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Hysteria


by Danica Colic


I was younger but not much. I kept notebooks of the symptoms
and hid them. I knew it was common and embarrassing. I tried all the   
     cures—
self-tanning creams, many pairs of shoes, worrying my naked body
 
in a mirror every night with the hope of finding the lure. Because I
     believed
the answer was in another. If I was not scanning the crowd for the face
of the other, I was imagining our meeting. But it was not all sex; sex
 
was only a way towards it. It was the union that would draw out the
     poison.
The poison was a hive of bees inside my gut that made the world
a cup of brightness in which I drowned. I am not asking for pity;
 
the time for that has passed, banality does not deserve pity, etc. I was so
     common
and foolish. I spent all my money on clothes. I was ruled by the weather.
Sun on my skin pained me, fallen branches after storms pained me, common birds
 
and children, etc. My posture left me breathless and exhausted. At night
     I felt
the hive grow larger than myself and rail against my ribs. I thought it
     was part
of my humanity. It was that which I learned to control. I cannot find
 
the notebooks. The other did not arrive. I gritted my teeth against the
     sun
and did not attack each day with my beauty. The world was a cup of
     brightness
until I learned to make it less so. I hardly ever now feel trapped inside
     this body.
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