires fry up all the time.”

You feel like you need a giraffe’s neck to see over the dashboard, that or cushions taller and thicker than that princess who couldn’t sleep because of a pea. She had it easy, you think, slamming the Integra door shut.

“Things get clogged up all the time,” the plumber says to you, “but can’t help you there.”

You catch a glimpse of yourself opening the door, your coat canopies past your knees.

“Duct tape?” the employee asks, “Aisle 12, but honey you’ll probably need something much stronger than that.”

“Total comes out to $15.27. Let me grab a bag for these bottles.” You wave it away and twist off the first top, wondering if the bottle has to say DRINK ME in order to work. You ditch the Integra and swig back what’s left of the bottles. It worked faster for Alice, you think, staggering towards an abandoned playground.

You heave yourself into the swing seat and pump your legs. You used to play a game where you flung off your shoes, but now they fly off effortlessly.

You lean back and open your eyes, wide and aware to the disorienting world below. The colors blur and you cling tightly to the cool chain. Drummer Boy beats rapidly as you soar in swoops, wondering if this is what it’s like to fall apart, if this is what it’s like to watch yourself shrink into something empty, broken, unfixable.

It would be easier if you could just melt away with the rain, but you’re no witch. How long until there’s nothing left?

 


Kelsey Parrotte is a junior at Chapman University studying creative writing and literature. She aspires to write books for children, ranging from picture books to YA novels. 

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