5:38am DJ Destruction on the stream. Sweet Tempered Asonance is the song. I wake from a dream. Just now. Weeping. Finally. I understand. And more.
When I was a little girl, my great grandmother lived in a beautiful house on Butner Road in Fulton County. That house was the only home I have ever known. Ever. The first three years of my life. Then, no more.
In it, within the first room, a formal living room. Antique French furniture. Louis some set of digits. I never new. Not allowed. The special room. All plastic covers and pristine. It was a called a living room, but the only reason anything stayed beautiful was no one was allowed to actually live in it.
OH god. World Citizen playing now. I’m phasing in and out. Not yet awake, typing from hypnogogia. I can’t care.
In the bathroom, upon a counter, the little shepherdess. A knick knack. Hardly important. No special name. No gold label, no artist’s name. Just a softly smiling shepherdess, her dainty knickers showing lacy shameless freedom as she lifts her skirt and petticoats to bow to some lord or lady she’s looking at, somewhere beyond me, somewhere in the vanishing point.
Something about her smile. Something about her perfect porcelan prettiness. Even at age three. Drawn to her. Maybe it was the way they had lined her petticoats in gold. Or the palest pastel pink of her skirts. Or the way the little bonnet perfectly shaped her beigey bisque beauty, all pure and pleasant smile.
Ah, I know now. It was that she smiled genuinely. A tender, innocent, happy smile. As she bowed to someone who thought they were superior. Someone who needed to think it. She knew. It didn’t matter.
Fast forward. I am living in someplace I do not recognize. I am younger. Svelte. Like I used to be. Force of Nature. Unstoppable. Unreachable. Unattainable. But there is one person who knows better. Just one. But it’s ok. I only need one.
But it’s over. I don’t know why. I just know it is. He’s screaming, yelling at me, and I’m retreating. Not running. Not yet. But definitely walking from room to room trying to make the things he’s saying stop. Trying to get out of range so I do not hear them. Trying to stop the bleeding they are making.
I finally manage it. Sink against the wall and rock. He appears at the doorway, holding a ceramic bowl he knows I enjoy. Savage smile, sharp thrust, it shatters again the far wall, past him, behind me, out of sight but not of hearing.
I flinch. But say nothing. He savors my pain. I think I’m in shock. How could he ever savor my pain?
He stalks out of sight, to the mantlepiece… crystal collectables and tiny bits and pieces gathered with such care over the years. Great sweeping motion and snarl, lost to tile hearth and scattered like aborted diamonds across wood floors.
I am weeping now, greatly and racking sobs. Wordless, but keening with it. I’m still stuck on how could he ever savor my pain.
But from the back of my head, suddenly, I know what is coming. I think I know it in the same moment he does. In the same moment he turns that shark, piranaha, hateful, hurtful, snarl of a smile to me. And he’s heading down the hallway and I’m too stunned to chase, too disoriented to follow. Body refuses command. Horrified, I wait.
He walks slowly. I can tell it is an effort not to crush it in his fist.
I stand. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. He won’t do this. Not this. Not him. He can’t. He won’t. I will not believe it.
He doesn’t throw it. He doesn’t slam it. He doesn’t hurl it. He looks at me and smiles, slowly, softly, tenderly.
Oh sweet stars. Thank you. Oh thank you for being someone who could nev…
He simply opens his hand and lets it drop to the floor.
I am pretty sure it imploded before it hit the ground. I cannot be certain because I was sinking with it. Too far to reach, it remains I fell with it… crumpling into the ground as it fell. I remember the great sob… all my soul in it, the walls shook. The sky flickered. For a moment, all was black. But I think it was just me.
I’m pretty sure it was just me.
When I opened my eyes again, he was, of course, gone. The powder of pastel pink perfection spread like a snow angel on the hardwood floor.
And I was still sobbing, great gulping and helpless sobs. Body racking sobs. The kind I have always been afraid to let out because I know once I start, I will never, ever stop.
I didn’t see it, but I hear it… in the inky blackness, I hear his quiet turning and slowly walking away.
I heard how his breath didn’t even alter. I heard how his step was measured and methodical.
I heard everything I never wanted to hear. And everything I tried not to hear. And everything I knew beyond all knowing he was incapable of being. And how he simply…. walked away.
I woke sobbing still. Here, at 5:38am. It is now 6:01am. June 1st, 2007, at 6:01am. 601, 601.
I understand it all, of course.
I think my soul finally does, too.