for Claire –
I slept. I ate too much chocolate, swallowed some Pepto and slept. When I wake up I find my bed is piled with clothes that I may or may not wash. Maybe tomorrow. For now I begin to write while listening to Seafret sing “Oceans.”
In my dreams, I went fishing with a cousin I don’t have and caught an alligator and went shopping for books in Chinese. Someones mother was there. Everything was familiar. It wasn’t my life.
It’s good to wake up. Even if it is inside a room 9ft. by 10ft. Even if I still haven’t hung up the picture from Nienburg Germany or the mirror my sister gave me. It’s good to make my own coffee and eat canned beef soup or oats with brown sugar before I get dressed and face the frigid politics of another Friday in January.
I don’t have to caption calls for the elderly deaf today. The old ones, ready to leave their islands of silent moving things. May their arthritic shoulders hurt a little less. May the son or daughter, who preceded them in death, stop screaming in their ears. May they remember when their mother would whisper goodnight from the bedroom doorway and they pulled the heavy comforter up past the chin, and later in the night would run into her bedroom long after dad was home from work, and sleep by their bed in a sleepingbag.
We thought the man-thing would stop chasing us. We thought we’d run faster and manage to scream. We thought it was just a dream. We thought we would grow up and deliver boxes for UPS, build sonar for submarines and be an adult too mature for monsters and mixing dreams with reality. Who could have known we would know less by knowing more?
But if we wait awhile, if we allow ourselves to live until we can’t run anymore, and out of breath and hope, sit down in a cafe in st. George Utah, if we turn around to face that black emptiness as it approaches, it will begin to break apart. It will split into a thousand redwing blackbirds and fill the room in a shivering blanket of black. If we allow ourselves to live long enough. If we try again. If we dare to sit still. They will speak to us in rolling notes. They will cry with our voiles and lift their feathers as if to show us the wounds they carry on their wings.