Somehow the dog climbed the latter, or jumped the branches. He scrambled after squirrels or a raccoon. He lost sight of the ground and went straight up but never had the nerve to come back down. Lots of her afternoons were spent calling him down, climbing up and showing him the way down without any success of him actually following her down. This started the afternoons spent in the treehouse, reading books and smoking cigarettes. She could see the driveway and would call down to the first person strong enough to carry the dog down the latter and out of the treehouse. Sometimes the tired would just keep walking, “he’ll come down if he wants to,” and they were right. But that was half the problem and the reason for her sitting in the treehouse in the first place. With just the same brainlessness he scrambled up the tree, he would probably jump out, disregarding height and fragile dog limbs. Granted, the dog would have probably been ok, but she couldn’t risk it, could she? Plus, she liked to hear the familiar engines driving up the road, the familiar door slam. She liked calling down, being looked up at. There was something romantic about tree houses and here she was, keeping her dog company in one while he climbed the latter to usher them down.
One year ago, this same season, does not feel so long ago. Sometimes space is relative, sometimes time doesn’t adhere to the clock. I remember all the houses I’ve lived in- and the songs that I sang in them. The tones changed as did I. I can remember how I felt while I lived there- why I moved into and then out of them- nothing felt quite right. Was I goldilocks looking for her chair? Everything was too big, too small and I couldn’t seem to find any bears at all. It wasn’t until I had moved, or was in the process of doing so that I could appreciate the space for what it was. And I started to realize the spaces weren’t to blame. They weren’t too big or too small. They could have been perfectly ideal. I still would have been unhappy. I still would have found a crack in the ceiling that would drive me to madness, sleepless nights and in the end, a new ceiling..
When you can’t decide if you should be dancing or sleeping and you feel so sad that you can’t stop laughing. And you laugh and laugh and laugh because he never once made you feel bad.
You had a voice in my dreams. It was low and goofy, like a best friend in middle school. It was time for you to go but you stayed right next to me, and you kept saying “I wanna help!”
It made me smile, like you always made me smile but I didn’t keep my promise and I had to leave.
You were sad for days. Maybe even weeks. I couldn’t do anything but throw myself on top of you and whisper in your ear. I spooned you and tried to make you dance.
I threw away your baby picture and forgot your birthday. It wasn’t because I didn’t care.
But this isn’t a dream.
I couldn’t stand beside you and say “I wanna help!”
I will have to wait till my dreams, when you have a voice and I can tell you how I feel, what I was doing and how I felt when you fell asleep to my singing. I’ll try to remember.
And I’ll laugh and laugh and laugh because never once did you make me cry.
Every morning he studied them. He touched their leaves, felt the soil. He knew all the new growths and exactly how much they grew overnight. He talked to them in soft soothing voices. He loved them. She, hated them.
It all made her seem like the miserable asshole she was not.
She thought she had a green thumb before they met but now it seemed she couldn’t love them enough. And every whisper and caress he gave them she couldn’t hear or feel.
The rooms grew to an exhausting size and nothing was endearing.
Nothing besides the cactus family, thriving in the sunshine.
After I finish a shower, I hold some water with my feet at one end of the tub, creating a dam. Then I let the water flow under my feet and I close my eyes and feel release.
She tried to pretend it wasn’t true. That the gold in the trees still sent excitement into her heart and watching the city rise and fall over hills was new and exciting. She tried hard not to remember the apathy she felt toward all the smiles and people who didn’t understand struggle. She didn’t smile at the stranger who was trying to make polite conversation and she didn’t understand his quality of life. He had a smoothness to his face and a genuine curiosity in his eye, even though she assumed he was years her senior. She saw her life as a quilt put together by an amateur, unraveling at the corners and a little too mismatched to be square. She let someone shave a triangle to the back of her head and she touched it compulsively. She hated that she could not spell everything correctly every time and she was grateful that her mother had taught her how to type, and type quickly she did. Although not as fast her mother. She felt the strangers stare but never returned it. She was too curious about the goosebumps that lined her arms and too preoccupied thinking.
The mother across the way wore heels and was interviewing a young woman, probably to be her nanny. The girl was serious and didn’t look at the baby once. She looked tired and bored and probably wont be a nanny anytime soon.
She continued her search and only found blank stares illuminated by computer screens and a poster telling her not to ignore domestic abuse: the bashed and bleeding face of a woman that did not evoke sympathy in her. The photo looked unrealistic and she knew most men don’t hit faces. It’s too obvious.
The uneasiness and fear that she only associated with Sarte started to overtake her and she took another drink, knowing it would only make her thirsty, tired and sink in the darkness. But she didn’t care today. She had spent too many days caring and she wanted to forget. Even if it was only for the night.
I’ve spent 27 years thinking about it. Learning forgiveness and wondering why that is something that has to be learned.
How can you un-condition yourself from childhood? Figuring out why I feel guilt.
There are certain things that come and go, and others that stick like a crappy song in your head.
Will we ever forget the feeling of being too small, looking up, being too scared to climb and feeling utterly left out?
Your memory is tricky that way. It won’t leave you alone until you can’t remember your dads eye color except by looking in the mirror.
We have the exact same speck on the same eye.
The crows are laughing at us and I don’t blame them. We trudge on fruitless paths of stone and wonder why we feel so lonely.
Is it because your life is like a bubble bath? It’s warm and soothing and slightly sexy until the water starts to cool and you wonder why you are lying in a tub of water staring at the ceiling.
He doesn’t understand my analogies but he laughs at my jokes and plays along.
He thinks analogies are for cafe patios and too many cigarettes but we’re not smoking and he doesn’t know my middle name, but we talk about spontaneous combustion and that’s important.
I dream a lot. I think about the girl in my dreams and I wish I knew the way she looks when she’s sleeping. That’s a magic thing that only other people know about you. I don’t know how I sound when I’m breathing asleep, or how my eyelids flicker or what I say in the darkness when I’m the other half of me.
I wish she remembered me, so she could appreciate flying and the sound of her dog’s voice.
I believe in magic.