I don't believe in the feeling of vulnerability. I don't believe in powerlessness.
Sure, there are some things you can't change. Lots of things, maybe. But the key to eliminating helplessness is to absolutely deny that you can't do anything. Make believe that if you take little steps toward progress, then things'll get better. It'll make you feel better to be moving somewhere, even if you end up nowhere at all. The trick though, is to seriously believe that you are going somewhere. And if nothing happens, try again.
There is no such thing as powerlessness. It doesn't exist if you don't want it to.
On another note, I edited one of the short descriptions I posted here earlier. It's actually a complete story thing!
She ripped out a big hole in the side of the cardboard box.
A big, sagging hole in the corrugated layers of the brown papery thing. It smelled like cardboard. You know, the vague smell of wood that reassures you of its cardboard strength, that harks back to dry long hollow slices of bark and tree. The smell rubbed off on her hands clenching the ragged piece of board she’d torn away.
Then she set the piece down carefully on the smooth factory floor and vomited.
She set her palms flat on the cold, worn-away concrete and remembered to fling back her hair so it wouldn’t hang in front of her gaping acid mouth. She just opened her lips wide and let it all spill forth, splash onto the ground and fill the fine grooves of the old floor. Thick dribbles of her internal liquid galoshed and glunked and spilled over the cracks between her fingers, dark and a little sticky and still warm.
She just felt suddenly sick and couldn’t hold it in anymore.
Three weeks later she felt like she’d finally vomited her guts out. It had happened every day, right when it struck five o’clock, and she just choked and spilled and gagged for 90 minutes straight. It would sputter and she would clean up. 25.25 minutes later the after shocks would begin, the slim shivers of carrot slivers and partially digested cow parts swimming up her esophagus, leaping out of the slit between her eroding teeth. The aftershocks were sporadic.
Everything would cease at 11:30 p.m, totaling 8.75 pints of vomitus, stomach acid and food driblets and orange chunks and all.
She decided that her sickness was so violent that there was no use leaving the cardboard factory. “I’ll stay right here until it’s all over,” she mused. “I don’t want to get other people sick.”
Three weeks later and she knew it was her final day of puke-a-mania. She’d marked off her “episodes” on a calendar, a small pocketbook she’d purchased just for the occasion. It came with a free pen with which she detailed, on the pale fine pages, what recognizable chunks flew out of her mouth, and when unusual things like gobs of black tar plopped out of her pharynx. She’d studied everything rather carefully and decided there was no pattern to the unusual materials she’d been egesting, but thought the log might be useful someday. Looking at that month in her black leather book, sitting on a cardboard box, she realized that everything would round out to an even 21 days. It just occurred to her just that way: “of course, it’ll be the gestation period of a little chicken! How silly of me not to realize that.”
Afterward she looked back and had no clue how she’d figured it out, how she just knew when it would be over and what she had to do. But it turned out she was right. So that day she set out her prepared bucket and prepared herself to use it for the last time, at least for now. She would be done with this egestion and she could get back to her sickening exegesis, and then perhaps in another 15 years it would happen all over again, another 21 days, no known emetics, exhaustion and a bitter acrid taste inhabiting her pale mouth.
She set her palms carefully on the floor, this time mindful enough to keep them apart from each other. Then it began, as it always did, a violent lunge of liquid pushing against her throat
And the last day happened.
After she was done, she dumped the vomit away into a large sink and washed it gone.
Then she began to clean everything up. She scrubbed the vomit out of the grooves of the floor, as best she could, and threw away all the boxes stained with flecks of stomach juice and disintegrating grape skins. She poured bleach on the floor and down the walls until everything stank of chlorine. It masked the vomit smell.
It felt clean, sterile, and oppressive.
She sat down on another cardboard box and expected to rest her tired and pruny toes. Instead she fell right in, ass-flat on the concrete floor. Sigh! First an irritated esophagus and eroding teeth, now a bruise the size of a tangerine firmly imprinted into her buttcheek. She sank into the silence of her own thoughts for awhile (not like anything else made sound in this place) and plopped back, knees hanging over the edges of the box, feet up in the air. A deep breath out of her irritated throat and she got up.
Examining the box, she found a big saggy hole in the middle of the cardboard. Of course she fell through it—it had a hole in it. And then it hit her like a wall of vomit: she had torn that hole!
Re-examining the box, she found a big terrible confusion written all over it. The corrugated layers had collapsed underneath her waify weight. The cardboard smell disappeared, fading into a stench of chlorine and puke. It was just a nearly soggy piece of mushy paper. Paper.
She decided the erosion was a sign that this world was about to collapse in on her, and that she had to hurry before it crumpled and fell in on itself, taking her with it.
So she took a brief look around her. Everything smelled of her insides and her stomach.
So she jumped into the big hole she had ripped, and fell into the next world.