Beneath My Beautiful
Martha Razi
Abstract illustration of a mix of colors

Beneath My Beautiful

Martha Razi

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  • Nonfiction
  • Memoir
Narrated by


There is a numbness,

a blankness, a blandness.

I am in my own prison and all I

hear is echoing, hollowing,


I am at the surface, though

but something’s caught my foot


I want to kick, kick it off of me; but,

there is a numbness,

a blankness, a blandness.


Today, I got an order totally mixed up. It was better than yesterday, though. Yesterday, I couldn’t even bear to talk to a customer, I had all work lines on flight mode and so, business was unofficially closed. It was a really bad day.

What triggered this bout which started about two weeks ago was my son. Not having him with me bothers me so much I try to block it out by not calling. At least, not often. Every phone call leaves me saddened. And that last phone call just broke the camel’s back.

It seemed like he had disconnected from me, did not really remember me. That brought on those old feelings of rejection and abandonment; aloneness. Was he leaving me too? Was I unneeded, unwanted by him too? I ended the call before my mum could hear the tears in my voice. I have cried every night since, for the past two weeks.

I fell into a routine: wake up, attend to customers; after work, sit in front of the TV, not really watching sometimes; and then cry myself to sleep. It was weirdly satisfying. I was content, with my sadness and tears. I did not need anyone. I cut off from my more personal social media accounts, wouldn’t take calls that were not work related - not that that many people called, anyway. Irrespective, I was fine with not being thought about. Life happens to us all and so, perhaps others were also dealing with their own troubles. I try to be fair in my thinking, not expect too much. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt still. Humans need connection, affection; and yesterday, I needed love.

The interesting thing is that there were people showing me love but, sadly, it wasn’t enough.

[PS, I use the term, “love” very loosely, to mean affection, doting.]

Sunday, I woke up with a strange burst of energy. It was so convincing I considered honouring an invitation I had received the previous week. It was not  an easy decision, though. Up till an hour to the time, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to go, or could handle going.

Well, I went, and it was nice. At the beginning, I tried to talk about my pain but it seemed like they felt I was just having a bad day and so offered sympathy hugs and general words of encouragement. That in itself made my eyes water more. I did not want hugs, I am not a hugger. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, pitiful. No, I did not want pity. What was it that I really wanted? I’m not sure that I know.

I drank a lot, possibly too much. I talked a lot, possibly too much. I think at some point I was called something similar to a conversation hogger. They obviously meant no harm but that also made me want to cry. I thought: I shouldn’t have come out, I’m just an endurance exercise to everyone. Home was good, safe; and I didn’t have to hold tears back at home. But, for some reason, I stayed. Even joining them to a second party location.

At the end of night, I got in my Uber and it all came back. With a new ferocity. By the time I got into my apartment I was a sob ball. I did not know why I was crying. Or maybe I just cannot remember. But, I cried so hard my head hurt.

In the morning, I thought we were back to our regularly scheduled high functioning depressive programming but, no. Sleep hadn’t rebooted my brain. I continued crying. It was a full on episode, complete with anxiety. I felt so defeated, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was not prepared for the world - work, customers, staff, no one. A mere SMS notification gave me a panic attack and so I put my phone on Silent, and work lines on flight mode.

I reached out to “love”. I thought, if anything could save me, “love” would. At the same time, I wondered: if they saw “beneath my beautiful”, would they still find me beautiful; or broken and wretched?!

And that got me crying again.

And in the end,

we are all

just humans,

drunk on the

idea that love,

only love,

could heal

our brokenness.

-Christopher Poindexter-


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Martha Razi

Martha is available on Twitter @martharrazi and on Instagram @martha_rrazi.

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go to issue IV

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