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It was a simple request, but it took me months to solve it. Soon we will have guests in the house for V's birthday, and the cascading piles of notes and camera parts, the lopsided villages of books, the forgotten bowls of loose change - they all had to find homes. I even bought a collection of clear, stackable boxes just after Christmas, but they sat like empty open mouths gathering bits of fluff and dust in them until today. With little flakes of fresh snow dancing against the windows, I began at one end of the room.

The problem with cleaning is that you constantly find lost treasures, windows into your past lives. Here, a set of notes from a film I was writing some seven years ago. Here, the warranty for a watch I bought for N (that I still need to register). And next, a Soviet ruble that I bought in Tbilisi at the dry bridge market, the location of the lost wonders of the world. Next to a broken saxophone and an old rug, I remember noticing a handful of old coins that I bought…

black and white (five years)

Faces, the same. The old woman in the underpass holding that yellowing and split piece of tupperware, eyes lowered. No one gives her loose change. 

There is new snow on the windowsill. I am waking up with a headache in the darkness, the black dot of Monday growing bigger. It is here now, with the stench of diesel and electricity. There are wet footsteps in the snow. E holds my hand tight, slipping on the ice as we turn corners. Walking in silence, the flakes still falling, this winter holding on and on. 

Faces are staring off at nothing with tired, pickled expressions. The wet, sour life repeats its song. 

The black dot grows and grows. Five years here now.

I was a guest in a man's house. He took us to an empty room - just a sofa at one end, and a massive stereo that sat on the floor. Drunk on good wine and limoncello, he put on Invitation to the Blues, by Tom Waits. The sound was magnificent, wrapping around us, bouncing off the hardwood floor. E was downstairs, playing with some kids. N was next to me.

I rested my head on her shoulder and closed my eyes.


liv said…
A bittersweet anniversary. Wish it wasn't so.

Winter seems to be hanging on everywhere, but it can not last forever. It's a bully isn't it? Don't let it get you, you have big fish to fry .... and eat. And limoncello - sunshine in a glass to chase the bully away. Hope it worked for at least a moment.

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