Friday, October 27, 2006

yellow pillow case

She said she wouldn't go there. She had been over this one too many times and now it wasn't worth the ambiguity that she usually favored. "Where will we go now?" He wanted an answer, but she couldn't give him any. It wasn't okay to be normal anymore, it had to be different now. Everything else had become different, so this would have to be too.

Waking up with her head on the yellow pillow case was the only thing she could count on, but she didn't want to count on that anymore. It was too much for her to commit to. What else could there be? There had to be choices, something to lean back on- like that game you used to play as a kid when someone stands behind you and you have to close your eyes and fall back into their arms.

"Wait, whats that called again? Oh yea, it's called Fountain Head- that book you used to read out loud to me. Did we ever finish it? I think we only got to page 92. We should finish that you know. Finishing things is good." Silence.

"It wasn't me that you thought you were talking to. It was someone else. I don't know who you thought was going to be there on the other side of the door, but it definitely wasn't me." She forgot how trivial and benign speech could be. Where did the time go? Everything was so different now, and everything felt so old. The paper she wrote in perfect cursive, her high school essay, "Forging Though the Wilderness: A Story of Witch Hunts in Connecticut" was fragile now, like old paper crumbling in hands. The paper had been aged, but not by time. The fibers had been forcibly changed, dipped in sepia and laid out to dry in the hot sun on the green wooden table in her childhood's backyard.

"You think this is a metaphor?" he asked her. "Well, its not. This is real life. We have to make decisions and stick by them. You cant just start reading a book out loud to someone and then never finish it." She imagined what it would be like if she just kissed him. Would he shut up? She didn't particularly find his lips alluring. They looked chapped, peeling, sticky, and white- like he really needed to drink some water.

She stood up and pulled her pants up- they always fell down a little when she sat and then stood up. Constant readjustment. Constant readjustment? She constantly had a lingering feeling of malaise. She was always readjusting to the disappointment she saw in his face.

She could paint a portrait of his face in a hundred different ways. She could spend the rest of her life doing that. But what use would that be? Each time she finished one, she wouldn't know what she was supposed to do with it. Give it away as a Christmas present to different people? She was always broke, but Christmas presents of someones face probably wouldn't go over very well (at least behind closed doors). Especially of his face. His face constantly changed. Constant readjustment. His face was constantly readjusting. It was ugly in a pretty way. She felt the opposite about her face- pretty in an ugly way. She wondered if it would ever be pretty in a pretty way, or ugly in an ugly way? She was tired of the not knowing for sure. Except she knew for sure she wanted to get rid of the yellow pillow case.

The yellow pillow case had to go. They always pick up the trash on Fridays, so today would be a good day for that.

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