The dangers of mashed potato

by Sarah Louise

There is a good reason for all of this, I just don’t know what it is yet. Yesterday I wore a red sweatshirt; this means nothing apart from that I haven’t done laundry in a while. I would usually choose a more subdued colour, given a full wardrobe of choice. Yesterday I sat on a park bench for ages watching some pigeons; this means nothing apart from the fact I should probably get out more, see more interesting things, in order to make the sight of pigeons less exciting. Moreover, sitting on a park bench for that long in the middle of winter is ill-advised. That I learned.

Yesterday I made some mashed potato. Just mashed potato. I accidentally poured the boiling water from the boiling stage onto my hand, which in turn caused me to leap back in pain and hit my head on a cupboard door I had left open. I managed to eat the mashed potato before I started to feel faint.

Yesterday I ended up in hospital with a suspected concussion. I could hear my ex-boyfriend singing to me, quietly, despite the fact he lives far away now. I could see the “whoosh” of life. I could see the sky’s tiny grey flecks, like soap powder which hasn’t been washed off properly; it’s annoying having to put laundry through the machine twice. I could see everything, or what seemed like everything, because how do you know what everything is when you’ve never seen it or don’t even know exactly what it means?

They sent me home when they knew I would make it through. I slept for 12 hours with headache dreams. Dreams about tiny chairs walking toward a cliff edge, but those tiny chairs are all me, and they don’t stop, they drop, drop, like lemmings and shatter into the sea, spreading their parts all around, a nuisance to fish. Eventually they end up submerged under gravel on the sea bed, like a huge sunken battle ship, only smaller. And it doesn’t make any sense, because dreams don’t. But a part of it is truth, I’m just not sure which part.

I wake up and I’ve been holding my breath, and I cough and can’t see and it’s 11am and my head hurts. Today I will eat only microwavable food. I have my reasons.

Sarah Louise: 25, student, Northern.

  1. #1 by oovj on January 8, 2011 - 11:15 am

    Excellent read.

  2. #2 by Glenis Burgess on January 8, 2011 - 2:40 pm

    congratulations, Sarah, keep on writing!

  3. #3 by leah on January 8, 2011 - 9:20 pm

    Was entranced by this—-just took me along on a fast spin of reality. Very cool.

  4. #4 by Giles on January 9, 2011 - 3:44 pm

    Is anything more depressing than eating a meal based solely on one form of carbohydrates?

  5. #5 by Sarah Louise on January 9, 2011 - 4:04 pm

    I don’t think so Giles, and I love potatoes.

    Also, thanks to everyone else for your comments!

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