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the white table

The days are not long. The nights are short. Guitars are hiding in cases, with scraps of paper tucked inside. The pen is full. There is a fresh notebook, with creamy pages. The little white desk is in the middle of the living room, a cascade of receipts and laundry perched on it.

I clean it off, have lunch as it stares back at me. This focal point, this fulcrum where my thoughts become real, this cheap folding table from Ikea. It is familiar, and patient.

bad impersonations


It is not like those exhilarating goosebumps from deja-vu. It is not a fever dream, or a hallucinatory vision. No, it is a wobbly record that skips. There is an overwhelming sense that nothing changes here, that the loop is long, snaking off into the distance but the repeat is always on its way back, an eventual act. The same tree seems to fall from the same wind on the same day. The same sale on juice or chicken thighs. The same upturned shopping carts, stranded by the side of the road. The same mud, the same puddles. The same sour faces. The same shuffling footsteps in the night. The same smell of mildewy carpets in dark hallways. There are times when I think it is all a slow movie and it is still winter, and I am just dreaming about a reluctant spring. That this world outside the balcony windows is nothing more than a bad impersonation. That I am dreaming my children growing, and they need new shoes a size bigger. That I am dreaming of a guitar that waits for me in the States, hiding in an old black case. That I am dreaming the headlines and the chatter, the spinning top that passes for conversation, the invisible board game and the players.


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