My broken headboard is both the cause and the effect


My broken headboard, my sad book, my water bottle, and my laptop.

Lately, I’ve been propping my pillows at the foot of my bed, opposite of the “actual” head, because I don’t like it over there. Mostly because the antique headboard is broken—it has been for years. I always sink into the malleable metal rods, which is especially disheartening on the days where I’ve already sunk into the ground, my head suffocating underneath the dirt amongst the veins of the flowers that can somehow survive their coffin of a home. 

Every day I am weaker than the previous, sinking further and further below the ground, completely amazed by the flowers’ ability to grow in the same soil that asphyxiates me.

So, I usually stray away from the head of my bed, making a new home at the opposite end, choosing to simply look at the brokenness rather than sink into it. 

But those are on the days where I am well enough to stand, well enough to take control, well enough to face the defective headboard. 

Most days, I sink. And I curse my mom’s ornate taste in furniture, her knack for filling our home with garage-sale pieces, of which include my bed that is probably older than her. It aches with every one of my sighs into it, and it’s placement three feet above the ground—noticeably higher than, say, a regular bed—taunts me, for I am rarely living on surface level. I am rarely above the ground. 

I’m not sure how much further I can sink before there’s nothing left; as I stare at the headboard as hurt as I am, I wonder how much more of my weight it can take before it completely breaks. And I wonder if it notices the decay of what once was as much as I do. 

But when I’m leaning against it, victim to its intrinsic damage, it’s so easy to just drift away—I spend days trapped in my head, trapped underground, trapped in the shackles of my stupid broken headboard. I can’t tell if it’s easier to drift or to drown. 

I can’t tell if it’s better to look at what I broke or to let the broken pieces break me. 

To lose my oxygen from the soil that has replaced my lungs or the flower that broke my heart.