A Coin, a Ball, and a 20-sided Dice

Every coin has two sides. One side is the side you show everyone. On the other side: secrets you’ll never freely admit to, some of which you won’t even acknowledge to yourself.

On the public facing side, ridges and curves make up that image people perceive when they see you, hear your voice, or even think of you. Your angry reactions. Your happy reactions. Your sad reactions. Predictable as the changing of the seasons, with little variation.

I am not a coin.

I’m a 20-sided dice. You’ll see all of me at some point or other, and not all of it is pretty. In fact, very little of it is. My anger. My happy. My sad. It’s all a roll of the dice.

Screaming and crying. Beating fists. Red-faced, jaw clenched. Narrow-eyed calm. Roll the dice.

Smiling sedately. Grinning like a fool. A frenzy of activity. Roll the dice.

A solemn mask. Silent, still. Broken and bawling and shaking. Roll the dice.

Words surface. Depression. Anxiety. Insomnia. Then more words I can’t quite pronounce or spell without looking at the bottle.

Still, I’m not a coin.

I’m better, but I’ll never be a coin. With help, though, I can be a ball. A small, gray, smooth, soft, calm, predictable ball.


Jessica West (West1Jess) is pursuing a state of self-induced psychosis (reading, writing, editing). She lives in Acadiana with three daughters still young enough to think she’s cool and a husband who knows better but likes her anyway.

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