She opened the double doors and the light flowed in like honey, confused dust motes drifting on the air currents stirred up. She smiled, and the day grew even brighter.
“I think this will do nicely,” she said to the emptiness before her. The realtor behind her breathed a small sigh of relief.
She turned and shook the realtor’s hand. “You can give me the tour, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need it at all.”
The realtor beamed and led the way through the empty rooms and hallways, up and down the stairs, pausing at nearly every nook and cranny. By the time they were back at the front door, the deed was done. She was in love with the house, and nothing was going to stand in her way.
She moved in only a few weeks later and proceeded to decorate in a monochrome style, shades of blacks and whites and grays throughout the house, with a single splash of a single color in each room. A flower here, a chandelier there.
When it was done she hosted a party, but her guests didn’t stay long; none of them could stand the subsonic tones she played on the recently installed sound system. She didn’t care. She liked it, and that’s what really mattered, right?
But she soon grew lonely and tired of only her own company. Finally she figured out that it was the house pushing everyone away; it couldn’t possibly be her personality.
She locked up for the last time and moved to an apartment in the city, where she let her interior decorator have his way with the new place. She hated it, but her parties were always the talk of the town, so she dealt with it.
windows to see through
doors to walk through
a bed to sleep in
It’s been a long day, but we made it home safely. And I found out that I’m off tomorrow!!
And in case you missed it on my Instagram, here’s one of my anniversary gifts:
sweat beading and trickling down
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot
I should have; I should have. But I was not. I was placed here, in this shape, in this body.
But the claws, the ragged claws. They call to me. I hear their scratching in the night, while I lie in bed in the place between wakefulness and sleep. I jerk from my half-sleep to find myself pinching the bedclothes furiously.
In the mornings my fingers are bloody, my nails splintered and bleeding, and the sheets dotted with my mortality.
Once, long ago, I went to the beach. I needed to hear the ocean roar, to feel the salt spray, to dig my toes into the sand until they vanished.
The seagulls screamed my name as they circled overhead.
It was too much; too much, too soon, and I struggled to yank my feet from the warm, comforting embrace of the sand, a million millon grains rasping against my tender skin.
I left my shoes there when I blindly ran to the car across the searing heat of the parking lot blacktop. The terror had me in its steely grasp; I didn’t realize my blisters until I woke again to my bloodied sheets. I expected the spots by now, not the pain in my feet.
I nearly screamed when I rose to empty my bladder. I hobbled back to bed with the trash can and called in sick.
They said I’m going to lose my job soon.
I don’t care.
I stayed in bed all day that day. Since I didn’t consume any liquids, I only used the trash can one time.
I feel that I am beginning to spin out of control.
What kind of a man picks his fingers bloody on his bedsheets and pisses in a trash can?
I scuttle; I scuttle ‘cross the floors.
I’m sure my pink slip is in the pile of mail that climbs higher and higher, blocking me into my home. I stopped calling three weeks ago.
I don’t remember how to use the phone.
It doesn’t matter anymore, anyway.
I can hear the ocean all the time now. Crashing, splashing, echoes of longing bursting my eardrums.
The seagulls still call my name. It falls from their beaks in rotting pieces. The stench drives people away; they seek their pleasure and leisure elsewhere, bright towels and umbrellas no longer cluttering my shore.
It is time for me to go home.
I push the mail out of the way and leave the door open behind me. This place will never interest me again: let the squatters take it, and the taggers paint it.
I’ve forgotten how to drive. No matter, my feet know the way better than my head does.
Is it a miracle that no one hits me with their careening car, that I do not breathe my last as a black-and-red mess on the double yellow line? Some may think it is. I don’t believe in miracles.
I see the ocean, and the waves beckon me home.
I break into a run, faster, faster, until at the place where the waves break on the sand I launch myself into the air.
My body arcs up and then down, sliding into the water like a hot knife through butter. The water heals itself over me, and I am gone without a trace.
The seas grow silent, and I am finally at peace.