She liked the café. The background clatter of cups and conversation. Just enough distraction. Music varied with time of day and staff. Today is was old and new folky; Jonathan and Mya must be working.
She licked her cappuccino foam moustache. She almost smiled. Sitting at her favorite small table with it’s single slightly wobbly wooden chair nestled in the back window nook. Thin winter sunlight, speckled motes of dust, refractured through the prisms dangling in the window. Once adorning a crystal chandelier in some elegant dining room, they now danced light through the café.
She looked out at the summer seating area, now forlorn and lonely. Planters with scruffy reminders of warmer days, ragged hedges, and empty spaces waiting to be filled with tables, bright sunlight and laughter. It mirrored her mood.
She came to escape, to fill the voices and crevices in her mind with sound. Not the whispering or shrieking voices. Like monsters, they were always a part of her life. Not socio or psychopath voices; not Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates. Not separate personalities fighting for dominance. Just her voice, in various guises. Reminding her of her inadequacies; her failures; her mistakes/misjudgments. Not kind, nurturing supportive voices. Harsh, critical, judgmental, cruel, grasping, they compared her to others and found her wanting.
Trying to gain control over their murmurings, she named them. Jade, the flash of emerald envy, never content or able to share in the celebration of other’s good fortunes. She whined, complained, got spiteful and snarky, enraged. A fearful voice, a powerful voice. The ragged edge of depression and the singe of anger.
She willed herself not to listen. To forget the injustice, unfairness, the bounty of others. But Jade wasn’t one to let go without a fight. Foot stomping and screaming. She could snark, avoid and reject. “Why always them?” she spat.
Jade disliked pretty women, popular people, successful people, moneyed folk. She judged against what others had, were, gained, received. She personified jealousy. Jade was a ghastly reminder and rememberer.She never forgot or forgave.
She got out her sketchbook and began to draw the world around her. The real world, devoid of raw emotion. The coffee cup, spoon carefully balanced on the saucer. A half-eaten blueberry scone, crumbs scattered across the plate, trailing along the table. Her pencil was precise; careful; slow. Not the flurry of furious attacks on the paper her voices generated.
“I’m okay with it,” she thought even though her eyelashes were speckled with tears. “He obviously wasn’t interested in me,” she sighed. “Gena is okay. She’ll be good for him. I want them to be happy.” “I should have figured that out sooner. Not made a fool of myself.” She felt heat in her cheeks. “Stop.”
Across the room, a couple were very much interested in each other. She flipped the page, starting with a fresh piece of paper and sketched the couple, so wrapped up in each other, they didn’t notice life swirling around them. She sketched their faces, a mirror of their images. Recognizable. Not their souls. Not their inner emotions. Here was only realism; nothing ragged, nothing raw. No insight into their souls when she drew within boundaries. When she created without the voices. “Soul insights are overrated”, she thought.