“Are you afraid?” she asks. Her face is hard, unyielding except for her eyebrows. Her sympathy, her sadness, even her fear are all expressed through the eyebrows.
“Of madness? No.” I slide my gaze coolly from her face to the window, leaving her with only my profile to contend with. “There were too many years I spent fighting. Now that I’ve accepted it, there’s only peace.” I thumb through my hair as if to find something, I find nothing but a cold, white fingertip.
“Peace?” Her dark eyebrows quiver ever so slightly.
She’s used to always being in control here, my cold confidence is unsettling her. I no longer have a problem.
“Let there be insanity,” I say, “Insanity is beautiful in its own way.”
We sit on couches across from one another. I face east and she faces west like opposing sides of a war. A stand-off, a stalemate, our eyebrows telling all our secrets.
Out in no man’s land a cardboard tissue box is lined in green and pink posies. While the battle for my mind raged, I used too many of those tissues to count. Now that I have lost, I am dry, waiting for the terms of surrender to ebb me away.
I feel a certain intensity radiating off of her. It builds until-
“Insanity is not beautiful.”
“To each his own-“
“You’re basing this off of a feeling. Feelings are arbitrary.” Her features are still under control but her eyebrows are hysterical. I can just imagine her horror at the thought of watching me fall off that ledge with no reservations, no inhibitions. Giving in and giving up.
“This is no feeling. I’m sorry, but I’m convinced.” I say this in a quiet, 9.0 on the Richter scale kind of voice.
Today is the first time I see my mother crumble, her features wrinkling together, flimsy as newsprint. She knows I’m right. I reach out to take her hand before I know what I’m doing.
I hold her hand while she cries, probably for the first time in years. Color starts to pump into the edges of my vision I let it come and enjoy the beauty, neither accepting nor doubting its verity.
The half-moons of her nails bite into me.
“We’ll get you help, okay?” She grits her teeth through the ambush of emotion.
I simply nod, feeling rocks roll around in my head.


~ by Jade Elizabeth on June 15, 2011.

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