The Sounds of Settling

I have had this job for a week and a half now.

Things are going pretty well, actually.

I no longer have the threat of piling up debts cluttering up my head. I no longer have to decided between groceries and gas. I no longer have to swallow the gravel of guilt when I notice my mother has slipped another twenty dollars into my bank account.

(It’s hard to catch a breath – they tangle somewhere in the back of my throat.)

My firm schedule will start next week. Specific hours. Forty a week. Benefits and insurance.

I went to the doctor for the first time in over two years instead of battling this infection on my own. I’d been suffering for almost a week when my insurance card arrived in the mail.

I didn’t have to suffer anymore.

There will be things I miss. I work evenings so I won’t get to see my parents when I come home. I won’t be able to have a mid-week dinner with the beau.

(I inhale for four seconds, let it linger for moment, before releasing it.)

My stomach is no longer twisted into knots.



Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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