Saturday, July 24, 2010

small town memory

Baby, tell me why you left me. An elephant turned from gray to pink. Yellow teeth snapped at the turkey. Are your eyes blue or green?

A bus stopped at 79th Street. Rusty, the magic goldfish, watched the cat watching him through the fishbowl. I am uncomfortable at my job. Every stick on the ground looked like a snake. I was scared. Paisley and patchouli blended together and made music. Tina thought that she was going to melt. Boats can be relaxing to ride.

Grandma wanted me to marry wealthy. Boarding schools are good places to send your children to meet other upper crusty children.

I work with the Australian elite (or so I am told).

I want to write about the time you shined a flashlight in my window. I don’t want to write about the time your stepfather grabbed my pussy (that's what he would have called it) while I was swimming in your family's pool. I am remembering those things now that you have written to me after all these years.

I want to write about the races we used to have going down the hill in our front yard. I don’t want to write about the time Willy wove a garden snake through the spokes of Kerry’s bicycle tires. I don’t want to write about the time I was helpless to protect her, even though that is what my mother wanted me to do. I don’t want to write about how scared she must have been. How disappointed she must be in me. I don’t want to write about how I thought it was all her idea, and how now maybe everything wasn’t her idea — maybe she went with who she thought loved her more.

Did a stranger love my sister more than our family did? Than I did? Did I know what love was? Do I know what love is? Did I know how to love? I was never taught. I want to write about how I woke up one day. I want to write about the things I don’t want to write about. What’s there? What can I do? How do I fix this? Can I ever fix this?

How do we resolve what happens to sisters?

I know that we just must write, just write so that the characters have their own lives.

© 2006

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