sponge.jpgThe sponge streaked over my kitchen counter removing all loose residue, but failed to budge a droplet of what looked like concrete which had adhered itself to the tiles. I flipped the sponge to its rougher side and took a few more passes over the splotch.  No effect.  It remained like an ancient ruin. I could tell it planned to outlast the ages, come rain or snow or sleet or me.

But I'm no quitter. So, I found a scraping tool and braced myself, taking a wide stance and flexing my triceps. The thing gave me naught but a stony glare.  I scraped and scraped and scraped, but it was useless.  I was attacking an ocean with a teaspoon.

This ridiculous battle should have been funny, but suddenly I found myself in tears. 

I was frustrated, but what's worse, I was defeated.  Not by the spot on my counter, but by a calendar, commitments and deadlines.  Everywhere I turn there seems to be something which I've promised, someone I've committed to meet, a homework assignment due, a departure time for a trip.  It's endless and it's all my fault.

You see, I like my life full.  Living is fun and beautiful and full of emotion.  I wake up every day happy to see the dawn, my husband, and a set of tasks which I'm entirely capable of doing.  However, on some days, the worst days, it is daunting.

Losing my grip in my empty kitchen was not the plan last night. I should have been sitting at a long table in a library classroom at the local community college conjugating verbs and answering questions about a little boy named Marcel... all in French, of course. But I'd discovered earlier in the day that I'd racked up too many absences via travels and long work days, etc., to maintain a good grade.  

Faced with the prospect of a shabby report card versus a lightening of my overall load for the rest of the year, I swallowed the horrible lump in my throat and opted to drop my French class.

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The Girl Behind The Red Door

Audrey Camp

Audrey Camp is an American expat and freelance writer living in Oslo, Norway with her husband. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2012. Her essays have appeared in Forge and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine.

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