The last few days when I was locked up in that birdcage of an apartment, there was some interior protection, but everything in me got lonely and cold, and all my sensors turned on, waiting to be touched. In fact, when Julie came walking through the front door, I was standing zombie-eyed in the kitchen, with a platter of wet cat food in one hand. It all seemed rather depressingly perfect.
Typically Zona would be there nipping at my feet, meowing something adorable and dependent, but that was hardly the case now. Instead, there was just this non-existence. I was there in the kitchen alone, absorbing into the walls. And all my humming and all my singing, just got broiled up in the throat. And gee, well, Julie got to see me all fixated and turned to stone.
The aftermath is something remembered best in scent though. Yesterday I picked up Ansel from school and his arms and legs were smelling of baby powder and sun tan lotion. His hair is of a small afro and soft curls expand when the heat turns into something that melts. In fact, his whole body was something of a river then, and my hands slipped up against his tired thighs, as I hoisted him onto one hip and lugged him all the way to Arlo’s elementary.
The rest of the night comes on as a blur. I vaguely remember getting on a train and heading to Queens and being pleasantly surprised by the small-town feel Woodside, left planted there in the gut. There was the introduction to whiskey and after that, there was the phone call demanding that I listen to Cocorosie’s new Tearz for Animals. I laughed and cried. My temporary companion got drunk and felt parts of my body, while I continuously whispered no. But the “no” wouldn’t register, and my breasts didn’t mind so much. It just mostly made me sad. Sad because I felt so ugly and un-wanting. There was that inner dream of the ocean again too. Except this time I didn’t resurface. And as sweaty palms slid across my fleshy stomach, I turned over and whispered something like: “Oh, it’s okay. I’m drowned now, anyways. You’ll see.”