A Parable, or Why I'm Not Sleeping.

A soft knocking at the front door.  I answer, warily. 


“Hello, I represent..“ 

”.. the Fuller Brush Company,” I mentally insert while no longer listening.  Aloud I inquire, “And what are you selling me?“ 

She smiles half a smile and repeats herself.  “I represent the part of you that’s been neglected.  I’m offering you love.“ 

I laugh aloud.  “Not interested.“  I know it’s untrue. 

She looks straight through me, continuing to smile.  “Your jaw.  Your blood pressure.  Your attitude.  You’ve been neglecting yourself.“ 

“I can’t afford it.“ 

“That’s not true.  You can afford to love yourself.  It costs nothing to practice.  You only have to do what you already know.”

“It’s too hard.“ 

“It’s not too hard.“ 

“I can’t do it alone.“ 

“You’re not alone.“ 

“You frighten me.  I don’t want to love you.“ 

“You can’t love me.  You have to love yourself.“ 

“You frighten me.“  I look at my feet. 

She touches my face and slides her hand along my jaw until she once again looks me in the eyes.  “You have to love yourself.“ 

“I’m not ready.“ 

“You will prepare yourself.  You already have begun.“ 

A long and awkward pause.

“I’ve been disappointed before.“ 

Her smile turns incandescent.  “I know.  That is why you have to love yourself.“ 

“Is this all you have for me, or is there more?  Will you remain?”

“I don’t know.  Here’s a hair brush.”