Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Creative Writing

By: Lori Zeth

"I'm looking at his chips in my palm and I can't do it, can't even take the chance. Not here, not out in the open. I avoid looking at Riot."

Choices. As humans, we all have the right to make choices according to how we prefer to live.

I am all too experienced in domestic abuse. I have been on the receiving end more than I care to admit. The words she thought about Bruise before leaving the casino are still stinging me, in an uncomfortable yet familiar place. She can't even make a mistake, or fail at a casino game, without being afraid of what Bruise is going to do to her, against her, about her. What is she afraid he will do? As I read her story, I can feel the fear she has of Bruise, and the disgust she carries deep down inside for herself. I don't think she can leave Bruise, although she is having an affair with his brother.

She says they can see the scars on their walls, but it's easier to drink. Their drinking cannot be helpful to their marriage or their communication. Bruise seems to want to work all day and drink and party all night. I don't see this as a healthy life or relationship. I can feel that she wants more out of life than just empty whiskey bottles on the table and more scars on the walls.

If Bruise loved her, he never would have let her subjectify herself by becoming an exotic dancer. Why would you want your wife to be dancing erotically and within reach of other men? All the "Hallelujah money" in the world wouldn't be enough to have me parading myself in front of men. The first time my husband would have called my employer to double check that I had arrived for work, would be the last time I went home to said husband. I know what it is like not to be trusted, with information or men. I know how it feels to have someone tell me they care about me, then act as if they do not.

Riot shows an interest in her, a real interest. She imagines what it would be like to be with him. Riot respects her, listens when she speaks, offers her a ride to her car when it is cold; and he follows her to her special spot, on the bleachers of the baseball field.  Riot doesn't judge her, isn't rude to her, and doesn’t press her for information. Riot sits with her in silence.

Though she seems not to love Bruise and is falling in love with Riot, she is paralyzed in her marriage. Paralyzed by the right to choose. Even with the right to make our own choices, we sometimes cannot decide for ourselves which is best.





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