Leah awoke with wine stains on her tongue and lips. She got out of
bed, undressed, and ran to the bathroom. Leah started the shower, to
allow it to heat up before entering. While waiting, Leah stood
motionless and tired in front of the mirror. She watched herself,
waiting for a reaction. There was none.
Leah stepped into the shower. She recoiled as the water first hit her
belly, as it had become too hot. She reached through the stream and
lowered the temperature, slightly contorted to avoid the scalding
water while she again, waited for it to achieve a desirable
temperature. As the water cooled, Leah's body relaxed and allowed
itself to be rinsed. Leah reached for the shampoo. She held the bottle
in her hands, suddenly unsure what to do with it. Leah began to weep.
Her body shook slightly at first. Then as the sobs heaved, she began
to convulse and twitch. Her body was moved beyond intention and
control. Leah continued to stand and weep as the water pelted her. It
was as though the shower was mocking her momentary display of
There was no reason for Leah to cry this morning. Nothing
significantly bad had happened to her recently. It was an accumulative
wail, something that had been building for months, possibly years.
Leah rests her head against the shower wall, so as not to fall over.
The small thud her head made on the shower gave her an unusual solace. She threw her head gently into the tile again. An endorphin rush
maybe, something, motivated her to do it again. And again. Leah was
no longer crying, but instead beating her head mercilessly against the
cool shower wall. Blood began to stream, but Leah silently continued
her rhythm. Leah felt no pain; she only perceived the beautiful thud
made by her skull against wall.
As a baby Leah was famous for a bizarre behavior. Her parents coined this activity “the three point landing”. Leah would, without warning or reason, fall to her little baby knees and set her little fat baby hands firmly in place on the floor, directly below her shoulders. She would then proceed to beat her little soft baby head against the ground until restrained, forced to stop. This was how she acquired the poorly interpreted nick name from her father, “Existential Leah”, that still sticks with her to this day.
One might say Leah is a natural masochist. Born with a high threshold for pain, and an undauntable will to destroy herself.