The wood of my hand moves like a twig in the breeze, a whirlwind of currents brings fragments of lost conversations, escaped words from the backseat of a car, ideas glimpsed on the face of a passing stranger in an old red truck. His eyes say everything, only I imagine more than his lips would ever say, not just because he doesn’t know my name, but because even if we were intimate, even if he licked me in the most sacred places, even if I knew the taste of him on my lips and we shared a crop full of screaming, beautiful children and even if he was at my bedside while the skin dripped off me like the story of a life spiraling down the drain, even then he would not tell me the meaning of his dreams, the story behind the red dragons that always eat their tails, the fortunes left hanging in the morning air while a set of brown eyes shake into wakefulness.
The smell of coffee moves his tired muscles, like a dog performing tricks for a small cookie at the end of a practiced routine. I watch him get up, naked and soft, he walks to the coffee pot with the madness of a man half asleep and a quarter conscious. Standing at the counter, he looks to the distance, out the window, down the hill, past the small box houses of red and blue and orange, past the rolling hills that have lost their trees, out to the great sea barren, rolling endlessly, only he can’t see the rolling, he can’t hear the crashing waves break on land, he just imagines it all, his memory filling in all the details. I imagine his imagining. I devise the plots of his secrets, his unspoken desire that remains buried in the folds of his flaccid cock. His thoughts remain a mystery that wrap me in their tingling arms, forever cradling me in story lines and sadistic scenes.
The stories stay with me, year after year, beyond the day that I lay dripping a lifetime of accumulated skin and memories, spiraling down the void, the black drain that awaits me, patiently, always there, and never fully understood by the part of me that lies on the thin mattress, smelling the ammonia, hearing the iv drip, feeling bodily pain. Never grasped by the part of me that holds on to the idea of “me.” White walls close in, clouding my vision beyond the cataracts that have grown like ivy. I see it, no, not my eyes, I feel it, the pulsing center that balances on the pin of knowledge.
But the cord unravels with the sound of a small boy slurping soup, he fills the house with his inattentive sounds, reading, watching TV, slurping his wontons, sucking in his noodles like a dog with his nose to the plate. The sound of him disgusts me, his careless inhalation of liquid, his half attention for the words he reads, his inability to stop and truly pay attention to one task at a time, it all disgusts me, and I see a careless little child who does not desire to change what he cannot see. The world is his, his understanding complete, his role fixed, and I am disgusted with his arrogance, with his blindness.
And in seeing his blindness and in my disgust for his habits, I too prove to be a creature, a machine of little sympathy for the small machines that slurp from their ceramic bowls. My mirror, as ugly as I could have ever chosen, as blind as I have always been. These are the secrets that I hide in the crevasses of my white breasts, the truths that my mind cannot bare to perceive, the words I will never utter to the man who watches me from a street corner as I pass in my red truck. The strings on my arms take me to the left, up the street, towards the microwave, they make my face snag at the sound of loudly chewed food. I see the mirror, the silver thread that will never know it’s a dream, the small figure in a play with a million mute actors and a thousand glimmering suns.