She lived in a house along a row of other houses. Nothing special about that, except it, was her house. To live in as she pleases. She couldn´t care less about what other people said about all the different colors in her house, what business was it of theirs anyway?
Her living room was overfilled with plants. There was only one large window in the house, so she didn´t have space for a grand piano – not even a baby grand. She made up for it by hanging up a poster of the magnificent instrument.
One day she was very upset because one of the plants was sick. She went on believing it would revive, long after it was dead.
Sophie had been awake for hours. Watching the colors on the ceiling change as the sun came up. She was not in the mood to get out of bed.
She couldn´t remember when it started; this tidal wave of never-ending cold and dreary dark that left her sapped of all meaning. Beholding the void, she could see bleakness with such clarity. Her mind would ruminate, pushing her to the brink of madness. Her thoughts had converted to questions now. She hated questions.
Could she trust her memory? Was there even a hint of truth in the strange life of hers?
She used to love writing letters. But writing letters was hard now, she never knew how to begin. On good days she passed her time creating her own reality now. She had this vague memory of a poet, who once wrote that life is boring, but we must not say so. She had forgotten his name.
It was probably not true that life was boring. Not always. She got bored by people. She hated stupid people or being stuck in situations. That´s why she became another person every day. Life was much more interesting that way. Most of all she hated men; they were simply difficult. She had never known many men, and lately, she found she had to research to remember what they look like. For too long others had made choices for her and she had lacked the determination for change until she got stuck and fell like a brick. When she got back up, she simply decided no longer to be a puppet in the hands of a fate somebody else decided. She had altered herself; went against her nature and became self-indulgent. But only slightly. It made her mad sometimes.
This was not the life she had been dreaming of. She found that she had developed in strange ways, and she had been looking for a picture of herself of how she looked once upon a time. Maybe once upon a time, there had been photographs of her in existence. Not anymore. As a child, she had always been rather lonely. She spent the most time being secretive and pathetic. Her mother made her life miserable, but she came to label this as good enough since she didn´t know any better. Maybe she was just an accident? Or maybe she was too random or too small to be seen? Her marriage sure had been an accident.
She wanted a job, not a real career. Just something to save her from the boredom. Boredom was awful. She was sure, that one day she would get really happy in her life. She had to! It was simply too great an injustice that some people had such a terrible time in their personal lives.
But there was nothing, nothing at all. She was encouraged to do more of the same: having one child, and then another and go on to expect another one.
Freedom: how she had longed for it. She wanted to go somewhere; anywhere. Most of all she wanted to find herself. But she was afraid that somewhere along the line she would discover that everybody else was the same as her and lose interest. All she ever wanted was to be charming and cheerful.
She must have been an instinctive actress because she always played a part written by somebody else. That must have been it: the understudy: that would explain why she always compared herself to other women. No, she didn´t have authorship of her life but maybe, just maybe it would become easier if she simply turned into a narrator.
Her mind started to look for a rival character. Or was it a friend she was desperate to find? She ended up dividing her mind, and for a while, she thought she suffered less. Until she realized it left her even more miserable than before. Where once she could see waterfalls in the clouds, now there was only black on the walls.
She decided that elation and depression sprung from the same tree. Maybe if she had a more sophisticated background, she would have understood these things. It might have been nice perhaps, to have a bird. But she couldn´t find it in her heart to put the bird in a cage. Maybe a dog then. But what if the dog should die? She wanted to expand her knowledge of the world, see what others see in it. See better, clearer, and more. Above all: more!
She was no longer able to express the range f her feelings. She started to drink alcohol and dream up violent situations. She was no longer able or willing to deal with anything. She started fantasizing about an ending. She didn´t want to be alive as herself anymore: going through the motions, answering the phone, accommodate everything and everybody.
It turned her mean and she didn´t get much done around the house anymore. She would literally stand around for hours.
She started to go on walks, long endless walks. She could think better that way. And maybe even stop worrying. Until she started to forget what it was, she was worried about, to begin with. Most of all she forgot to prepare a lot of dinners and suppers.
Sometimes she could convince herself she knew what the answers were until she forgot what the question was, to begin with. Maybe it was the wrong question and therefore of no consequence.
Now, in the morning she had coffee. Very strong coffee! She still feels terrible for days, but she tries not to think as much anymore. Her benevolence and cheerfulness are gone; for good. And when she gets really bored, she simply immerses herself in grief, that way at least, she still gets to get something. And it´s the only feeling she is familiar with now. At least she´s allowed her own role in her own drama.
She´s shabby, but she can´t be bothered to do something about it. Long time ago she had decided her life should be good, or at least not too bad. And a little funny too. Though that proved easier said than done.
Was it worth questioning the possibility of a slight truth to be revealed? Maybe life itself was just a question of interpretation after all. Maybe it was all untrue or just a sentence with a question mark. She no longer knew if she could trust her memory.
Didn´t everybody have their own truth? And if so, could that possibly mean that hers was valid as well?
She got up out of bed, walked to the gilded mirror above the mantelpiece, and looked at herself. She always found that her image looked prettier than she really was.
Is my truth the same as yours? She asked her reflection.
I have been fed lies, breathing lies, telling lies, and above all: living a lie for so long: I became a lie. Even death became a lie, or so they make it out to be. Out of a desperate need to avoid the truth. The whole of human culture is a distortion of the truth
She wondered if maybe there was glory to be found in defeat. Would that make her a heroine or just a fool?