Wednesday, October 28, 2009
a writer's dream
she is alone. it seems like days since he left. or is it minutes? but no. he didn't leave. she sent him away. threw him out harshly with three gentle words. let me be. she needed to be. alone. to think. to concentrate. to remember. why they had done it. why she had fought him. he'd known better but hadn't argued. well maybe once. hadn't challenged though. hadn't complained. it happened like this.
she said I want this house. the house the agent said hasn't been occupied for years. the house the agent said is food for inspiration. a writer's dream. he said but babe this house is old. look at the peeling paint. the small windows you can hardly see inside. and a gable. who lives in houses with gables anymore? she said please can we look one more time? she said it with a look in her eyes. a look that said and don't argue with me because i've already decided. but then softened the look with i feel it inside. i can write here. i'm inspired. and he silent.
takes the key out of his inside coat pocket with trembling hands. inserts it inside the lock. and twists. twists saying are you all right babe? you seem so far away. and she with chattering teeth saying i'm perfectly fine. words gunned from lips so blue in the winter cold. her mind saying yes. her heart saying wait. don't go. and he opening the door. slowly. maybe she will change her mind. and she stepping over the threshold and entering a place without life without living without breakfast or lunch or dinner at the kitchen table with baby tessa crawling around her feet and nibbling at her ankles. a place without.
a chair. a table. a tray with a teacup and teapot and the tea still steaming. a rocking chair still rocking with a shawl smelling of attar spread upon its arm. and he looking with disbelief. and she going to the stairs. climbing the stairs that creak. crack. beneath her feet. and he following. saying this is absurd. but climbing behind her still. and she walking down the corridor. to the big bedroom at the end. their bedroom. and opening the door squealing on rusty hinges. going to the tarnished brass bed like one pulled by invisible hands. sitting on the rotted mattress in the half light seeping through windows stained with age. and he still with her. with her watching the door closing shut with a padded thud. and she shaking shivering wrapping herself in the reeking blanket old and torn and yellowed by time. and he saying will you be all right babe? and she saying let me be. and he thinking he will leave her for a while. he thinking while the snow slaps the windows leaving weeping trickles.
and did she imagine what had happened next?
did she imagine the steadily dripping pipes sweeping water into the corridor and dribbling gray floods over the stairs and onto the rocking chair still rocking and the teapot still steaming below? did she imagine the rattling furnace in the basement vibrating strange mutterings incomprehensible but stark? did she imagine the mice with eyes like tiny inkpots and grins on their chins when caught in her traps? did she imagine the drip of stinking rainwater seeping through the ceiling and onto the floor of her baby tessa's room? did she imagine baby tessa in her crib swinging violently and baby crying in the dark and her running like a madwoman to baby tessa's cribside to find her sound asleep her face polished and serene like a porcelain doll's? and the dreams. did she imagine them too?
dreams of hands purple hands grasping in the dark
dreams of hearts scarlet hearts beating bursting bleeding
dreams of shadows lead shadows embracing broken floors
sleeping dreams haunting
waking dreams haunting more.
she knows what she knows but will not speak. will not ask him back and tell. he would say i told you babe didn't i?
but he returns. for a spell. and he knows. looks with accusing glances at the doors and walls and floors. and she. wrapped in the mist. wrapped in her chamber of shadows and shapes and smells of things watching waiting following seeking. wanting. her. unbuttoning. her dress. button. by. button. with slimy fingers from beneath and beyond. and she the modest girl of long ago now with arms bound above her head
legs spread wide like a she-lion in heat giving it all away shamelessly
and hearing baby tessa's cries
again and again and again
trying to get up and go to the door but the hands holding her pulling her back to the bed and into the waiting arms and their companions clinging with a plushness undeniable inviting promising delights indescribable and luxurious while baby tessa screams with shrill voice like nails pounding into her eardrums but she unable to abandon the brushing upon her chest upon her breasts of tiny
five hundred scurrying flitting tickling teasing and the inelegant succulent heat between her legs heat not like the stillness of desert and sand but like the drumming of tropic and storm heat rising accelerating to the final crash.
and he. paralyzed. deaf. dumb. blind. but still. listening to the clipped utterings of pleasure she had once reserved for his love. her mouth fizzing. bubbling. foaming. and he. staring into her eyes that he can barely see through the mist floating around her over her into her. and she. within it sunken in unfettered indulgence while held slightly upright by those unseen hands.
and he seeing inside her sublimated world in which the mist reigns.
in which he no longer exists.