Ellery had not ever imagined himself a witness to something like this. The thought had never entered his mind. As if he lived in the 50’s and his mind remained in the waiting room while the woman gave birth. Commercial break and then the cigar. Or he believed in the stork without knowing it. He had never done the full trip: he had never considered his own arrival into the world, nor anyone else’s. Now Ellery was in a parking garage, his truck bed cradling a screaming woman who begged him to stay. She was having a baby. This moment. Ellery dialed 911 and somewhere between his mouth forming the words and address necessary, the woman, whom he had never met before, unfolded. Like origami. Flesh origami. She made sounds and turned colors unlike anything Ellery had ever seen. He held her hand and dropped the phone. He watched her body open and then her spirit…divide. She was suddenly two people. Ellery found himself amazed and weak in the knees. He lifted the baby boy towards his mother’s open arms, his small belly still tethered to her. The sirens could be heard now, approaching. The baby hardly cried and appeared to look directly into Ellery’s eyes. The child saw inside him. For a moment all three of them held their breath. The world moved like a ride in a gypsy carnival: The sounds, the colors and the unexpected bumps, too much for the senses, but nothing any of them would have traded for something less. #nightwalk
Had such a great (and late) night last night with new friends! Now off to brunch with more new friends! Yay coffee!!!!
Leslie watched the ladies move out of the church after service. Their ‘Sunday best’ colors like a moving bouquet around the Pastor, who smiled and kissed them all in turn. A little too long, Leslie thought. As if the part of him that was just a man was clinging to their cheeks, his lips alive with nerves and fantasies he was sworn to never have. Leslie did not understand the suggestion that certain religious figures were supposed to give up sexual intimacy. Not only did she see it as an impossibility and a lie, but she believed she had been closer to God when she was being loved and loving than at any other time. Maybe laughter. Laughter and intimacy. She did not understand how little of those two things a certain God would want in people. But there it was. A man. Several women. Colors. Wealth. Rules. Inside the bouquet they were, she saw the animal in them all. How each of them wanted to be against and inside eachother. It all seemed quite clear to Leslie, who sat by her cart on the sidewalk across the street. Leslie figured they could all meet in whatever Heaven was, after all of this, and talk about how scared and crazy they all were when they were in bodies on earth. #nightwalk
Elliot watched his wife sleep. She was fighting a cold and had worked all night at the prison. He had not heard her come home or felt her enter the bed just before sunrise. He was relieved to wake and hear her breathing beside him. The humidifier on and the scent of eucalyptus in the steam. She was home and safe. The men she kept in cages had not harmed her. His greatest fear was put to rest, at least for the weekend. Her hair was still pulled back, but her pale soft skin was exposed. Her arm hugging a pillow and her back curved like a slight grin. Her uniform lay limp on the back of the chair near the bedroom door. Elliot sipped his coffee and read his wife’s name plate from across the room. Officer P. Kale. He wondered if the men in cages ever tried to guess her first name or imagined her naked. He often fantasized about setting all those men on fire, or winning the lottery and taking his wife away from that place. He did not know why she loved her job and it frightened him. He also did not know why she loved him, so Elliot drank his coffee quietly and just tried to be grateful. #nightwalk
Willa pulled her car over and pressed her hazard button: the rhythmic clicking reminding her of a metronome…a piano lesson…a song she never quite mastered. Cars sped past her on the fwy, the left side of her body could feel their speed. Her hands shook and Willa leaned forward, trying to calm herself. She should not have gotten in the car. The news had come and she had left the house, started the car and just taken off, thinking..or not thinking. Maybe she could drive away from the news. Maybe distance would make it less true. Now she was on the fwy shoulder in the too bright sun, exposed, and barely able to catch her breath. Someone she loved was never coming back. Willa dialed his cell number and listened to his outgoing message. She wept after the tone and then quietly asked if wherever he was, he remembered the day they had gone to the circus together. They were 8 years old, and had snuck around the back of the tents and watched a beautiful elephant be beaten. They had held hands and cried. Willa wanted to slip into the folds of grey skin and help the animal fight back. Willa wanted to slip into her friend and bring him back to life. She whispered how sorry she was that she had failed to help something beautiful, again. Willa hung up and listened to her hazards as they clicked away. A false heartbeat, a too bright sun, a hole in her chest where a friend used to be. #nightwalk