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The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes Life Stories

Sylvia Plath
• Abigail George
The waves breaking against the shoreline. I am lying on my back. It is a pleasant day. All I see is blue. Blue passing me. Not a cloud in the sky. Not a silver lining.
Ted and Sylvia

I see yellow too but it is not as bright as the sunlight. I see figures. Soon we will eat a picnic lunch. A plethora of scientific phenomena exists in the sea. Everything looks different in the light. A childhood spent at the sea. And then there were the echoes of a scholarship girl. I was excellent at that. So successful. Can you see them? The waves. The waves inside my head. Oh well, you cannot see those. Best you can’t. Once I was an adolescent girl sunbathing.

Now I am a wife romanticising life with a passion. The environment I find myself. The London experience. Please help. Only afterwards, they will say this Hiroshima inside my head is genetic. Illness genetic? Poetry is condensed magic for children and for grown up children. Why does my husband not love me? Why does he not love me enough? Why am I not good enough for him? Is our love story over? Give me the sun. Give me the flight of the dandelions because they travel as far as the land that borders on God, the fellowship of the wild, and the closure to the complete essences of the laughing carcass. There is a panorama.

There is a separation. There is also a detachment. It is unnecessary but it is there. It comes upon one’s personality hidden at first as if to say that it is a vision. I am awareness. I am a scientific phenomenon. So take notes. There is also a cruelty to it. You can’t miss it. There’s a cruelty to in separation, to humanity, to worship, to detachment, to love, passion, when you scold a child. Nothing is straightforward in life but what can I do? Take those pharmaceuticals. Swallow them down. If I am real with myself, I would proclaim to be a real nobody. I don’t like what I’ve become so I pretend that I am clever. I pretend that I am a nice girl.

Nice, kind, decent and good. I don’t like it. I have to admit that. I don’t like it one bit. There is a change in the climate. It feels as if I am heading for a breakdown again. This image of the autumn chill is always on my mind. When I wrote, rain poured into me. Aesthetics and French stories, the anatomy of the spiritual, a sense of being vulnerable, being made vulnerable, beach life, salt and light. I remembered once upon a time I was sufficient, when I was genuine, authentic and an original. I remembered when I was a unique in the system but then the establishment thought I was a fraud. No good. In front of me lay philosophical consequence.

Is my life and all I have lived for a failure? Perhaps I should have been more religious. Perhaps I should not have made those bonfires and burnt that correspondence from my mother. Daughters do what their mothers did. One life to live. One life to love filled with war and peace. Filled with the seasons, the phases, the positions of sexual transactions. Give me the kitchen table wisdom of my mother. An old man’s wisdom only my old man was a Nazi sympathiser. Give me Paris once again. Watch how carefully I put the sprigs of rosemary on the succulent, innocent roast lamb in the oven. Nothing chicken about it after all. It is a phenomenon.

My kitchen. My kitchen. It guides my thoughts. My golden creativity. My children surrounds me with a golden light. Here is my writing nook. My study. I could be in Cairo or Timbuktu for all I know. Everything elegant. Everything has its place. If only my husband knew his place. If only my husband knew where his home was. I cannot wash away his sins and I cannot leave him because I love him. And when he is not here, I miss the war. The information in his eyes. Those bonfires that I lit left terrific ash. Making love is that most terrific of the most primitive of the arts. I would hide from the celestial lights in his arms. Naked in the moonlight. Our lovemaking a ghost story. My breasts a ghost story. A poetry anthology. A survival kit made for two, made for a much ado starred union. If he, my dear, dear husband is not here who will fix the broken hinge on the kitchen cabinet.

‘In fact you’re saying that I’m about to ‘dig my own grave’ again, so here goes.’ She said with a small, knowing smile.
‘Shouting is your drug, Sylvia, not mine. You’re just doing this to test my loyalty to you.’ He threw his hands up in despair.
‘You’ve tested my love every day of this marriage.’ She yelled.
‘I live for you and those two children. They’re my blood.’ He yelled back.
‘You want to leave me. I can’t cope. I won’t. I won’t be alone.’ She pouted and sulked.
‘Nobody’s asking you to go out on your own, to be by yourself and be a single mother to two small children. You’re putting words in my mouth.’ He counterattacked.
‘Liar, don’t deny you’ve ever thought that it would be easier on both of us if you did.’
‘I never betrayed you, Sylvia. I never had an affair. Sylvia, I’m here now, that should count for something.’
‘Betrayer. I don’t want you here. We don’t want you here. Go to that brazen woman. Declare your love for her. Hold onto her not me. She’s sane and attractive. Is she kind? She tolerates you. She’s got everything going for her. Go and have your love affair. I hope it inspires you. No, I hope she inspires you to greater heights.’
‘I regard you, Sylvia, as the most important person in my life. You are a nurturer and caregiver to my children, you are my wife, my life, my mate, my life partner. Why can’t you see that?’
‘Why can’t you see that I’m not blind or stupid? I have eyes. I can see. Do you think I don’t have the faith to know that maybe this is not going to work out happily ever after? I know you’ve been keeping secrets from me. Ted, a woman knows everything. I don’t want to talk to you anymore. I hate you. Look what you’ve done. You’ve made me hate you. You’ve turned me into a scorned woman. I’m bitter and cold. You’re distant. You are so distant from me and you don’t even know it. Don’t even try to explain your way out of this. I saw the way you looked at her. The way she looked at you. It was in the way you spoke to each other, leaned in when the other one was talking. You’re driving me up brick walls and down brick walls and all the while I am hitting my head against them. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. I have this pounding headache from beating my pretty little blonde head against them.’
‘Sylvia, Sylvia, Sylvia. Listen to me. We can fix this. I can make ‘us’ right again.’
‘There is nothing, nothing in this world that you can do to bring the two of us back to where we came from, that perfect moment, that perfect start. You’re such a coward. Do you need more clarity than this? Do you really need another explanation? Do you want the truth? I want out of this mess, this relationship and this marriage, Ted. There is no more ‘us’. There isn’t a future for ‘us’. Who is this ‘us’ you keep on talking about?’
‘You don’t have to scream. I can hear you perfectly. Sylvia, be reasonable, be sensible.’
‘I’m sensible to the moon and back, reasonable until I’m all worn out with the very act of it. All I do is live for you; respond to your every thought, breath, and movement. How agile you are Ted, no, you’re really an animal, to escape and not to escape, through your work and your lectures and other women. Your hunger inflames me. Don’t tell me that there have never been other women.’
‘Just say it. Go ahead. I am waiting for you to say it. There, say those words that will shield you from this manic rage, this episode, episode after episode. Sylvia, don’t let’s argue, don’t let’s fight in front of the children. You can cut through this tension with a knife. You’re the knife in this equation, Ted and you’re cutting my heart into little, tiny pieces until there’s nothing left of the love and respect I felt for you when I first met you. Presently I feel nothing but pity for you.’
‘I think you’re making yourself sick with worry and disgust. There’s no need for this unpleasantness.’
‘Do you know how much I crave your honesty?’
‘You want everything from me.’
‘Is that asking too much? Poor Ted. My expectations of you are too high. I’m disappointed in you.’
‘The woman I knew, the woman I got married to was a big, beautiful dreamer with wisdom, life experiences, ideas filling up space and void, heart and mind, the battlefield of emptiness, valley and black sea of the sorrow. The woman I married also had a desolate feeling of loneliness and perhaps in some way I was attracted to that.’
‘You’ve hurt me so much. I don’t think I can ever forgive you for this.’
‘You said once that I make you happy. Sylvia, look at me when I talk to you. We had that connection when I first met you. You’re not alone, Sylvia. I said I would protect you.’
‘No, I have to shield myself from you, from all your airs and your charisma and your swagger. You don’t make me feel safe anymore. I even believe that I don’t love you anymore. I am not in love with Ted Hughes and I can scream it from the rooftops. Ha, whatever happened to the mutual admiration club when I adored the poet Ted Hughes?’
‘You sometimes astonish me. I think that everyone in the universe is not without a fair amount of damage and surely you can see that I’m not.’
‘It is just that they go undercover with it. You have decided that is not you and that is not the way forward for you.
‘I love you.’
‘Is that supposed to mean something to me?’
‘We took vows.’
‘Now you’re going to bring God into this.’
‘You’re attacking the wrong person, Sylvia. I haven’t committed any wrong. I haven’t committed adultery.’
‘You don’t know the meaning of the words humanity and right, Ted. I have the right to live my own life. The same way you do now. You feel you don’t have to answer to anyone even a wife. And once our life together was a beautiful dream and now it’s ghastly and miserable. We’ve failed at this. No, I’ve failed. There I’ve finally said it.’
‘Listen to me.’
‘Don’t you, you, you fool get it? I don’t want to listen to you. I don’t want you. I don’t need you. I don’t crave you. You’re not my emotional addiction. You’re not my responsibility.’
‘I am your husband.’
‘Then why don’t you start acting like one. A good husband, a good man for change or is it beyond your understanding and comprehension. Is it beneath you?’
‘If you like you can stop pleasing yourself. You can stop acting as if you cared what is happening to me. As if someone like arrogant you could actually give a damn.’
‘You’re pinning me in a corner.’
‘Life is leaving the math and art and the creative spirit up to God. I have to look after my children and myself now.’
‘Our children. They’re ours Sylvia. We created them together. They were not conceived via the Immaculate Conception.’
‘You’re getting mean now. Am I finally testing your patience?’
‘I haven’t left. I’m still here and that must mean something to you.’
‘Mr. Hughes, you’re a caveman. You’ve burned me up. I have to save myself from you with serious intent before all my strength leaves me. The thing is Ted. In your quest for perfection, for this perfect life, perfect wife, perfect set-up of a family you forgot me. You forgot to take me along for the ride. Instead you took your mistress because let’s call a spade a spade, that is what she is.’
‘I love you.’
‘Once there was magic in your loving Ted but you’ve been telling tales. You’ve crossed the line.’
‘I love you.’
‘I’m not something to be possessed. You don’t owe me anything. You don’t own me.’
‘They’re my children and you’re not taking them away from me.’
‘You’ve lost and admit it. You just can’t handle it. You can’t handle me. You can hit, beat me over the head with a stick, but I promise you I won’t feel a thing. I won’t give in.’

© Abigail George Jan 2015
Email address: abigailgeorge79 at

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