We tumble around and around
October 15, 2002
Covered and smothered by heavy, wet blankets. It's dirty laundry. The sock without
a pair. My lucky red ones. Bad luck. Lots of blinding white foam, all the colors
mushed, together we tumble around and around and around. Not clothes, we're people.
Every color, wrinkled like the clothes, tear stains instead of spaghetti sauce. We
clash into each other, bumping heads and entangling limbs. A mosh pit without the
music and funky lights. No smells. Maybe my nose has fallen off like it did way back
when I smashed into the concrete, my first pair of high heels sliding against the
pavement. I can't breathe. The fire escape is the nearest way out...
Shoving open the dingy wooden door, breaking off its hinges, as the vibrant colors
blur my newborn eyes. I saunter down the endless avenue. Every step and building
and face is familiar. All the familiarity makes me sure I have never been here before.
Maybe in the next life. Breaking into a run, trying to free myself from the straightjacket.
No one sees me but the Saint Bernard. Perhaps Big Brother is watching me. There are
TV sets on, maybe I am watching him. Picking me out of the crowd as always, instead
of being off somewhere rescuing travelers lost in the Alps, its teeth latch onto
White fabric unravels around me, as I fall into darkness... Hitting the ground, down
on my knees, bending to pray with grandpa smiling over the loudspeakers. Taking off
the shoes, tightening the sheer veil. All around me bursts into flames, then it's
dark and smelly. A phoenix rises from the ashes as I find myself blinded once more.
Children screaming as I carry the baby, my long black dress making me trip. Shoeless
feet. One red sock. And painted toenails. Unbridled chaos. I see the passage into
the underground tunnels. No rats, no slimy water. Only the ice cream cart and the
man in the stripes. Or is it a cotton candy straightjacket.
The phoenix takes a bite and melts away into the freezer alongside the neopolitans.
Pink, white, brown. Why not banana or pomegranate? Why no nuts or jams? Escape leads
Home sweet home. Seaweed mask cools my skin, lipstick like the fireman's siren smears
my face. Getting ready for a date. No mirrors in the house. Walking on shattered
glass as he knocks his fist against the door. Blood runs down his hands. Blood runs
up my feet. Same shade as the toenails. Ruby red ring flashes in the moonlight.
He's waiting. Mom grabs his hands, pulling them out of their sockets. My feet also
are torn out. She runs with them, into the clothes dryer we go. Arms and legs, entangled
together, the color of love. We tumble around and around. Full circle.