Tuesday, October 03, 2006

the perfect second...

I fall asleep watching television and wake up about 1:30 am.

If ever I wake having fallen asleep in front of the t.v. everything for a few moments seems to hover. Time, the characters in the t.v. screen. I shake my head and slowly lift my 23 three year old bones(which by the way more often than not,feel atleast 4 times that) out of the deep chair.

I drag my feet back to the bedroom and climb in beside Aiva. I smooth her hair back away from her face and kiss her soft cheek. She sighs deeply. And I smile.

I lay my head down and suddenly all the cobwebs of sleep instantly vanish. And I know. It's going to be another one of those nights.

Filled with counting the ceiling tiles, tracing shadows shapes in the corner,reciting poems and random movie quotes in my head.

So I lie there,watching the minutes slowly change in the flourescent red alarm clock on the table. Beside my bed. And I see how close I can get to counting the perfect second.

Mississippi one...

Mississippi two...

Mississippi three...click,click,click

and I think about my last day in New York. My last night in my last bed in New York. Waking up and opening my eyes to sunlight and clouds and tree tops. (My room was an attic that spanned the entire length of that old Calonial House that had at some point through time been stransformed into and upstairs and down stairs apartment.) My mom and I moved into it a few years after my dad passed away. As my eldest sister drifted up North to Massachusettes. As my second eldest sister drifted down to Florida. And my brother went away to College a few hours north of us.

I think about walking down the stairs and loading my last few personal items into my moms pretty forest green two door car. My purse,a brush,a book and of course the ever present lipgloss.

I think about driving away. Watching my best friend and my god daughter wave at me from the side mirror. How I don't look back but smile as we turn a few corners and pass more than a few memories on our way to Route 17.

I think about my first night in this huge city. This huge city that has shrunk down and conformed to my shape. And feels more like home than home does anymore. I think about the miles passing. Huge green Spruce becoming flat open fields. Corn,tobacco and more than a few things I couldn't even name on close inspection.

I think about finding a job. About moving to the Highlands with my sister Natalie. Spending our days off taking long walks,making jewelry. Or just lying on our apartment floor on our backs,just knowing that if we stayed still enough or concentrated hard enough that we'd be able to guess the number between 1 and 100 that the other was thinking about.

And I think about my heart being so empty. And I think about my heart feeling broken. And I think of my heart mending again. Frightening and beautiful.

I think about upset stomachs and hours of crying. Feeling so absolutely alone. I think about seeing her for the first time. Counting her tiny fingers and toes, and how just the other day I picked on my mom for doing the same to me. I think about dirty diapers and clean diapers and "Why are these so expensive "??diapers. I think about paid bills and due bills and the Bufallo Bills. About time outs and time off. About what do I have to do tomorrow and wait...what did I do today?

I look over. To the red flourescent lights as the third number clicks to a 6.
It now reads 4:46.

And I look over at my Aiva. And I brush her hair back from her face and I kiss her soft little cheek. And I do this only to make sure she doesn't have a fever. But really mostly just to assure myself that some things are real

And I relax. I look up and begining counting the tiles. Counting slowly. Seeing how close I can get to the perfect second.