The Vanity of Waiting
by Gloria Manthos

I am waiting for
though I don’t know what.
It was so easy when every minute of every day was
Dictated for me,
Read to me.
When my thoughts were of no use to anyone
Least of all me and
My actions were a result of others’ wants.
I am waiting for
It was so easy to figure out what to do when the bombs
were falling like snowflakes from the sky
When rockets clipped tents and
the only thing that kept me from crying
was that there were a million people in the same place I was
and that there were millions more who were going to pay for it
with their lives.
I am waiting
For Something
to fill the void of my vacuous heart held captive for too long
I am waiting to attain purpose
and hope a path will form
because I have blazed all the trail I can possibly blaze
and all that lies as evidence is earth and bridges scorched, burnt to nothing
Blackness surrounds.
It crunches underfoot.
I am waiting
for Love to awaken within me
when for so long it’s only been hatred
I’m waiting for relationships that are friendships rather than
sex-crazed lunacy devoid of any passion or true feelings.
I’m waiting to become a woman as women are meant to be, filled
with grace and whimsy because that part of me is feared to be dead.
Comfort has been denied me for so long that there is nothing left that I can find.
And yet,
Here I am.
For life to appear.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Waiting is something that always happens to me rather than something that I make occur. I move too fast for other people, think too fast, write and work too fast. They say I’m gonna “burn out like a roman candle in the night,” but if it’s not at the cost of another’s life, I guess that isn’t so bad. I feel like I have destroyed my entire life with brash decisions and even though the life I live now is “the dream” that everyone wishes to obtain of being truly free from all confines, I can’t help but notice the disdain and hatred seated behind their eyes in their souls when they recognize my hobo happiness. It makes me question and second-guess myself constantly. It makes me seek false security in the very things that will kill me in the end. Loneliness is a drug and most easily attained in a crowd of people.

IMAGE: “Peacock II” by Walasse Ting (1990).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gloria Denice Manthos is the child of immigrants who has emigrated all over the U.S. after her time in the military. She prefers living under the open stars to domestic living, and is always seeking that place where she can lay her pack down forever. She is thirty-one years old.