Day 231: Temporary

(This is a continuation from yesterday’s post: Day 230 Tornado )

From the backseat of a dented sedan, amongst a cluttering of mismatched suitcases, I drew in my breath through my nostrils and lowered my head in doleful resignation. There, outside my car window atop a plateau, slept a muddy-brown structure—most of its windows draped in faded tangerine sheets.

“There it is,” Ben said, curling his lips into a satisfied grin and tapping his hands on the steering wheel to the beat of the song Sexual Healing.

The car engine stopped.  The music stopped.  And Ben started.  “Just take a look,” he said with an easy stroke to Mother’s sleeveless shoulder.  “It’s just like I told you. Look!”

Glancing forward and to the left a bit, I followed Ben’s rounded back up, and then across and down the length of his burly arm to his stubby finger which pointed through the window to a pathetic dwelling; which alas, to my deep disappointment, appeared to be the worst house on the best street in town.  Not only was the house in desperate need of paint and the yard weeping with neglect, but the mailbox itself was a rusted clump of sadness.  My soon to be new home, this place I would slumber and eat, shower and dress, and partake in life in general, was ironically misplaced, set out in front of the world in its worst garment and accessories.

Knowing what to do, almost instinctively, I narrowed my eyes into a half-squint and scanned the surface alternating the image of the house from blurry to clear and back again to blurry.  I’d looked at my reflection in the mirror in the same way, after discovering by blurring my reverse-self I was momentarily able to erase all visible flaws.

 

The rest is in the book 🙂

 

Day 230: Tornado

Tornado

One midday, beneath the shade of a leaning cypress tree, after the late-spring sea fog had lifted, I stared out to the crashing waves with a grave impassivity.  In the past years, I’d grown deeply attached to the ocean side town. I believed in a sense we were one, the town and I, joined together in the same way the redwood trees unite their roots underground.

Aggrieved and spiraling with emotions like a blender on high-speed, I replayed Mother’s words, her promises; there would be new bedroom furniture and a private school, and a nice house.  I could wear a school uniform like Jane.

Mother had strolled into my room twenty-minutes earlier with a confident air and found me absorbed in my sticker collection book, categorizing each sticker by theme.  I was on the butterfly page. There were 33 butterflies—one more butterfly than fairies.  Mother had a faraway look, a deep and distant gaze that made me think she was traveling with the angels in the sky or the dolphins in the sea.  I knew innately from all my years with Mother that she was happy; and so I also knew she wasn’t going to tell me her boyfriend Ben was finally leaving; still, I held onto the hope, even though all the signs pointed in the opposite direction.

 

The rest is in the book 🙂