Habits

 

https://lindaghill.com/category/stream-of-consciousness-saturday/ Thanks again to Linda for this weeks Saturday Prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “toss.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

 

Wheres my sheetee? She said, fear in her voice.

We tossed it out dear, said her parents. You are nearly twelve and we think you’re a bit old for sheetee now.

Sheetee was the fake satin nightie that she had outgrown many years earlier but had kept with her, a nighttime companion through the all the years and the fears. While she sucked on her thumb, curled up on her side in bed at night, she would hold onto a small corner of the soft fabric and gently stroke it against the skin above her upper lip. Then she could drift off to sleep. 

In the few days after the loss of Sheetee, she would hunt through her underwear and her pajamas, even among her sister’s clothing when she wasn’t around, but she never found anything to replace that perfect silky, fluid comforting smoothness that was Sheetee. So over time she learnt to do without Sheetee, fidgeting in her bed, tossing and turning and mumbling to herself as she battled with her loss. Sometimes her sister would sigh loudly: Whats wrong with you. Can’t you just lie still? 

In the following weeks she found something– or more likely it just kind of crept up on her– to replace Sheetee. Nail biting is an unpleasant habit– it is not pleasant to watch (who wants to see someone gnawing away at their fingernails?) and the results are not pretty– but years later, when she found something to replace the nailbiting, she reminded herself that maybe they should have just left her alone with Sheetee and then everything might have been ok. 

So after the nailbiting, and she always said that it helped to cure of her nailbiting habit, came the Weed– that smoky pungent stuff that just lifted you, holding you as you floated about a cloud of blissful nonchalance, giggling your way through the hours (or was it minutes? Sometimes it felt like hours).

She never tried to kill the Weed habit– it got too late for that. Somebody, she couldn’t remember who, had on one occasion slipped something else in there. This is the Real Thing, she had heard someone saying as they all leaned back from the low coffee table, sniffing loudly, some of them licking their fingertips and rubbing them against the last white traces on the table. 

Years later, she lay on her side in the large cool room, on cool white sheets, the murmuring of nurses nearby. She had asked one of them, begged her in fact, for just a little Something to help her through. The nurse had kindly obliged with a small handkerchief, plain white cotton, but with a fine smooth border of soft, fake satin.