The tree through the window is still today, except for some of the top branches that look like they’re waving. I say out loud the first of the five main worries, keeping my index finger and thumb pressed together. I compress the worry to nothing. Then I release. I repeat the action and name the second worry. I gradually make my way down to the little finger, until I’ve recited all five of the worries: no more money worry, no more family worry, no more home worry, no more career worry, no more death worry. I fall asleep. When I wake, I find a used envelope. On it I write my expenditure for the month. Incomings and outgoings. If I don’t buy coffee, or books, or lipstick, or rye bread with seeds, or meat, my outgoings will be less than my incomings. The car needs fixing which is less than the coffee, books, lipstick, rye bread with seeds and meat. If I get the car fixed, my outgoings will be be more than my incomings. I can sit and type in my house and write two thousand words a day. My mother might call, which could reduce my daily word count and my incomings. I account for interruptions made by the kids, but not phone calls from my ex. I don’t account for wine. If I buy wine, but not the coffee, books, lipstick, rye bread with seeds and meat, my outgoings will be less than my incomings. I will be able to buy wine. As long as nothing changes.
Emma Jenkins is a writer from Liverpool currently working towards a Writing MA (LJMU). Her creative nonfiction explores current and historical social narratives from the female perspective.