The Screw

Sometimes over the course lasting longer and more drawn out each day, I find myself asking, “Is all I see ever really real?”

Did my mind see what it wanted to see? Did my heart accept the love I thought I deserved? Which truthfully speaking between you and I, the deserving end of the stick never added up to much. Quite possibly only a handful of pennies gathered up in the bleeding palm of my hand. Those pennies barely add up to a dime. If you’re wondering why my palm is a scarred up bloody mess, it’s because I squeezed those pennies too damn tight.

Because those are the only pennies I got. And I want to hang onto them. I fear losing them or dropping them. They’ll fall on the dirty, mud-mucked ground and their jingling sounds will ring obnoxiously in my ears. They will alert me. I will bend down in a fevering upset state, as the knees to my pants become soiled, and desperately pick each one up. Grasping each little copper treasure and placing them back into the palm of my hand.

Squeezing life out of a few worthless pennies.

Today I scooted out the end table. Underneath the table I noticed a tiny screw. It had blue paint around the swirled, old bottom connecting end. The size of the screw seemed no bigger than my pinky nail.

Dreams, pennies, and screws begin to flood an overworked mind. What did this screw belong to? Like my pennies belong to me, this screw once held something together. I look around at the objects nearby.

A bookshelf? The end table? Little wooden trains? Each object could immediately crash before me because it’s missing one piece. It’s missing the all important screw.

We are all walking, talking objects missing a few screws. Any minute, we can fall to the earth because somewhere we lost our final screw. This point comes to be known as the necessary breaking apart. Skin, muscles, connective tissue, and a fragile heart collapses under the weight of trying to hold everything together.

It’s hard to be a complete person without all the screws binding us together.

In trying to position too many pennies in the palm of the hand, maybe a screw fell out onto the dew covered springtime grass, and no one noticed. Maybe every person is walking around not noticing their screw dropped to the ground a long time ago.

Each person I pass on the street and give an unsure smile to. The people trying tremendously too hard at jobs that don’t appreciate them. Loving someone who never cared enough to see your worth and squeeze you too tightly in the palm of their hand. Each of these entities and soul-bearing humans could all be one distinct piece. There is a piece missing inside each of them which could ultimately make them whole and complete again.

We walk around and never take the time to pick up a screw and place it back where it belongs. As I did with the little gray, blue screw… I threw it in the trash. I didn’t know where it belonged. I didn’t want to bother in taking the time to find what object could fall apart because it didn’t have one missing screw.

Those pennies… they don’t have any feelings. They only carry a certain monetary value and we go about holding them in the highest importance. We count our pennies daily. We ensure they are all there and accounted for.

We are forever ignoring they will never add up to much. But we will ignore the screws.

Throughout the ignorance bliss, screws and people slip through unnoticed cracks. Pennies are gathered and treasured. They are given value and meaning. I don’t want to be anyone’s penny. If I find a screw, I hope next time I won’t throw it in the trash.

I want to place the screw back where it belongs and make the object whole again.




Rachel E. Bledsoe is a writer and an Appalachian Misfit Mama. She enjoys swimming, long walks on the beach, and Marie Antoinette biographies. She is the sole voice and writer behind The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. You can visit her on Facebook or on Twitter @MisfitMtMama.



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