The dining table was littered with all of his pesky experiments. A few she recognized that were stored in the refrigerator, but the rest were foreign to her and she genuinely wondered where he might have kept them. Then upon further thought she decided it was best not to ask.
"Where did John go?" she asked as she opened various cabinets, scavenging for food.
He spared her a glance. "He's not here?"
She looked back at him. "... No."
He nodded once then turned back to his microscope, and she watched him for a moment. His messy curls moved whenever he turned from his microscope to his notebook on the table next to him to write something down. He was wearing neither his suit jacket nor trench coat, and she could see the faint outline of his muscles against the rather tight fitting button-up.
"All offense meant, your staring is quite off-putting. Please stop."
She blinked, her train of thought interrupted. "Ah, sorry..." She walked up to him and bent down to kiss the top of his head. "I'll just be going out to get food then. Want anything? Actually don't answer (as if you're even listening). I'll get you something anyway."
This entire duration he remained motionless, and only when he heard the door close did he look up from his microscope.
Mrs. Florentine set the table with two placemats and matching silverware -- one set for her and one for her husband. Just like normal.
"Hello, honey." She said without looking up. Her husband had just returned from his morning meeting for lunch. He smelled of cigarette smoke and(more) dirty rags. He did not bother to wash his hands. He scraped the chair against the floor until it bumped into the wall it was neatly set in front of, leaving yet another mark. Mrs. Florentine grimaced inwardly, but this was just like normal.
Stuffing his face with the steaming piles of gourmet dishes that his wife had so arduosly prepared for him (and herself, but that wasn't important), he spewed bits and pieces of food in every which way. But Mrs. Florentine knew that she would be able to handle the mess. She always could, and so she just sat down at the table and watched her husband wolf down plate after plate, just like normal. Except today would be different.
Soon after, he was ready to leave for his afternoon meeting to discuss the next step in making dog food more appealing to its consumers. But as he was heading out the door, tracking mud back outside, he suddenly felt ill. He held his stomach as pain shot through his intestines and into his chest.
I read, recently, that when you make friends with time, you are afforded the right to make mistakes. Time is not my friend right now. A bitter toothed school girl, with mocking in her voice, the clock laughs as I will her face to move.
(more) She pushes the heavy, bathroom door open. Her hands still damp from washing them in the sink. She feels it, like a Springsteen song, a long, silvery gash in her chest, between her breasts. She can feel it throb as if it was physical. As if she pushed hard enough, the soft cotton of her shirt would stain red. She's achy and alone.
She hears herself thinking, "Ah, but no one has time for you right now, little girl. Everyone is busy, and you are alone. Nothing you can do about that now."
She hears herself breathing. Shallow, but longing. She hears the city too, but long has given up on trying to listen to its constant clashing. She thinks about her daddy's farm, smoking her one-hitter on the back porch. How the coyotes sound like pups, how the night sounds silent.
I'd like to wake up now. I'd like the night to be over. I'd like to go back to going back--to finding myself. I'd like to find dirt on my hands. I'd like the pleasure of watching growth, instead of this steady pushing winter wind, cutting through my body like a cord of word. I am not as inanimate as I am feeling, but I feel unmoved. Even as the pussywilliows branches-- cut, brought in to the house and placed in an old milk jar--slowly begin to bloom, I don't feel awake. Not like I use to. Not like I'd like to. (less)
"Hello Mabel. How are you feeling today?" The woman's voice was light and resonant, a breath of fresh air.
I stared at her. There was something vaguely familiar about her but my mind just could not connect and make sense of that familiarity. Each try left me increasingly(more) flustered. Frustration was a living knot in my chest, twisting and writhing.
My eyes drifted away from her.
Wait. Where am I?
I was in a small room. It looked pleasant at first glance with its bright wallpaper and flowery drapes but there was still this crawl under my skin I just could not shake off.
My nails dug into my palms. "Where is this place? Who are you?"
The woman did not seem at all surprised with my questions and continued moving around.
A word surfaced.
I tested that word. It was a roll off my tongue. "Leia?"
She didn't reply immediately but simply placed a tray on the table before me. I shifted. The sheets twist around my ankles and I was suddenly aware of the soft incline of the pillow behind me, the gentle bounce of the spring in the mattress under me.
"Yes? Mabel?" She said gently as she extended her hands towards me. I feel myself shrink back but her hands reached mine and she pulls them towards her. She strokes my hand and I noticed my hands were peppered with shallow half-crescent marks.
"You haven't answered my questions."
"I'm Leia and we are in your son's house."
Son? I have a son?
She guides my hands to the utensils and I realized that she had placed a meal before me.