- A road, especially a private one, leading from a street or other thoroughfare to a building, house, garage, etc: You stood there at the end of the driveway with waves spilling from your eyes. Distant, yet so close. I had every urge to run back down and hug you one last time before she dragged you off out of my sight. In synch, we bobbled our heads with the wind. Your smile was the first to come, so big and bright. God, it was contagious. Why did you have to smile that day? Mirroring you like I always did, I flashed my own teeth and laughed. Like two puppets controlled by a goodbye, we raised our arms and waved. “Don’t worry, I’ll see you again one day. This driveway won’t be the last place we meet.” I wonder, as she dragged you into the Jeep, did you understand just how much of a liar you were? 2. Any road for driving on: The driveway of a road stretched on for miles as you sat beside me staring down at your phone with a particular interest. Our heads embraced each other, hair tangling, as I leaned my weight against yours. “Whatcha looking at?” You smiled and pressed a hand to my cheek. “Oh you know, just the pictures of you in that Ren Faire dress.” Luckily, my mother was too focused on finding a driveway to back out of and turn the car around to overhear you. But, now that I look back on it, something about that moment really makes me wish she had overheard you. Then maybe, as I write this, it would be just a little easier to tell her what you did to me.
- A large pad for supporting the reclining body, used as or on a bed, consisting of a quilted or similarly fastened case, usually of heavy cloth, that contains hair, straw, cotton, foam rubber, etc., or a framework of metal springs: As in laying on a mattress while listening to Twin Sized Mattress on loop through faulty wire earbuds. Having barely just enough motivation to pick my phone up again and check the time. Exactly 3am. I curse these hours. How many minutes have I taken considering the connotation of her invisible farewell? (synonym: goodbye) I could tell you countless stories about her. How she once saw a demon poking its eyes from out under her mattress. I think she was just delusional and out of it though; that, or the Ouija board really had done something horrible to that house. I had warned her against the use of the damn thing, but yet, she didn’t listen… like usual. It makes me wonder what she did with that mattress when she moved. Probably threw it away. After all, it still had specks of me scattered throughout it. I bet she’s still finding my hairs in her clothing. And I hope every time she finds one, it hurts her more than that demon ever would. 2. A layer of concrete placed on bare ground, as to provide a footing; mat: The pool’s surrounding concrete mattress was sizzling hot like an iron frying pan. Why the hell did mom force me to come here every Saturday morning at the crack of dawn. The sun was barely even out yet! I was huddled near the edge of the concrete where the water rippled below. Soon enough I would have to dive in as the coach’s whistle blew like a morning rooster. When it blew, I launched myself into the water and let out a frustrated squeal with great agitation. I didn’t want to be here. I felt so tired from the night before. Everything was so cold and wet. There were so many people there. So many eyes and mouths, opening and closing. Staring and talking amongst each other. I watched in silence as a few of the younger kids waddled in a line on the concrete mattress. They all looked so innocent. Something about that made me jealous. 3. A layer of any material used to cushion, protect, reinforce, or the like: My therapist used her words like a mattress, cushioning me in her gaze as we awaited the impact. I didn’t want to speak in those moments. I mean, why would I want to? Opening up on such a topic was torturous to my mind. She nodded towards my hands as they shook. “Remember, deep breaths.” As much as she wanted me to breathe, I didn’t want to return her wish. I would rather pass out on that sofa in starfish position than let myself breathe; the cushions were my emotional mattress anyway. If I were to go down, I’d want to go down in here where things felt somewhat fine. Honestly, I didn’t deserve this clean, pure air; non-intoxicated and filling unlike the stuff at home. This air is quiet and calm. There are no door slams, and no screams from my father. Just pure stillness.
For another personal reflection on Mental Health, read this poem by Rachel Ari.