Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Liar

I am not getting enough sleep. I am an 8 hour sleeper. I can even push 9 if convenient or sometimes even when not convenient but much needed. In any case I seem to be getting to bed later and later, most unfortunately the time I must awaken to make my train has not changed. And it is always too early and apparently getting earlier as I am sleeping later. Now you think that a reasonable person with fine analytical skills would go to sleep earlier in order to escape this painful routine. And in the morning, as my alarm rings and I tap the snooze button thinking about how I will make up the time, to catch said train on time, I promise myself in the most sincere manner that tonight I will sleep earlier. I promise this to myself like a gift. I look forward to it and placate my desire to remain in bed with it. I fool myself, I trick myself, I lie to myself, because as the hours tick away at night, I become involved in mundane web searches, listening to music, or reading. The hours tick away without my notice. And then in the morning as the sun rises and the alarm rings the deceit recommences once again.


Escalators. So here you are behind a line of people that are moving politely up the elevator when you get close to the top the people at the very end suddenly become elevator edge shy. And they just stop as the edge looms closer and everyone behind them must sit and wait for them to do the simplest task of stepping over the edge. Why is this so difficult for some? Surely they must understand that the people behind them are staring angrily at the back of their necks muttering curses …. But no, it seems it's the edge is what they fear most.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Just wondering

I wonder if i scare off potential readers with my childish pictures. Perhaps they open it and think....this is a childs blog how cute, click, exit.

I am prone to childish behavior and I wonder if somehow this doesn't sabotage an adult world.

The Children

She was supposed to keep the children for one week. One week would be ok she thinks. She couldn’t say no. Not after what had happened. She closes her eyes trying to remember their faces. She has pictures but they are in dusty boxes she hasn’t opened. She sighs…One week, only one week. She books her itinerary and throws her beige suitcase on her antique bed. Her mothers old bed, who had once belonged to her grandmother. Now it was hers.

Sitting on the plane rubbing her hands together she realizes she has made the same gesture for too long, her neighbor looks at her uncomfortably and her hands are pink. Its strange her sister asked her to take care of the children, the new children. I mean after the accident, it wasn’t her fault of course. But anyway, that was long ago. Someone taps her shoulder hard she looks up at the stewardess who from what it appears on her face has been trying to get her attention for a while. “Chicken or beef?” “What? Oh, yes ok chicken, Thanks.” Still its strange she hasn’t heard from them in so long. She can barely eat but keeps looking at her watch. She doesn’t understand why she is so anxious and thinks perhaps it’s the house and them, all those memories. She falls into an anxious sleep where she sees the childrens bodies lined up in the grass. She is cold and clammy. She discreetly swallows 2 blue pills. One week, next Monday she will be back in New York. One little week. One little week. She keeps repeating to herself.

The taxi rides in the middle of the dark night is so long it is as if it will has no end and that the drive itself is the objective. Or perhaps there is not objective but it’s a lesson in futility. There are pines trees on both sides of the road enclosing them in somber tunnel. Its very cold and the taxi driver has let the window open which blows in the back seat making her shiver. Instead of saying anything she wraps her sweater tighter. Its seems to her that all the streets they take lead to nowhere and there are no street lights so its like they are always on the same street and have not made any progress. If there are houses they must be off small roads or deeper somewhere…she thinks. Why all these roads, there is nothing here. All this space and all these roads and nothing but dark pines and a moonless night. Her mind wanders to when they were children and her mother use to lock them in the basement as punishment….but that was a long time ago.

Her sister welcomes her with a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thanks for coming. Listen we know this is all very last minute, but Dan’s heart is troubling him again and we were lucky to get this appointment with this Doctor, its just a shame he is so far.” She opens her mouth to ask her sister how far, and where, but closes it promptly knowing it will be taken badly. “if you don’t want to do this just tell us.” Her sister motions to her to take off her shoes and they climb upstairs quietly. She opens the door, see, your same room. She can feel her self suffocating. She tries to breathe but coughs. Concerned her sister looks at her “Do you need some water?” She shakes her head and follows her sister out of the room. Now listen, all our info is in the kitchen drawer, numbers, hotels and you have some friends numbers as well. OK, so it seems you are all set. She moves in to give her quick hug. She feels herself stiffen “you are leaving right away”. Her sister smiles, and pats her you will be fine, “Dan left a few hours ago on an early flight I want to help him get settled in you know how it is”.

She walks her sister out. And notices she doesn’t have any luggage. “Don’t you have any bags?” “No, Dan left with everything, it’s only a week you know me, I don’t need much.”

She can see that a taxi has been waiting for her behind some dark pine trees on the road and she wonders how long he has been waiting and how strange it was that she didn’t hear him call. I mean surely even in this remote location and especially in this remote location they should call upon arrival. Her sister looks at her for a minute without saying anything and then just vanishes in the taxi. She looks at the house. It casts a shadow over and she can now see things she didn’t notice when she first came in. The paint is pealing and one of the window panes are broken. Its just a slight fracture, but it really could have been fixed. The house is dark, there is just a little light in the living room. Last time she was here there, there was no tv, something about reception. She thinks absently, she will just have to read and the children are sure to keep her busy.

Standing at the foot of the steps she wonders should she look in on the children. She was sent pictures of them but she hardly remembers how they look. She starts going upstairs to check on them, maybe they woke up, but then she stops at the third step and realizes she can’t go up the steps alone. She tries to laugh, which sounds strange in the silent house. She holds the banister strongly willing herself to climb but unable. I am just tired, its been a long day. I will go eat something then I will go upstairs. It’s fine. But the house is so quiet, she is not use to such a silence. She tries humming to cover it. It sounds hollow and small as if the house is mocking her. She humms louder as she tries to find something in the kitchen. In the kitchen she finds some bread and she tries to open a drawer which refuses to open. She humms lounder and pulls harder. But it refuses to budge. It must be stuck. She spots a spatula and across the room and reaches for it to wedge it in the drawer as she hears a squeak and the drawer lies open. She stops humming doesn’t move. The silence resumes. She loses track of time but feels she has been standing motionless a few feet from the drawer and leaves the kitchen keep her eye on it. A cold sweat forms behind her neck which feels stiff.

She sits on the sofa and doesn’t move, doesn’t hum, doesn’t sleep. She can feel her heart beating hard, she is shaking. In her mind she sees the drawer open. Perhaps she opened it. She must have been tired, she must of opened it and turned her head when she spotted the spatula. She left all the light on and found a stereo she turned on lightly afraid to wake the children but turns it off. She can’t hear anything if she turns it on. She sits back on the sofa until the sun comes up the next morning. She feels better and the house seems warmer. She was tired. It took a lot out of her to come here. She looks at the steps but starts shaking at the thought of going up. She looks at the phone and thinks of calling a taxi. She could take the kids to NY, it would just be a matter of booking a few tickets. But this is ludicrous, what would she tell her sister, she is being ridiculous. No, she will just wait for the kids to come down and make breakfast and she thinks of the drawer and and feels cold. She left the drawer open. She closes her eyes and tries to calm herself. She is shaking again.

Its noon the sun is overhead and there is no sound in the house. She calls them from the landing but nothing. Then she sees a ball roll down the steps. She picks it up at the landing and goes up the steps calling the children. She open the doors and the bedrooms are exactly the way the other children. There are no new children. There are no children. There never have been. She drops the balls on the ground and feels her legs barely holding her. She runs to the bathroom and throws up and then again. Her face is white and when she looks in the mirror she thinks she can make out a small shape moving behind her. She screams. Bracing herself she walks to her sisters room to call a taxi. This must be some sort of punishment. She is crying. After all these years she never forgave her. The phone is dead. She must of cut the lines. She can’t believe this. Well they must have the truck. She walks out of the house, and past the garden angels when she stops and looks down. These are not garden statues, these are tombs of the children. She bends down to look. She had said she wanted them close to her but she never thought she would bury them here. A little further away there is a little globe, to my beloved husband with the year of his death, exactly one year after the children. She never told me.

She walked to the truck to which had dust on it, the keys were not in the ignition. She picked one up. Finally having enough she decided to walk surely she would find a neighbors house a deli something where she could call a taxi. She begins walking not even entering the house again to get her sneakers she had brought but deciding to make do with her heeled loafers. She set out in the direction she knew the cab had come from and walked with purpose. After about 1 hour of working in which the road ended abruptly at an unkempt abandoned barn she crossed over to take another road she had spotted on the other side of stream which bordered the property. Here she took off her loafers to cross the stream and continued walking to the stream, where she proceeded on the road which after a few hours had become a dirt road and then a little path, too late to turn back she pushed on. She was hungry and thought about the bread at her sister house. The drawer was just stuck. She was so stupid. After crossing the stream a few more times further up in the path she ends up in front of a river where she sees two little white crosses. This is where it happened. But it couldn’t be, she had walked miles. She sat down crying, she had come full circle. She couldn’t have been more then 5 minutes away from the house. She had to leave the area, the crosses seemed so clean and fresh as if they were just placed to make her crazy and she tried to make her way across the river when she fell and hurt her ankle. Having taken a stick she continued on the path which she knew would lead her back to the house. The door was opened but the top window is lit and she can she can see her sister’s shadow with her two children; she hears her breath leave her body like a balloon deflating and not able to run she collapses where she is.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

4:30 a.m

I awoke at 4:30 a.m.

I believe it was the empty feeling of un-fulfilment that pulled me out of my slumber.

I think 4:30 a.m. is not a good time to wake up when I had planned to be up by 7:15 a.m. And I tell this to myself as I shut my eyes attempting to return to my nocturnal activity.

I was not enjoying my dream. I was calculating figures and thinking about my bank account. I squish my eyes shut trying to force them backwards into REM. I feel anxiety seep through my sheets engulfing me as I turn over to ignore it. I reach for another pillow holding it close to protect me and and while trying to squelch these overflowing thoughts I try reasoning with them: "I am in bed, i am trying to sleep, its very late for all this, I have to wake up soon, very early," but inexorably they push on.

I am just too small to stop them. If only we could have a magical spray to spray them away.

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