pink haze

Posted: November 11, 2010 in hidden admonishment

In the mountains today, I tried to outrun the sun.
It easily won, since the world is clearly against me.

Half my face is sunburned.

I sat at the edge of the pavement listening to a distinguished character with salt and pepper features recount a hike down the precipice with a comfortable drawl. I stared out into his memories.

I thought I heard you walking across the closed road behind me, but I didn’t dare to turn around. I knew you wouldn’t be there. I know that whenever I turn around, there are only strangers.

I turned to meet a woman with a dog. The dog wore a plastic cone around his neck, and the woman’s age only showed through her hands. I didn’t look into her face. She was a stranger anyway.

Her dog had come to see me, because I was sitting at his level. I rubbed the bridge of his nose while muttering a polite hello to anyone who’d listen. I was glad the strange woman let her dog come see me.

Staring off into the distance, I didn’t hear anything anymore. The man had concluded his story and walked away with his loved ones. The woman first set out a dish of water for her dog, and then they both got in and drove away.

I sat and stared.

I felt dizzy. When I opened the door to darkness, I knew it should have been silence; not dead silence, but vacant noise. The hum of my computer. The chirp of frogs and insects muffled through the walls. No traffic. No one home. No one awake. No one driving past.

I hear it almost all of the time now. I shut the door, even knowing no one was there, I shut the door to shut them out; shut you out; shut you up the way you shut shut shut me in. I felt dizzy then.

I didn’t hear anything in the mountains but your footsteps.

“What’s the matter?” she asked me in a saccharine, caring voice I didn’t deserve.
“What’s his name?” I deflected with a sniffle and boxed his curly, spotted ears.

Her hands. Her hands were beautiful, but I couldn’t lift my eyes to her face. I would have burst into tears and washed away.

I feel a great many things that are entirely unsubstantiated.


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