Digital clock, red boxy numbers. Two A.M. Baby monitor hum. Staying up too late to feel like my own person. Sleep-deprived, sacrificing myself to exhaustion for self-care. Eyelids, heavy. Bumpy drives, accidentally swerving onto the rumble strips and into the oncoming lane. Daytime: full time college student, eighteen-years old, mothering on my own, friendless. At night, there were no diapers to change or abnormal psychology to study or fakes smile to plaster on. No exhibiting my super-mom, prodigy teen-self who wasn’t letting an unplanned pregnancy stand in the way of success. Blank stares. Hot baths with lavender and Epson salts. Coffee ground and jojoba oil facial scrubs. Black painted toes. Audiobooks and yoga. Laying on the floor, legs up against the wall, eating snacks. Feeling out my adulthood, satisfied at not being told what to do. Late night baked cakes, eaten in one sitting. Hot, moist chocolate mouthfuls led to a memory of that scene in Matilda. Cut to: Jacob’s latter effect of nostalgic films, taking me back through time. Any time that wasn’t then. Boredom often shifted to rewatching script-memorized movies. Left hand, tumblr scrolling. Right hand, waistband housed. Poetry writing. One night, a movie ended. Digital clock, red boxy numbers. Two A.M. Baby monitor hum. The credits music woke me. Roku remote, accidentally rolled onto. Da dun. Unfamiliar TV show starts playing. Drawn in by seeing myself represented, like never before, coffee drinking and book reading and strange music and quirky movie-watching and academic goals and feminism and young, teen motherhood that worked out. It became my little secret. Another world to turn to, after my baby went to sleep. That crimson screen of Netflix disengage gave me something to look forward to. Rushing to turn the lights out and push play. Pulling my grey fleece blanket up near my face. Tucking myself in. Mothering myself. Three months of consumed nights. 7 seasons. 153 episodes. Nights became naptimes, too. During those months of watching Gilmore Girls at every opportunity, my crippling loneliness didn’t matter. My stressful daytimes. My moments in the mirror after going to the bathroom, self eye contact, when I saw myself and longed for that characterized disconnect. Checking out and checking in.
Savannah Slone is a queer writer who is completing her M.F.A. in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in or will soon appear in Glass, Crab Creek Review, FIVE:2:ONE, Pidgeonholes, decomP magazinE, TERSE, and elsewhere. She serves as the Assistant Poetry Editor for Boston Accent Lit and is the Editor-in-Chief of Homology Lit. She is the author of HEARING THE UNDERWATER (Finishing Line Press, 2019). She enjoys reading, knitting, hiking, and discussing intersectional feminism. You can read more of her work at www.savannahslonewriter.com.
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