As long as I don’t move I pretend no one can see me. I’m a statue, gathering snow. Birds traipse across my table, eyeing my lone piece of banana bread. They examine then flit off to inform their friends.
It won’t be long before they descend, all for too sweet artificially flavored bread.
My pen stares stoically at my notebook. It needs to bleed. It needs release.
My notebook is having none of it, a lovers quarrel I’m sure. It remains steadfastly shut against the longing notes my pen wishes to deposit.
Quiet conversations erupt into laughter. Engines spurn to life. A world of constant din and none of it can be composed until the notebook forgives the pen.
I force them together, apologies be damned, but the pens strike is fatal; leaving an ink lined hole where a word should be.
I try again, gently this time. The paper shreds beneath the pen’s flow. Total refusal to cooperate. Ink won’t flow over paper, not while they’re not speaking this way.
All the world’s deadlines building unending pressure. Surely that’s enough to squash any relationship but pen and paper? I thought for sure they were stronger.
The briefcase and half empty glass of juice meant only one thing. Julia tapped her papers against the glass table. “Why do you always do this?” Robin dragged his fork through the syrup running over his pancakes. “Why do I always do what?” “This.” Robin pointed at her briefcase with his dripping fork. “Go to work?” “It’s lame. When I grow up I’m gonna be a dancer.” Julia leaned down to the boy’s level where his blue eyes pierced her own. “That sounds wonderful. I know you’ll do that but until then …” Julia lifted his backpack and ballet slippers.
I imagine the breeze rustling the trinkets dangling above me. I even hear them in some distant space, clanking against each other ruefully. I can see them battling for space, a place to occupy my mind.
I remember watching TV. Knights clashed their swords together for the attention of some distant maiden. Sunlight carves stark lines across my single mattress like the scales of a dragon’s belly.
I’m careful with this one possession. I lay still but not for long out of fear my waif body will destroy it.
I sink into the lines, willing the beast to devour me.
My father was a gravedigger; taught me everything he knew.
Like that graves aren’t really six feet deep or that coffins and shrouded bodies require different things.
He taught me about the afterlife, murder and suicide. He taught me to wield a shovel whether I dig it in the ground or fight for my life. He taught me that those who feared death would be the first to die.
Mother never appreciated his gifts. “Unladylike.”
She never imagined I would own a yacht. I took her out to sea.
My father taught me a lot, like ignoring her screams.