Saturday, March 22, 2008

In my dream last night there was a party at my parents' house. someone had created a water pathway from the driveway into the house, with a small boat to carry people in. My mother will be angry, I thought, except she was too busy tending to her new tattoos with her new friends. They were scientists and laughed at me when nothing was funny. All of my friends went swimming even though there was snow on the ground. It's so warm. It's bath water. It's blood. By the time I got to them they were finished and no one would wait. I wanted to swim too. They told me that I couldn't go because there was cancer in the water and they scientists were treating it tomorrow. I looked back towards the house and I could hear them all laughing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

oh, hello again.

we had a break, you and I. I got so sick, I couldn't even look at you. so much shame.
it's different now.
things will be different.
give me your hand.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

new leaf 

that's it. no more. i don't want this feeling ever again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday 

i watched them walking by in pairs. a slow shuffle. their sunday best. weathered knuckles and long fingers clasped around the palms that they held out in front of them like flashlights in the dark. my brain flooded with memories. a myriad of obscured, fading snapshots from a time before my mother could no longer reconcile her differences with the catholic faith. my blue dress with the white flowers. my legs swinging impatiently. the run in my stockings. me leaning forward to touch the hymnal, my tiny fingers fanning through thin, glossy pages, edged in gold. counting the spring season church hats, dusty and squashed-looking, smelling of musk and mothballs. they always gave me a palm. i would run out into the parking lot without my coat and let the new april air chill me. i would wave my palm over my head and watch the sky peek cornflower blue through the vibrant, green stalks. i would let the grasses drag on the ground behind me to hear the whisper of dust and gravel. a sound like a scratched throat. after church, i would always hang my palm to dry in my room, the green turning yellow, then brown and crisp. pieces of grass would crumble and gather on the carpet like old skin. my mother would come in days later and throw it away.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"i won't go lightly."

her voice is venomous. she spits at the ground emphatically.

"i want my name on their fucking lips until the last second. until it's over."

she swells and staggers over the city. her eyes are cold gray, metallic and storming. and she howls ice and snow from her mouth. and she screams until the trees bend to her. she buries feet and lashes at faces until we know the rage she feels at her dying. even though she must. even though the stories cycle through the same old pages like clockwork.

you pierce through her squalling with your eyes. vivid blue, smooth as honey. you split her like a walnut and leave her empty husks spinning on soft, wet ground. we are stunned and stumbling, panting like dogs and staring into the sun like the face of a stranger. we are raw before you. our new, pink skin stings under your breath. we are ready.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

i'm spinning even when i'm sitting down.
and i think...
it all happens too fast for me to recognize the names and faces. i can dig a new hole to lay in. i can talk about the same four hours for four days without running out of ways to change my mind. i can shut all the doors and still hear that song playing over and over.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I have been on this train for hours.
(I check my watch. I have been on this train for 47 minutes.)

The flourescent lights in the lounge won't stop fluttering. Insect wings. The eyelids of a drunk about to pass out. My head is leaning against the window, rattling off an absurd morse code on the glass. If I let my eyes unfocus, the scenery shifts into blurred, muted lines. A long streak of watercolour across dirty snow.

I've been waiting patiently for the evening movie, hoping like hell that it involves neither animation, heroic animals, or Tim Allen. The snack car lady is oblivious to my presence and continues to flirt with the fat man at her counter. She has a speech impediment and laughs in loud, strained guffaws.

I have been on this train for hours and hours and hours.
(Please just put the motherfucking movie on.)

This is not the train I remember from years ago, those weeks when we were beautiful weirdos, professional voyeurs. Back then the train was full of drifters and degenerates. Craggy-faced men with impossibly large belt buckles who opted for a much longer journey just so they could smoke. There was a woman with electric coral lipstick that smeared down her chin and reached up to colour the underside of her nose. I saw her one day, order three cups of noodles in a row and just play with them, letting her cigarette ash drop into the broth until it was tepid and gray. Dirty puddle water full of lifeless worms.

My head slams against the window.
I have been on this train for days.

The movie will be Superman Returns and I am pleasantly surprised. Almost excited. The movie starts and for twenty blissful minutes i forget. I am not on a train. I am not alone. I am not depressed. A group of five enters the lounge and cluster around the table across from me. Two boys and three girls that look about twenty. They dig inside plastic bags and discuss the merits of beer drunk versus tequila drunk. Loudly. The girl with the curly hair speaks only in high-pitched giggles. She keeps gathering up her curly locks and piling them on top of her head. She frowns like she doesn't understand what to do, and then with an especially shrill titter, lets her unruly hair cascade over her shoulders again. pile. frown. giggle. cascade. repeat. repeat. repeat. the boy in the black jeans taps my shoulder every two minutes to have dialogue repeated. It doesn't take me long to realize that these people did not come to watch the movie. They came to torture me. They chat with enthusiasm. They laugh like hyenas. Three of them are not even facing the screen. I try to stare at them with eyes full of fire and knives, but the boy in the black jeans assumes that this means I wish to share my opinion on the tequila/beer debate, which has now endured a third of a movie. I scowl and twist away from them. I shift uncomfortably in my seat, as though my growing rage blossoms in lumps and tumours beneath me.

I try to watch the movie but I can't. I entertain myself instead with an elaborate violent fantasy. I imagine that I am a zombie. I rise from my seat in the lounge, stiff-limbed and groaning. I stand over their table and they are finally silenced. They're probably wondering how they didn't notice my lifeless, milky eyes, my sallow skin, my rotting flesh. I go for the boy in the black jeans first. After eating his brain I am not satisfied. No surprise there. I grab the girl with the curly hair. She's not giggling now. I eat her brain too and it's equally small. Now the rest are screaming. They scramble over the tables and chairs to get to the door. Snack lady comes at me with the fire extinguisher and blasts me full-force in the face. Some of my teeth fall out, hitting the floor and scuttling away like misshapen marbles. I stumble blindly into the passenger cars, screeching with anger and blood lust. My smile drips red onto dusty blue carpet.

The boy is tapping me again.
I imagine breaking off his fingers and using them to choke giggly girl.

"What did that guy just say? What's going on now? Can you catch me up?"

I am dumbfounded. I wonder how this person functions on a daily basis. I want to ignore him, but I decide to answer him anyway.

"It's not such a tricky concept, really. Lex Luther? He's bad. And Superman? He's good. That's makes them enemies. Lois Lane is in love with Superman, but too proud to admit it. You see, Superman left her all alone. He went away for a few years, but now, he's back! I know this last idea might have been easy to miss if you didn't read the title of the film, but that's okay. I would much rather explain the movie to you and your friends than watch it myself. If you have any other problems, don't hesitate to ask."

My voice drips with icy sarcasm. I hear them call me a bitch as they pack up their food and leave the lounge. I should feel triumphant but I don't. I know it isn't really their rude behaviour that infuriates me, it's the ease of their joy. The movie ends and I return to my seat. I rest my forehead against the cool glass and watch a monochromatic landscape slip by. The snow is dirty icing, cracked white lips with brittle grass piercing through. All of the movement of the warmer months has been stalled, caked in cold mud and documented in frozen shoe prints. I stare out the window until night makes it too dark to see, and forces my attention back inside the train.

I have been on this train for years.
(I have been on this train for five hours, but without you, there's no difference.)

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