I remember mostly the oranges of that summer, as far as the eye could see, sweet hum of crickets and the million of them on the branches- heavy like christmas ornaments. And under night, in the beam of a flashlight they were a million glowing eyes. I remember the oranges and the smell of citrus and bees humming back and forth. They loved the trees, loved the rot of fallen fruit and the white flowers poking from the roots. The Orchard was dangerous around noon and I remember my mother once jerking my arm back as I ran to them; "You don't go near the oranges until dusk." A hawk, a smothering blanket, she tried to keep us from every danger in the world and what did it get her? A Daughter that never writes and a Son who lays under a tiny rock, covered up by a hundred white flowers.
Friday, July 20, 2012
The doors slide open on their own and fresh air rushes her body. A slight sense of disorientation, like the first moment after a daytime nap when you don't quite know where you are. The world has continued to tick without her, it's night already. Beeps and harsh florescent bulbs left behind, now dully muted with the closing glass. Each breathe shakes down her lungs and her legs drag forward to the bench. Sitting, staring at a thin tree on an island of groomed grass. She doesn't notice him until he speaks.
"Got a light?"
He's dirty, sweet sweat and something sour like unwashed clothes. Patches of a beard, pockmarks like cracks in the desert floor. And suddenly there's a lighter in her hand and she's not sure where it came from and this must all be a dream because she doesn't remember moving at all and then his cigarette is already lit and she's holding one of her own. And she doesn't even smoke but the smoke is in her mouth and things are moving too fast and she doesn't remember doing anything except wiping a cool clothe to her Husband's forehead fifteen minutes ago. "So, why're you here. Baby's got a broken leg or something?"
"I don't have children." And she never will.
"Lucky, they suck ya dry. I got a few, don't talk to 'em much. The girls graduating soon I think but I didn't get no invitation."
"My Husband is dying."
There. She said it. After years of "we're gonna beat this, honey", years of hooked up tubes and poison and vomiting at night when he thought she was asleep. There. She said it. As if by magic, the clock slows down again. Senses come rushing back, the lump in her throat sinks to her stomach and grows. Expands, a sponge soaking up the misery that's been dripping down into her for years. Words can't come fast enough-
"There can't be a God and if there is, he's a vindictive bastard. He's cruel." The man next to her straightens up and kicks his legs out in front of him. She's staring at his boots and her husband is dying three stories up.
"You know, I knew a contractor once, good guy. He was a friend of my cousin, honest.. always took pride in his work. Anyways, he's hired to build this house- huge. All hardwood, real expensive and he's buildin' it he realizes that they only want 10 windows on the top floor and he says to them 'You need more windows, there won't be enough air' and they say to him, they say 'Build the damn house! I don't want no more windows' and so the he builds it, just how they want it. Few years later, the family hires him again to put a fireplace in and he tells them, 'This house ain't right for a fireplace, there's not enough windows' and can you guess what the family tells him?"
"To build the damn fireplace?"
"Exactly! To build the damn fireplace, and he does. So again, few years later, glowin' ember from the fireplace catches the rug and the whole house goes up in flames. Everything's ruined, the family calls the contractor and says, they says 'You burned my house down! You owe me a house!' and the contractor says, 'Ya burned your own damn house down. I told you that you needed more windows and I told you, you can't have no fireplace but I'll tell you what, I'll help ya build your house again if you listen to me this time.'"
"So you're telling me that this is my Husband's fault? That he gave himself cancer?"
"No, no. Was it the families fault for the fire? No. Was it the contractors? No. Was it the person who invented fireplaces? No. Just happened, somethings do. Everyone's past and future all lined up to make one shitty situation. Now, you can go ahead and blame the contractor, blame everyone in the whole damn world for the fire but it aint gon' help anything. Now, you can blame God for not protecting your husband but how do you explain all those embers that just happened to go out all by themselves. How do you explain all those fires that never happened? You can blame God for all the bad things but you've got to give him some fuckin' credit for all the good things too. Jus' cause you build a train don't mean you can stop it from goin' off the rails."
She swallows the story down. It aches.
"What do I do now?"
"Hell if I know." And it hits her again, time, creaking to a halt. She can feel his fading heartbeat, she can feel everything now and she can't stop it. A tap on full blast, a torrent of water biting her ankles. She stands, fast, and her vision waves in front of her at the pure speed of things.
"I never asked you why you're here."
"I like helping people and there's no one in this damn world that needs to talk more than smokers outside of the hospital doors."
"Th-thank you." She doesn't remember walking but she's suddenly at the glass doors again, they slide their arms open and the beeps and lights and voices come sharply to life again. She looks back once more to the man as she's walking in, he scratches at the inside of his elbow
where an I.V. scab is peeling.
Monday, July 16, 2012
She slides fingers through her hair, eying her own reflection down while you stand off to the right. To watch someone in the mirror, an invasion into their deepest privacy- one in which even they address their own flaws. No one can edit like the author, no one can criticize as much as the creator and there she was. An author, a creator. The stars paid reverence to her skin, the ocean bowed its head in shame at her beauty. Staring at herself in the mirror, eyes to eyes- brows furrowing as she inspected. And you, watching her, shifting from foot to foot, waiting. She brings the lipstick out now and you want to scream(just a bit) because her lips are already so perfect and she applies even more and it's like putting a blanket on an oven- how hotter could she get?
"You're staring." A twist of a smirk, the reflection of her eyes dart towards the corner of the bathroom where you stand, awkwardly. She presses her lips together, perfectly, before releasing them. kissing her own reflection, god, at that moment you wish you were a mirror(just a bit). "You're making me feel self conscious" and it's a joke because, jesus, she's gorgeous and she's handing you the makeup and you're not sure what to do with it so you paint the mirror with large swooping letters- 'he's cheating on you'. And you don't know why you do it but you do, every single time you're with her. Leaving anonymous messages of impending doom, carving little statements under door knobs hoping they might catch someone. And they might be true, and it might ruin them(just a bit).Her laugh, "You're fucked", smile. "Well let's go then." You reach for her hand this time. Her shoes hit the tile a little too loudly and her lipstick smudges under your lips and she's a wild mess(just a bit). But she's your mess and at that moment you realize why you write things on mirrors, because if she was going to bring so much beauty into the world then it was merely your duty to make it a little
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A girl with a fever, laying in the devil's bed. Sheets clinging to sweat and nothing was
comfortable and everything felt so
wrong. His breath- big hands like wolf paws burning hot and you felt
faint with life. You felt like window smoke, you felt like dawn stars. His fingers trying to slide over your lava skin, your throat and mouth full of dead leaves and you couldn't
rake them out fast enough. A well, the heat pushing through your body and your spine spasms, you shoot straight up; sitting. Cool air to your dew damp lower back and you have to move. You have to move right now and everything is wrong and you lean, retch over the side of the bed and nothing comes out because there is too much sadness in you to possibly empty. And if it wasn't so gentle, if it wasn't so sweet then you probably could
stand it. But you can't, and you don't want to. He tries to pull you back, incessant and borderline pleading and you let yourself sink down because what is there to lose. And he tries to move closer and you turn your back to him, close your eyes and pretend to fall asleep. Stewing, baking, dying in that fever. Everything feels so wrong, so dirty and it sinks through you. In the morning you call your father and ask
to come home.
"God, strike me down if you're real!" and you grab him, stumbling, away from the ledge. "Wha, what. Don't worry, shhh" as his index finger moves clumsy before pressing itself (a little too hard) to your lips. "It's okay, it's not real, it's okay." You cross your arms over your chest
"Why did you even call me?" Annoyed, taking in the sight of him. Red fresh bruised knuckles, shadow blooming under his right eye.
"My dad.." he pauses, eyelids half mast, shifting from foot to foot and you shake slightly with the wind. Gusts rushing over the bridge and swaying the great metal strings holding you both up. "My dad died."
"Yesterday I think I don't even cause Mom called but I didn't call cause I didn't want her to yell I didn't and he died." Grasping for words, drunk.
"It's not your fault."
"It's, it is because I didn't call ever"
"Death doesn't care if you call, now, are you going to jump off this bridge or can we go home? You can crash on my couch." He contemplates the words, furrows his brow at them.
And you don't recall reaching your hand out until his takes it, pulling you down slightly with his weight, trying to steady.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Reality shifts, like staring in the mirror long enough for the whole world to come into question. Saying her name over and over again until you start to wonder if she existed in the first place. Your hands, palm down on the table and her eyes like two empty circles, two empty mugs.