There's something in my mouth.
It feels like something alive. Squirming at the base of my tongue, right there at the precipice of my throat.
I'm afraid to part my lips at all. To speak. To take a deep breath. Because I am sure the thing will leap out and I'm not sure what it will do. All I know is this: I will be ugly.
So I clench my teeth and swallow and swallow and swallow. But the kids are fighting and no one is listening to me and its too loud and I think I think I think I was a person designed to live alone.
This is the other thing I think I know: I can't do this.
So I lock the door of the bathroom and sit on the floor with my head between my knees and the shaking clawing thing seeps through the cracks of my scrunched up face and drips onto the floor while one child tantrums on and on and is now crying come back, mama.
And I do. I go back. When I'm calm and even and capable after siphoning off some of what sat in my throat all morning. But it's still there. I know it will well up later. And it does.
She crawls into my lap saying web web. She hands me The Very Busy Spider and commands that I read read. And there it is in my throat again for no reason but I have to open my mouth so I shove everything down, packing it into my esophagus. The words come out all wavy anyway and in someone else's voice. I baa and meow in this strange pitch but by the time the owl hoots at the end I'm normal. She's too little to notice that I wasn't. I'm glad about that.
I drink some tea and I think this washes everything down. I can talk for the rest of the day, at least. But I'm a little worried about what's sitting in the pit of my stomach.
Perhaps by tomorrow, it will be digested. Whatever it is. Broken down and assimilated while I sleep so I feel whole when I wake up.
I hope so.