Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i wait to be asked. neglect all tasks unless addressed specifically to me. say my name, yes. otherwise, watch things pile up: a spilled ashtray swept up with a sock then tossed beneath the bed, a cup encrusted with milk, beer, a banana peel. in every direction, a distraction. a drop in temperature, i stay in bed all day. encumbered by library books with pages sticky or smudged. i readjust the pillow behind my neck, lean back against the headboard. the cat walks into the room and mews.
when i try to read my old journals the writing's illegible; i must spend two hours tracing and retracing a version of myself as presented in a paragraph with one useable sentence. the demands of daily upkeep puzzle me. my hair’s already dirty though its only been 36 hrs since my last shower.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

no sound in the house. a silence maintained by force: shut door, cat curled in the closet, fifteen unplugged appliances. a silence interrupted only by the most basic of daily noises: neighbor coughing, mouse scratching, trapped behind the bedroom wall. the heater clicks on, releases three puffs of steam. seventy-five, eighty degrees. when i sweat, it makes no sound which is the same as when i breathe. face pressed against a window pane. looking out, not in. the wind picks up, streams in through the insulation. a whistling, high pitched. i hear nothing. the difference between silence and quiet is a matter of appearance, personal demeanor. when someone knocks at the door, i do not jump up, run down the hall: hand paused on the door handle who's there? nor do i feel any sort of thrill when the phone rings. a call from the pharmacy, most likely; perhaps my sister's wet vowels, into the reciver:
today the baby.... no, i don't have to speak unless i choose. i can sit here all afternoon, brushing my hair, smoothing out the wrinkles in my skirt with my bare hands.