MUSHROOM m i n d

By Steph Raymond All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Poetry



After two beautiful weeks of exploring art galleries and quirky restaurant and café’s

she found herself sinking once again.

Life in the city shifted between divinely

d r e a m – l i k e

and tragically harrowing.

For most of the summer, Gemma and Caleb worked together at a cantina

in a beautiful isolated park, with a

w a t e r f a l l

and walkway nearby.

They biked to work together every day,

in an enchanting trail filled lushly with large willow trees, ducks, swans, and even wild turkey. Gemma loved that about this city: Nature was always close by.

By the end of summer, Gemma was tired of the anxiety her sexist boss created in the work place and having all of her female friends and co-workers quit gave her the courage to do the same. So she took up a job at the gas station near her house until a full time job in the field she studied would finally come along.

Gemma and Caleb spent their days off exploring their great city with no money.

Museums and galleries were free Thursdays, which they took advantage of whenever they could. But their favourite hideouts in the city were the secret ones wrapped in

w i l d


offering a private place of healing.

Not far from their house, behind a dense wooded area, lay an old overgrown military complex.

All of the buildings were torn down and so the only remaining remnants of the once populated area were moss covered driveways and old lanterns covered in wild ivy.

There were willow trees scattered about in and between the large fields of wildflowers.

They would pack coffee, fruit and a blanket, lay together in the flowers and watch planes from a small nearby airport fly overhead every so often.

There were many ways to spend good days in the city, but typically only one way to endure a bad one.

After rent, bus passes, and bills, there was rarely any money left for food.

Caleb was working to get promoted to a full time status with the catering company he was working with, while Gemma job hunted on her days off of working at the gas station.

The job made bad days worse.

Though she usually was at least able to steal some of the expired food her boss would normally

send back for reimbursement, she still could not stop panic attacks from happening in front of


Especially when those customers would harass her whenever she worked alone,

day or night.

She’d just biked home in the

r a i n

and low glow of the lanterns after working the late shift.

She came into their room with a face full of tears.

Luckily Caleb was still awake.

“Are you all right?”

He immediately walked up to her and wrapped her body in his arms.

“It was a really hard day.”

She says softly, whipping her tears.

“the medication isn’t working and I don’t want a higher dosage.

It keeps going higher and higher

and nothing fucking helps!”

She allowed herself to lose herself in her tears...

in darkness.

“I wrote you something today that I hope can help you

. Always keep it with you, especially on bad days you can remember who you are.”

He unwrapped himself from her to grab a letter that was sitting on the bedside table.

She sat on the bed to read it.

It was pages and pages filled with all of the things he loves about her.

She read the words with urgency and as she read she wished so badly to see herself the way Caleb saw her.

From the way she tells her stories, to the small quirks that she wasn’t even aware she had until now.

And he was accepting of all of it.

Of her darkness

and her l i g h t .

When she was finished reading, she lifted her tear streaked face and pulled his own to her.

“You are the most amazing human being.

I love you so much. Thank you.”

He kissed her softly.

“Never forget who you are Gemma.

You are magnificent.”

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