Monday, March 26, 2012

I do my best when I shouldn't be.

I like driving. I sometimes think I like it more than normal people should, but I don't believe in should any more. Should breeds guilt and insecurity, and I'm not into that business.
It stays light for longer here than anywhere I have lived, except in Alaska, where the sun licked the shore for at least 20 hours. Those were the longest days and the incongruously best nights I have ever had. But Prairie light is different, it's diffused over the country and seems softer and brighter at once, and for so much longer. Tonight, it was light until 8m at least, and the prettiest juxtaposition of complimentary colors. Blue. Orange. Pink. Cyan.
The light of the world.
And then it all melted.
Into a backyard with a stream running through the middle of it and a waving neighbor lady. Big groups of us swarmed there, joking about fish, and forgetting the lesson, and exposing our secrets to one another. We are so tender. I've been so honest lately.

I declined the first hug in over a year and a half tonight, but I made up for it with all that honesty.


Before I left, I drove for a while. I parked behind this apartment building and watched the prairie wind push the grass around and defy the dissolved stillness of that diffused light. It seemed like every piece, every blade was animated and it jumped around with ferocity in all directions. It reminded me of those fake candle lights that flicker until their battery runs out.

(Imagine this as a gif, where every blade is animated in a different direction. Spring is alright in the middle.) 

Horses made noises in the field down the road near where that body was found.

Who was it?

Who was it?

I thought about that body while I watched the grass dancing. I was reminded of that scene in that book I loved first, where the girl sees the wretched old man with holey shoes, and can only think about his mother kissing those same feet as a baby boy. Who kissed the feet of that body?
It led me to thinking about my own baby-foot-kissing-mother. I came inside and looked at that dress that was sent to me: She was so tiny! So full! What was she like? I used to spend hours and hours thinking about my parents. I used to wonder if we would have been friends and how they probably looked and what they liked to eat when they were my age. It's probably normal kid stuff, but I haven't honestly been so fixed on the idea of them in years. How many years? I remember asking both of them what they loved about each other first: she was a great conversationalist, and he was sincere. His hands were cold, and her smile was killer.

I tried on her gloves and then I put on some perfume and thought more about that body. I turned on the A/C earlier this week and then forgot about it; the heat is desultory here I am learning.  So tonight, the vents puffed out soft tufts of faux-chill.
Diffusion of light, diffusion of force (is that what wind is?), diffusion of chemistry in my bedroom, diffusion of a corpse in the field.

In my mind, it all looks the way broccoli looks from the top of the "tree" but with more colors. They are pastel and dusty and taste like chalk. Call me morose, I guess.

And now my hair smells like the last time she hugged me before I left, minus the scent of the beach and tobacco.

*oh, and in 100% unrelated news,  this is something I did recently. The "co" of "co-curator Amber Mohr" is me.


Marge Bjork said...

it seems that people are always more compelling when you try to imagine the people who love them. there was a little baby that somehow survived the crash in paraguay. I sometimes think about that baby being raised by another family in that mennonite community.

madeline said...

i just love reading what you write. and the idea of everyone being loved enough when they're little, and having their feet kissed is really a beautiful thought.