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no invitation

We are at a 3 year old's birthday party in the back room of a cafe. Music is pumping from a tiny speaker. Balloon animals are popping, and waving in the air. A man in a yellow dinosaur costume dances wildly. Parents snap pictures with satisfied smiles on their faces.

A little girl approaches gingerly and stands in the doorway, straying from her parents somewhere inside the restaurant. She cannot be more than three. It must be hard to ignore all of the noise coming from this room packed with celebration. There is a perfect little pony tail at the back of her head. She hesitates, as one foot poises in the air and then rests back down. How to understand that she was not invited. How to understand the laughter, the loose jumping bodies, the presents piled high on the window. None of this connects to her. There is a little plate of food waiting for her back there, in the quiet restaurant. Maybe a warm bowl of soup, thick with noodles. I watch her for some time.

That night, her empty e…

the zoo

There is a moment when I wake from each dream in the series, pausing in the dark room and adjusting to the drapes as I fumble for my watch. It is New York in them, autumn. I am on high floors. All of the lights are off. There are feats of strength. There are gunshots, plans, schemes, tiny voices in my head telling me to turn left or right. In one, a truck of giant spaghetti is dumped into a river, and gets cooked in the cold water somehow then draped across a log that spans a waterfall. In another I find an extra room in my apartment, an apartment I never actually lived in.

The sky and the river are cold and flat.
The air is hard and cold but the door to the balcony is left open. We huddle against each other under the comforter, feeling that pressure to bear the cold for a taste of fresh air until the very end, until we become zoo animals under dirty glass.
I curl my feet under hers, and then she curls hers under mine.


Headaches are pressed aside.
Coffee tastes bitter.
The apartment is a cascading mess and a pair of new shoes stand in a doorway, practically talking to me.

I wander the rooms, restless after everyone has gone to sleep.






Comments

liv said…
Oh, that made me laugh. Dreams, they are so hard to understand sometimes and then again, once in a while they tell something you Need to know and you are grateful for the revelation. Usually I just can't remember them and get frustrated with the struggle to untangle the threads.

But that last line was wonderful. "I wander the rooms, restless after everyone has gone to sleep." That's you, Marco. That's just you in a nutshell: so much that you want to do, see, tell. A superhero on a mission. But rest is good, hope you get some.

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