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What is this life after all?

By Melissa SteussyPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 2 min read
Photo by Kyle Cleveland on Unsplash

I sit with a leg dangled over my Craigslist 15 dollar couch

That reeked of cat piss

From a college student

That probably had more money than I did at 40.

He helped us load it into our truck

A truck that had seen better days

A deer took it down or was it

The other way around?

I left my coffee cup sitting on the 20-year-old stand

That reminds me of that time when my son was young

The time I would shop till I dropped without

Anything to show for it.

We sit around our Goodwill table

And eat from plates

With clutter

And no table settings

Warming up our free sandwiches

On the Panini Grill.

We walk through life

With piss-stained carpet

And post our pictures of

A better life.

We hope no one will knock at our door

To see the way

We really live

And how my pajamas are stuck to my


How I was made of ash and bone

And how hard I tried to wash

My hair

For you


But today

I just could not.

I reeked from the inside and out

And waited to be seen, truly seen,

I laughed nonchalantly

Out of discomfort

Waiting for the interaction

To end.

The platitudes

And social graces

Leave more to be


In my mind

I’d rather

Curl up in a ball

And count my


Than show up

And pretend I am

Someone I am


We pound the pavement

Day after day

Wating for acknowledgment,

A sign

That we are doing

Something right,

But it never comes

We are so caught

Up in our own plans

And ideas

Our shopping lists and our


We can’t hear

The mumbling of those around us

That need us

We are numbed by

The sound of our own brains

Echoing our should haves

And could haves or

I wish I would haves

We can’t see the forest

Through the trees we say

And that is true.

We are too bombarded by

The thoughts that surround us

And hold us hostage

In the night

We crave a life

Well lived

We believe it will come

When we fake it

Till we make it.

We try to erase

Our lives and make them

Look shiny

Like the squares I see

On my phone

Day in and day out.

They put me back to

A restful slumber

As I seek to find a way

Out of the madness and

To disengage from

The worldy inhabitance

To find meaning that is not digital

To find love

That is not fake

To find joy that is not hindered

By fear

To know that my worth can

Not be found in a store

To know that my inheritance

Is not man-made

To know that those who have left me

Have done it with reason

Maybe soon I will understand

This life

But until then

I cower under the weight of it’s

Hold on me.

heartbreaksad poetrysocial commentarysurreal poetryvintage

About the Creator

Melissa Steussy

Author of Let Your Privates Breathe-Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Family Dysfunction. Available at The Black Hat Press:



Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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