Foreground to background:
Zeppelin, Bean, Agent Smith and “The Fishes”.
Sarah asked Ben to tell her a secret. They were both naked and the bedroom was dark. Hot air moved too slowly in through the windows and over their skin. They were hot from their lovemaking which had been strange and beautiful. Something about how dark it was, how blind they were…each of them had seen things that were not there. The clarity of things in the dark reminded Sarah of when she was a child and her Mother read to her at night. She saw it all so clearly. She had pictured just now, several faces watching her and Ben. Not alien. Not Angels. Not Doctors or scientists. Faces. Smart faces studying the way they moved in and out of eachother and then separated in the heat. She wanted to know what Ben had been thinking, but instead asked for a secret. Ben repeated the word, ‘secret’ and then took some moments to think. Sarah wondered if he was choosing one that would not upset her or if he was making one up. Sarah had too many fears for a girl so brave. Ben could be heard shifting his head on the pillow. He told Sarah about the first time he had seen a woman naked. He was 7 years old and had been left with a babysitter while his parents went to a party. The house down the street caught fire and a woman ran naked and screaming down his street. Ben felt himself stir inside. He marveled at the light on the woman’s breasts and her flailing arms. Ben’s secret was that he thought all women came from fire, and that all of them were pale and screaming gifts. Sarah saw it all as Ben spoke. Sarah imagined the faces again, all of them nodding like things bobbing in a boat’s wake. #nightwalk
Sometimes Larry would hear a song, or smell something cooking, or even feel a soft wind, just so… and it would be fresh in his mind again. The loss of her. The amputation of the piece of him that held him upright. The wound would be fresh and he would be reaching for help, leaking what he knew were feelings but felt so much like blood. She was gone. Cut away without warning and he teetered. He swayed. He leaned on others, but they were lesser crutches. She had been a piece of him. She belonged. Most days he did not notice the limp in his walk. Enough time had passed. It was the way of life, this thievery of things he held dear…this strange unseasonal series of gifts he found in each day. But then it would be a song. A car’s radio as the vehicle passed, windows open and the driver unaware that his route was a blade. Or the woman cooking in a kitchen, just feeding her family. She was an unknowing blade. The wound would return, the ghost of her would appear and Larry would be reminded that he was human. He missed her. He was reminded that a piece of him moved on its own beneath the same moon. The same sun. But he and this piece no longer were one. #nightwalk
Helen could not get the image out of her head. She had heard the screams and had followed them into the dark woods to try to help. She did not know the girl she found. Too young to be swollen with a child and too old to be unable to speak. Helen surmised she had been kept somewhere dark for too long a time and against her will: That she had been filled with the seeds of a child again and again, until finally there was a Spring in her belly. Her pale skin looked like it had taken many lashings and bore the marks of someone else’s anger and confusion. Helen had arrived too late to see the child. She saw the opening, torn and still spilling, but no infant. The screams she had followed changed mid way in her search, from pain to sorrow. No doubt the moment of separation. Helen found the girl, repressed into an animal over years of deprivation. Howling for a child that had been taken moments before Helen found the open girl. Open and crying and longing in sounds that were not words but that were unmistakable expressions of loss. Helen knew what it was to lose a child. Helen knew what shape that loss made. The girl reached at the darkness but was too weak to search further than her arms’ length. Helen listened for the footsteps of the monster who had taken the baby, or for the newborns cries, but she heard only the sounds of her own grief, of this girl’s grief and the subtle thrashing of the umbilical moving about the dirt as if it wished its severed tip were an eye. #nightwalk
Miriam was still pretty wet from her bath, but lay in her terrycloth robe on her bed and let her hair leave a large wet spot on her comforter. She didn’t have to reach to feel the lump beneath her left arm. It was big enough that she could feel it there: taking up space inside her and stealing years away from her life. Miriam believed her tumor was a thousand worries and things unsaid; all turned to a piece of tissue that began to fight for a voice. For her attention. In order to deal with it, she needed to raise her arms in surrender, literally. She had not told anyone close to her that she was being eaten alive by something inside her. Her family and friends, her children, her co-workers…none of them knew. Miranda imagined the tumor vanishing into darkness. She closed her eyes and saw it glowing and textured and alive. She studied it and told it to go away. It had made its’ point. She finally got it. The point of it all. The reason to stay on earth as long as she could. Miranda let the tumor say what it needed to and thanked it. She imagined her body dissolving it away but reciting the lessons the thing shouted into her each day. Everything was precious in some way. Everything. No exclusions. Even the tumor and the pain and the fear that she might be too late to tell everyone she had ever met, ‘thank you’. Miranda listened to the tissue eat at her, and rebbutted with a sound of her own. Miranda chewed back. The thing and she had been made for and by eachother. The woman next to her in the elevator last week was the only person she had told. A small woman with a kind face and pants that were all wrong. Miranda cried when she told the woman, and the woman cried too. #nightwalk
Grateful to have just booked more work and to have birds in the trees and fish in the pond. #gratitude