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running away with the circus (looking for dolphins)

There are three of them, a brazen woman with bright eyes and a big voice, a man going grey with a hop in his step and a younger woman who might be their daughter or their niece that twists her short hair into little tufts. They roam the hotel, sometimes in elaborate costumes, letting us know that there will be a secret dance party near the ballroom in an hour.

The older woman strolls in during dinner in a costume of blinking Christmas lights and exotic face paint. V stares up at her, convinced she is a princess or a fairy or maybe both. The next night, she is all in black, great horns wobbling on her head. She always has a pair of black Converse high tops on, as if they go with every costume or maybe they are the only shoes she owns.

The man is typically dressed as a pirate, in a striped shirt, maybe an eye patch. He is perfectly relaxed, like his limbs are made of silly straws. The younger woman is always smiling, her mouth a wall of metal braces and lip gloss. I imagine they sleep …

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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