Impregnable Me

I am a girl of simple tastes 

I think

I love flannel shirts and t-shirts that say inappropriate things

My jeans have to be tight especially around the waist 

I like to watch your heart race as your fingers look for space between them and my skin

I may laugh a little before raising my hips and letting you in

You may think I’m mean but then I’ll admit

If you kiss my neck just under my ear all of your worries would soon disappear 

After Birth

My mother wasn’t the same person during the years she was married to Whitey. It’s difficult to remember her being my best friend before and it’s even more mind blowing to think that this person who took me out shopping for clothes today is my crazy mother

 She never hit me before they were together. Not one time when I was growing up did she lay a hand on me. The first time was in 6th grade when I walked through the door of the house. She found out I had been ditching school

 Before I had time to finish jumping out of my skin at the primal scream and her jumping out from behind the door, her hand swung down on the top of my head and knocked me to the floor. The pain was unbelievable and the shock of seeing blood on my hand after I finally took it off my head was even more so

 She had her keys in her hand when she did that

 Never said she was sorry and I wonder if she remembers these things

 Maybe it’s better to leave those years locked away 

Eternal

There is a soft rain that greets me as I slide open the backdoor to let Max out. It looks like it has rained for hours but the tiny beads still haven’t had enough time to cover everything. My neighbor’s fence is still dry at the bottom leaving the dry wood looking like stalagmites that are shining against the abyss of a cave

I don’t mean to start off with a weather report. I really do hate that. It’s just how it is, that’s all

Not even enough rain to soak my hair completely unless I run my hand through it. Something I eventually end up doing as I wait for Max to do his business. I can feel the tiny drops that have been standing next to each other on each strand of my hair spread evenly and melt together under the pressure of my stroke

I am almost embarrassed to admit that I watched “Twilight” this morning. I was so excited to wrap myself in a blanket and prop myself up on the pillows of the couch that I forgot I am not 12 years old anymore. What a drastic change that time gives our perception of the world. It was awful. The acting in particular. I, like every girl in the world was so into it at the time that I argued “Team Edward” over “Team Jacob” like it was the end all debate of the reason for existence

My dad took me to see it. I remember his face when we were leaving and couldn’t understand his disappointment

“I was never really into the whole vampire thing” he eventually admitted

“Why?” I asked “Wouldn’t you want to live forever?”

“Hell, no” he laughed “I couldn’t imagine the hell of being immortal and watching everyone you ever knew die”

“Are you afraid to die?” I asked

A few quiet minutes had passed between his statement and my question

“No” he said as he never took his eyes off the road “Not really. Maybe when I was your age. I am more afraid of what happens to you when I am gone. I remember feeling lost for years after my parents died. Like it was never going to stop hurting. It never does, I guess but it gets easier. I hate knowing that you could feel that way.”

“You’re not going to die” I said “Sorry”

“What did I do so wrong that I deserve eternity?” he joked

He had a dark sense of humor that I miss so much

“Your life isn’t that bad” I argued

“No” he said “My life isn’t that bad. Life in general is. The way things are. The more time that passes the more people never change. I couldn’t imagine living forever and having to watch everyone else doing the same things to each other over and over”

“You’re not going to die” I argued again

“Okay” he laughed and pulled me close to hug me

I guess I don’t want to live forever

I miss him

 

10

Change

The summer night time change tries to play it’s tricks and give the illusion that there is more time than there really is. It should be dark but 9:00 PM casts no more mystery shade to the sky than an umbrella would in mid day

I am in love with dusk. Just like my mother was when I was a child. When the world is quiet my mind calms with it and I feel safe again. Hector and I smoke cigarettes on the front porch and wait. I hate to wait and summer just makes me wait longer than I want to. Max wanders a little but never passed the edge of the yard.  Not after the last time he ran off. Hector growls and Max stops in his tracks

My laugh at his silliness is delayed and I am almost embarrassed by it. A few seconds after my laugh should have ended it starts. I was watching a bat fly in and out of the camouflage of the trees. I might have been laughing more at the silliness of the bat. Or maybe it was the fleeting sense that I am not really here. Sometimes I feel that I am flying up there too. Just never free to go anywhere special. More like a kite I guess. One that is anchored by a heavy chain. Maybe that’s just silly

Hector follows me back up the stairs and Max is way ahead of us. My dog knows what time it is. It is time to sleep. I don’t care that the clock reads 9:00. I just want to be through with the day. Hector doesn’t seem to mind although he must think I am the oldest 21 year old in the world. I always forget to ask him what he thinks.

He laughs at the sight of my sweatpants falling down as I carry my cigarettes in one hand and my drink in the other and am helpless to do anything about it. I won’t give up my sweatpants even though they betray me like this. I have had them forever now. The string is broke and the elastic has been gone longer than what it was ever there. I joke that they have a mind of their own. Usually I joke. Tonight I am just aggravated at my situation. Hector reads me well and stops laughing long enough to reach down where I have bent my knees out to catch them and pull them back up for me

Max doesn’t sleep by me anymore. He climbs up on Hector’s chest while his daddy does God knows what on his phone while I force my eyes to stay shut. I’m not tired. I just want to dream. I just want to be free. I don’t know what I want

I pray for colors. Twisted strands of florescent beams to carry me away to magical places that have no borders. All I get is darkness. The dark I crave as I sit outside waiting for the day to die haunts me here. Infinity ends in a blink and my eyes snap open to the time when I should be getting up for work. Early morning darkness that used to scare me to death is now as calm as a breath as I go down the stairs and back outside

There is no one outside. Not as far as my eyes can believe. No one in my backyard anyways. Not even my dog who never even stirred as I climbed out of bed. Back into my own head

My sweatpants fall again and this time I just let them. I don’t care anymore. It’s just me here. Staring at the quarter of a moon

“There is an angel” said the shadow on the couch

He was just there one day

“Meredith, this is Whitey” my mother smiled from the kitchen as I walked in from school “Whitey, this is my daughter Meredith

Suddenly I remembered my wondering who the strange car belonged to that was parked in our driveway

My mind wants to remember my mother in the kitchen in a fancy dress with an apron around her waist and baking cookies. I know my memory is trying to play tricks on me. It’s more likely that she was mixing a drink

I asked her for money to go to a school dance that was already starting when I got home. Normally I would beat around the bush but I didn’t have much time. It was so important to me that I went. Tim had finally asked me. I had the biggest crush on him and that would have taken up every thought I had if not for my readiness to be mad at my mother for being broke. We were always broke right after the divorce

“You know I don’t have any money” my answer came

It was just some stupid little fund raiser after school dance but it was the end of the world

“Here, how much do you need?” Whitey asked as he lifted himself halfway to get his wallet out

“You don’t have to do that” my mother stopped him

“I want to” Whitey flipped out a stack of money and prepared to hand over whatever I needed

My mother sighed her response

“It’s five dollars” I answered

“Here” he said as he held out a ten “I don’t have any change”

“Thank you so much!” I grinned from ear to ear “I’ll bring you back change. You’ll still be here, right?”

I wanted him to still be there

“Yeah, I’ll still be here” he laughed as he sat back down

I don’t know why I hugged him. I didn’t even know him. I was just so happy. His hand was huge. It rested across the strap of my bra and covered my back from side to side as he gave a patronizing little tap. I remember feeling bad. Like maybe he thought I was using him to get what I wanted. I would have liked him anyways. I am really not like that. He had this strange look on his face like he felt that was all he was good for

I was already on the city bus by the time I had got this far. These lapses in time don’t worry me too much. Maybe I am still sleeping and this is what I should have been dreaming

God I must have looked like a bum. My hair was brushed with my pillow and my mouth was only washed with a cup of coffee that I barely touched. It just sat there and got old and cold as the cream oil settled on top. My left hand gripped my wallet and my right hand held my sweatpants tight as I boarded. The driver didn’t pay much attention to me. I had been nervous that I should have something on my feet

It took forever for Greg to answer his door. I knocked as hard as I could without drawing too much attention to myself in the nice neighborhood that he lives in

“What are you doing here?” he asked

My heart sank as I realized that someone else may be there with him

“I wanted to see you” I answered and stepped up on the metal track on the bottom of his door frame

I didn’t. I just knew he could give me what I wanted. He had the strangest look on his face. Like this was all he was good for

We stumbled together over the pile of shoes by his front door as he danced me to the corner and kissed me. My laugh was right on time. I was here and in the moment

For a change

10

 

 

Surfacing

I barely got my feet wet

Stopped inches from the shore and giggled like a little girl at the tiny fish who were tickling my legs

They were not afraid

So I went further

Braving the cold until the water reached my waist and I dove outward

Inward

Directions became all the same

My smile hurt my face until I rebelled against it and blew my cheeks out and took a long breath

Now downward

Away from the crystal blue

I kicked my legs and arms as hard as they could move

Until the water turned black

Then I pushed them harder

Down and down until my lungs were about to burst

All I had to do was keep going

It beckoned to me as if it were my friend

My back arched and I raced back up

Measuring the distance with what I had left in me

It was further than I can take

But I broke the surface and took the deepest breath I have ever taken

It did feel good

10

 

 

Precipice

Angela stood at the edge of the cliff. She was so tuned in to the task at hand that the sound of the crashing waves below never reached her brain. Slowly she inched her toes closer and closer as they chased dust into the air that arced outward before falling slowly. She felt her stomach drop along with the sand as it too ran out of room and fell.
She closed her eyes and raised her foot out in front of her. She too had run out of room. As she stepped over she was grabbed up in strong arms and was being taken upward. The jolt from the tackle was so quick and so forceful that she was hundreds of feet in the air before she realized where she was. In front of her was the most perfect face she had ever seen. So perfect in fact, no one had ever even tried to imagine a face so perfect. His eyes were locked upward, though they did scan down just a bit here and there to look at her. He knew that she was trying to process what was happening. Where they were going. The corner of his mouth raised in a quarter smile just before giant white wings burst upward from behind him and propelled them faster as if he had just slammed his foot on a gas pedal.
The world quaked as uncharted heights blurred by so fast that her pulse screamed against her skin and pounded in her head. Her fingers dug into the angel’s shoulders as she hid her face against his neck and slammed her eyes shut.
When she opened them again it was all over. Everything was still and quiet and she was looking up at the night sky that was being poked by the brown blades of grass that she was sank into. She exhaled long and hard and watched her breath pour out around her. Angela wrapped her arms in front of her instinctively to protect herself from the cold. The first thought that entered her mind was that her clothes were gone and that she had no idea where she was.
As she stood up she knew that she had to be calm and think rationally. Every direction looked the same. What was the last thing she remembered before the cliff? She felt as if her memory was being blocked by some mysterious force.
No.
It had to be the cold.
She shook a step forward before she heard it. When she stopped to listen, it stopped too. She tried another step and found nothing but silence still. At the third step forward the baby cried and didn’t stop this time. Suddenly she remembered her infant daughter and ran in the direction she thought it was coming from.
“Why?” she screamed as she searched the darkness for the baby.
Angela stopped and leaned her naked body against a tree. She was exhausted. The baby had stopped crying.
Sliding down the tree to the frozen ground she wrapped her arms around her knees and cried. Right beside her was her daughter. Angela picked her up and pressed the baby against her, wrapping her in her arms in a desperate attempt to keep her warm.
“Why? She cried “Why would you leave us here?”
Angela looked over and found the blanket. It shined a bright crimson light through the cold darkness. It was the warmest blanket that Angela had ever touched. She doubted that anyone had even bothered to imagine a blanket so warm. She wrapped herself and the baby and waited for light.
It would be just long enough to dream.
Angela walked through the door with groceries in one hand and the baby in the other. Once again just barely able to keep from dropping either as she fumbled the keys to her apartment to unlock the door.
As she sat the bags on the couch a light in the living room came on. Her heart stopped as her mind tried to flip the fight or flight coin. In the process her daughter slid down her hip a little and Angela just as quickly tossed her back in place.
“Dad?” Angela asked as she tried to nonchalantly put her keys down and turned to put the baby in her swing.
“Surprised to see me?” her father asked as he leaned back in his chair.
“When did you get out?” Angela asked.
“A few hours ago” he answered.
Angela turned from the baby and started to put her groceries away.
“So, are you going to keep me from my daughter like your bitch mother did?” he
asked.
“No” Angela answered as she felt her hand start to shake.
“Let me tell you how this is going to go” he began.
Angela’s heart sank at that sentence. It was his favorite thing to say. It was never accompanied by anything good. She knew to stop whatever it was she was doing and to go to him and listen.
“You are going to take your clothes off” he continued “Right here, right now and come over here and show me how much you have missed me.”
Angela stopped just a few feet in front of him and did what he asked. Her trembling hands calmed as they grabbed for the bottom of her shirt and pulled it inside out over her head. Her fingers worked in spite of the cold and snapped her bra off like they had done a million times before. Her shoulders dipped as the straps fell. One foot went behind the other and pried the other shoe off as her fingers dipped inside the waist of her pants and pushed downward. She lifted her legs upward as the legs of her pants stuck like hot taffy to her feet and pulled her socks free. It was there she froze with her thumbs between her panties and her hips.
“Will you shut the light off?” her voice trembled as she asked.
He smiled at her being so bold to ask. He smiled at her playing shy even though they had done this many times before. He reached his hand over and flipped the switch at the base of the lamp and watched as the silhouette of his daughter dipped her knees downward and bent herself free.
Angela stepped toward her father and climbed on top of him. She was going to do what her mother wouldn’t do. What she couldn’t do. She was going to protect her daughter.
His huge hands gripped at her hips and his mouth went toward her chest. She sank the kitchen knife into his neck. Again and again and again.
When the light finally came it was from a flashlight that Then there was another light. Then another.
“We found her!” the deputy screamed.
She was covered from head to toe in her father’s blood.
It was the only thing keeping them warm.

These are the things I dream.

unnamed