When I close my eyes, I can sometimes feel the creepy crawling creatures that hide in the night. I feel the dirt that clings to my skin as I lay on the sticky ground. The cold seeps inside my worn clothes. I smell the garbage from the dumpsters and other unwashed grimy bodies around. Some snore in a drunken stupor. Some groan and moan in pain and stiffness. I cry as silently as possible. For my alternative is worse. It is those people who look down their noses and make me feel they are better. It is those people who won’t share their food with me or give me a bed to sleep in. I should feel grateful for their leftover scraps and their cleaned floors. It is those people who make me feel like a worm. It is criticism and harsh words or that condescending – ‘poor girl, she doesn’t know. She has to be taught… she has to learn.’
I come here to these people because we are all equal here. I even feel the love and affection some give me. It’s unfortunate we have to live in the back alleys. I don’t need to be told – life is not fair.
Then I wake from my nightmare and look around at the pristine cleanliness of my new, life. Everything is white. Everything is clean because it is white. When I’m awake I learn to block the sordid past and convince myself this is and always has been my perfect life. I can’t afford to let emotions inside or this will all fall apart.
Some might think I need help. Those are the people who didn’t have to live in chaos, poverty or abuse. They are the fortunate.