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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

what we all need


The winter sun is banging through the windows, drawing greasy fingerprints and reaching into the corners of the rooms.

E is twisted like a kitten in her bed in the living room. She snores lightly, an odd collection of dolls caught in her armpits and elbows. She never sleeps without them.

I walk carefully between the legos and miniature doll furniture on the floor. The kitchen is half-clean. I will sit here and look at the empty sky for a while.  Making coffee would surely wake her. The room still smells of the Amatriciana I made last night for guests. The dishes stand, a messy tower in the sink. I smell crushed red pepper, the sweet residue of tomatoes, the white wine left open. There are three corks on the windowsill - one from New Year's Eve, one from last night, one from a few nights ago.

The year has begun and everyone is sleeping.

My skin itches with plans, wishes, daydreams. We need results, not limbo. We need to thrive, not simply tread water. This is a rare moment, when the fridge is full of food and there is no battle on the immediate horizon.

These are the moments I give thanks for the two women in my life. These are the moments I stare into the horizon, painfully aware of what we all need.



Comments

Annie said…
Lovely, but painful.
Mother Theresa said…
Beautifully written. You know, I think you will get those results...and they will be good ones. It just has to be that way. But for now just enjoy the reprieve...
Omgrrrl said…
Yes. This year will be better for you. Its a promise.

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