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The Squeeze



Being poor

Really poor

The squeeze

The fear

The panic

The restless nights

With angry legs




Playing out everything in your mind

Everything that has happened,

Everything that could’ve happened

And what might happen.

Its funny how your imagination works when you don't want it to


The second you try to write

To produce

To create,

Its gone.

That imagination that keeps you up

Focusing on the worst of you

Shining a light on it




To be better

To make moves


When i get up,

I’ll do this and that,

I’ll be different,

I’ll save my money,

I’ll be better at life

I’ll workout hard


I’ll eat healthy,

If i could only get some fucking sleep.’


You don’t sleep.

Your heartbeat quickens

The thoughts don’t stop

The mind is sprinting

While the body

The body flips pillows

Lays flat

Turns onto one side


Onto the other side


face down

Head buried in a pillow

Nothing is comfortable

The legs

The damn legs man

They’re angry

Yelling at you

Attacking you

Like a parasite.

The legs rub together

As if attempting to ignite a spark

And catch your sheets on fire.

You turn again,

You stick a pillow between your knees

You try to focus on your breath

‘10 deep breaths,


Just focus on your breath.

Nothing else.









In hale and ….

I still need to pay my taxes from 2019!

They’ll garnish my paychecks soon!

It's only two hundred!?

I can do two hundred!

Why haven’t I fucking paid it yet?!

What the hell is wrong with me?

Why do I ignore shit like this

And hope it’ll just go away?

Oh shit!

10 breaths!

Where was I?!

Oh yeah

At three



And exhale



And exhale….

I need to find the title for my car!’

Your mind takes off again

Leaving you

You feel helpless

You cannot control your own mind

It’s as if there is a noose around your neck

And you aren't being dropped suddenly

The rope is just slowly tightening

The thoughts

The stress

The anxiety

The squeeze

You feel it all

All at once.

You check the time

5 fucking hours until you have to be up for your shitty job.

You sigh

You scroll through your phone

‘Just for a minute’

You say to yourself

One minute


Into 1 hour

Your bug eyes

Illuminated by a small screen in your hand

In a pitch black room

Pitch black except for your phone

If you fall asleep in the next few minutes

You’ll be able to get four hours of sleep

You stress about stressing,

Creating it.

Feeding it

There’s a kink in your neck now

Your eyelids feel weighted


The eyes sting a little

Your head hurts

You take a sip of water

Of course it goes down the wrong way

You cough

And gasp


but coughing up air

After 10-20 coughs and gasps

You settle down a little

You lay back down

Grab a pillow and put it directly over your face

Your in it now

The squeeze.

You finally drift off

And wake

So exhausted when you do

That all the changes you were going to make,

When your legs were angry at you,

They fade away.

‘Maybe tomorrow’

You tell yourself.

You’re too tired in the morning to skip the expensive coffee drink,

Too tired to wake up early and make breakfast



You’ll grab something cheap

From somewhere cheap

But first,

you’ll lay in bed as long as you possibly can

Before being late to your shitty job.

You rush through a shower

Brushing your teeth while in there

To save time.

You speed to work

In a panic that you’ll be late

Traffic has you stressed

You’re stressed about spending money on breakfast and lunch.

Money you don’t have

You’re low on gas

You’ll have to get gas

You’ll do fifteen dollars worth

Just enough to get by

Until payday

‘Oh well’

You tell yourself

‘No point in beating myself up about gas,

It can’t be helped

I have to drive

Don't I?’

The squeeze is tightening.

You get to work one or two minutes late

Hoping no one will notice

They don’t


They all notice the bags under your eyes

‘Like a racoon!’

One of them says

‘Only 8 hours to go’

You tell yourself

You take a breath



And this happens


After day

After day

After day

And you have restless nights

With angry legs


After night

After night

After night

After night

And the days

And the nights

They add up to weeks

And the weeks

They add up to months

And after while

You are 29


You haven’t changed.

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1 Comment

Jennie P.
Jennie P.
Nov 30, 2021

This is extremely profound and relatable. It makes me want to change the way I live my life

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