Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Sky is Everywhere Extract - Jandy Nelson

I do not go to the altar of the desk to talk to Bailey on the mountaintop. I do not even turn on the light. I go straight into bed with all my clothes on and pray for sleep. It doesn’t come.

What comes is shame, weeks of it, waves of it, rushing through me in quick hot flashes like nausea, making me groan into my pillow. The lies and half-truths and abbreviations I told and didn’t tell Joe tackle and hold me down until I can hardly breathe. How could I have hurt him like this, done to him just what Genevieve did? All the love I have for him clobbers around in my body. My chest aches. All of me aches. He looked like a completely different person. He is a different person. Not the one who loved me.

I see Joe’s face, then Bailey’s, the two of them looming above me with only three words on their lips: How could you?

I have no answer.

I’m sorry, I write with my finger on the sheets over and over until I can’t stand it anymore and flip on the light.

But the light brings actual nausea and with it all the moments with my sister that will now remain unlived: holding her baby in my arms. Teaching her child to play the clarinet. Just getting older together day by day. All the future we will not have rips and retches out of me into the trash bin I am crouched over until there’s nothing left inside, nothing but me in this ghastly orange room.

And that’s when it hits.

Without the harbor and mayhem of Toby’s arms, the sublime distraction of Joe’s, there’s only me.

Me, like a small seashell with the loneliness of the whole ocean roaring invisibly within.





I throw my head into my pillow and scream into it as if my soul itself is being ripped in half, because it is.
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Clover said...

Wow, that was a really great extract. Powerful.

Anonymous said...

Hat was a amazing i will be looking out for that book!