I love these new words and because I love them and they came out of me tonight in what was only about 10 minutes of solid frenzied writing, I am sharing them here for a change. Here we go!
I close my eyes and breathe in deeply, consciously opening my lungs to let the life back in, hoping it will come and with each inhale, I think of a new person. It calms me, a trick my sister taught me after the fire, a way to fall asleep when all the bullshit about counting sheep doesn’t work. I don’t know anyone that it works for actually.
There’s Aunt Minnie and her Pomeranian, Fifi, that only eats strawberry yogurt. The mailman Ray. He’s missing one ear but he keeps his cap pulled down low so you barely notice it, at least I don’t notice it anymore. It took a few hand deliveries for me to avoid staring but then one day, after handing me a priority mail envelope full of inscribed fountain pens, I shut the door and realized I’d not looked at the side of his head. I almost wondered if he’d grown an ear and I missed the chance to see it, to say, hey, Ray…way to go. The downstairs neighbor, Miss Edna who always asks me to pick her lottery numbers for her. You’s lucky. That’s the only thing she ever said to me in her pleading. You’s lucky. It didn’t matter that she never won with my numbers. She keeps asking and I keep giving them to her, always including a 4 and a 37. My nephew Charlie who loves windmills and his 8 year old sister Clara who still isn’t potty trained.
But sometimes, when I go through names, I get stuck on Brett. He’s always on the list. A lawyer, a crusader wearing the cross of King Arthur on the breastplate of his armor, a slayer of dragons with a sword made of pure gold. He’s always there in some fantastic getup but I never take him seriously and I get stuck. I get stuck on him because he reminds me of my father and it’s not like he exists as a separate person for me, especially at times like this where his disappointment stays behind even after he’s left the room.