Sunday, May 09, 2010

outside, the cars come and go. they stop and start, red and green, like magic, like clockwork (science is magic, magic is relative).
'come back to the table, a,' she said.
'should i?'
she was silent. afraid of my mother, as always.


'-so I said to him, don't touch it, it's loaded!'
laughter. the sort that ripples across a table, when you can tell in the higher notes that at least one person, like you, didn't think that was particularly funny.
'its wonderful, out there,' p continued. 'you can feel the sun in your bones - not on your skin. deeper, as if it's worked its way across clear air and inside of you.'
y smiled at him, shyly, while d gazed wide-eyed.
the clink and clatter of cutlery, steel on china; clear, thin glass against wood (the muffled thud, as wood, once living, gives, just a little). and polished spoons on polished lips - that cacophony of eating.
such is punctuation, at a dinner table.
in one ear, i hear the birds singing (to calm us down).
(not real, not real, i have to keep reminding myself. focus on the sounds.)
someone's talking about buying a house. it's time, they say . . to build something, to keep something. for some reason, i think of nathia.
l touches my fingers, under the table. i come back to them.
'has anyone had any strange dreams, lately?' i ask.
p smiles, y looks nervous and d turns away from p.
'i had one, last night,' she says.
my eyes, and a vaguely motioned knife, say 'well?'
'i was running,' she said, 'across an open field, when suddenly i noticed that there were no flowers - only dying buds. i had to keep running, because someone was right behind me, chasing me.'
p looked at her hair, caught.
'i kept running, but i kept worrying about the flowers,' she said. 'so eventually i stopped. i turned around, and there was no-one there. i picked up a dead bud . . . and it turned green, and begun to flower, right in my hand.'
her eyes always opened wider, at this part.
'but then i felt something digging into my skin at my wrist, where my palm begins. the flower was growing into me. inside of me! i could feel myself getting weaker, feel the blood flowing out of me, and into its leaves. the last thing i remember,' she finished, 'was lying in an open field, under a tree.'
as her last syllables hung in the air, she looked happy with herself. that was always d's way, i suppose.
p brushed a strand of hair out of his eyes, and touched d's wrist.
'was it right here?' he asked.
and now d was caught. so it goes.

when i left, p had just begun to tell a story about finding truth on his travels. i mumbled something about needing to check on the dessert (even as a child, i was always plotting escapes. a favourite was glancing at one's watch, and then feigning surprise, as if you've just remembered something. as a ten year old, i think that one amused them - either way, i was gone).
y, i remember thinking, always chooses so unwisely.

at night, i stare at cars. it helps me sleep, in cities without seas. that night, i sat down, to write.
"i'll always remember april, because of the tendrils of grass, the sun, and the tree.
when i was young, i would run. sometimes from imaginary friends, other times from imagined fears. i still do, of course. that April night, it had been fear.
across yellowed grass, dying from heat - too exhausted, it seemed, to live.
eventually, my legs slowed (as they always do). i felt as if i was running through thick air, as if all the weight i could imagine was in my hands, my feet, my fingers, my head, my heart - i couldn't run. i had to run.
after my fears consumed me, i lay in the yellow grass. i picked at a dead flower, watching as its petals dried up at my touch, as it turned to dust.
instead, its petals twisted, slowly; pink, and then a deep red. i felt its tendrils, caressing my wrists (and i thought of l). i felt its roots touch my veins, and i cried out (as i do, with l).
the last thing i remember was lying in an open field, under a tree."


i turned to watch l's silhouette in the doorway, and followed her soon after. 

the cars come and go.

- animals, or, glass against wood -

1 comment:

  1. don't steal other people's dreams and then run away. thief.

    i like this.