‘Suddenly Doreen grew even heavier’ #18

i’m reading the bell jar.  the section i’ve just read reminded me of my dream last night.

i was in college (where i work) heading across to the canteen.  a young girl stopped me and asked if i’d carry what i assumed to be her friend across with me as she had trouble walking.  her friend’s height came up to my waist and she looked very much like one of the characters in the film ‘freaks’ (photo).  she was heavier than she looked and i was terrified of dropping her.  i carried her across with me.  she grinned maniacally at me as i did so.  i set her down and sat elsewhere.  i looked up and checked on her occasionally, she grinned at her food and ate clumsily.  i got up to to leave.  i couldn’t leave her alone so i asked her where she was going.  she said she was getting on a train and so i said i would take her to it.  the same fixed grin remained but felt different.  i was worried she would feel anything toward me.  she was lighter this time and appeared to be shrinking.  i carried her onto the train.  either she did not notice the staring or she did not want to acknowledge the eyes of the other passengers upon her.  the grin stayed on her face, she chose to look at me.  i picked her up to adjust her position and ease her discomfort and noticed that she could fit in the palm of my hand.  i sat her back down like a doll.  i was worried that she would fall through the gap between the seat and the backrest.  she looked cripplingly uncomfortable but seemed to smile to alleviate my concern.  both of our gestures were futile.  i stayed on the train for a while but soon could go no further with her.  i left the train and stepped onto the platform.  crowds rushed past me and packed onto the carriage i’d just left.  i suddenly realised that i’d forgotten my bag.  i rushed back to where we were sat, my bag was there but she was gone.

‘Suddenly Doreen grew even heavier.  Her head drooped forward into the puddle, the wisps of her blonde hair dabbling in it like tree roots in a bog, and I realised she was asleep.  I drew back. I felt half-asleep myself’.

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4 thoughts on “‘Suddenly Doreen grew even heavier’ #18

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