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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Contest · #2239374
Daily Flash Fiction challenge: I do housework in my head
The dark cavern I’d stepped into became illuminated suddenly as hanging lamps flared into life - the irritating flicker let me know there was a bulb with a loose connection somewhere. I blew out a long breath as I took in the mountains of paperwork and junk I’d been ignoring for too long.

“This place is a mess!” I muttered to nobody; I was alone here. This was my brain, after all.

I stepped forward and in doing so, dislodged a few files which had gathered near my feet. I held my breath, waiting warily to see if it would trigger an avalanche - I’d gotten stuck in here once before that way, drowning in an endless sea of overwhelming thoughts and memories.

Judging it safe, I started exploring, trying to come up with a plan of attack without getting overwhelmed and running. Here and there you could see vestiges of organisational systems I’d tried in the past; stackable boxes, filing cabinets - most of them half-buried by the rubble of shame and failure.

I took a closer look at one cabinet. I’d alphabetised the categories; “bills, unpaid”, “car accident”, “relationships (negative)”, “relationships (positive)”, “trauma” - and, at the bottom; “miscellaneous”. I smiled ruefully when I opened the drawers. I’d never filed a single thing in here.

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the task at hand; how could I possibly organise all this, and do the emotional labour of confronting the problems they represented, and find time to carry on functioning in the meantime? It was all too much.

“None of that!” I admonished myself. “First things first; you need music, you need snacks, and you need some small, achievable goals. You got this!” I nodded once, and settled down to work.
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