Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Derailed - Creative (as in fictional - I've had some weird questions on this) response, riffing off the song "Fragile."  Seems I may have netted one of the days as a writer on the project down the road.  Yay!  Cool project.  Go donate some money. 


What if I break?
Teetering at the top of a ladder, I ponder the wisdom of living alone and working with art projects at a height. What if I break my neck, end up the crazy cat lady corpse consumed bit-by-bite by her two underfed cats? Or, what if I break my arm, and have to shockily make my dazed way to the neighbors with my arm flapping about at an odd angle, a bone, perhaps, jutting through skin, so that they can take my uninsured-self over to an inhospitable hospital to accrue insurmountable bills? What then?

But I've cut the shape, painted it racy red, know just where to affix it with wire to the mobile so the crystal counterbalance salvaged from a chandelier doesn't splay up at too awkward an angle. I lean farther out the last step. The cats lick their lips.

What if I spill?
“What if I spill the beans?” Jerry looks up at me with mild alarm, then realizes I am standing in my kitchen, holding a bag of kidney beans. I'm planning chilli for dinner tonight, our last night together before he leaves. Again.

“I trust you,” he says, looking back down to fiddle further with the music on his laptop. Viola strings vibrate across my studio.

“Mmm, I bet your wife says that too.” I shake the beans and pour them into a bowl, serving up a rattle of maraca rain. I look up to find Jerry still looking at me. We smile knives. Kindly butter knives, but knives.

What if I fall?
The hydrocodone damped down the throbbing in my arm, although the itching seemed unaffected, blossoming in the center of my casted forearm. It should have been that I remembered the falling, had the slow-motion descent as my feet lost contact with ground, a glorious moment of flight. But it wasn't like that. Just arrival, fallen and felled, and the s-shaped curve in my arm.

Even after the cast, the hydrocodone damped down, the drifty gift of opiates: indifference.

I'm left in your hands, not knowing all the answers.
Jerry, itches also unscratched, holds my hand and rubs small circles on the back of my palm with his thumb, distracted at that moment by squirrels chattering by the window pane. Light hits the pale purple scar on his arm where his accident burned away the skin. Delicate blond hairs are reclaiming the space in the weeks since the awkward call. He wanted you to know he'll be fine, she said.

A small crease by his eye marks where, when he was eight, the shattering of a tossed bottle narrowly missed blinding him.

With my free hand, I am writing furiously: flooded, spilling, broken, falling.

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