Sunday, September 14, 2008

For if the creature had not.


An interesting thing happened mid-way through the proceedings, and I raised my head slightly at that, but it blew over.

Considering that everything could only become a matter of course, in due time, and that here in the back benches of the court where no one mattered, time itself was our every hope. But the proceedings had just dragged along, and on and on. At times I'd nodded off, propped up at the end of the bench, uncomfortable and also irritable.

But the trial was an important one, and so I waited. Along with everybody else.

At night I took the train home, and the stillness and the unvaried silences of the packed-in bodies seemed to scream at me some kind of a warning. The train sped me home with muted bodies that only differentiated themselves from those in the courthouse by the fatigued drain of their complexions -- the incredible sense of relief to be, just like me, going home.

It was a warning, all right. As much as the softness and warmth of my bed was a pleading.

My home was pleading innocent of all charges, and it wanted me back. The lights turned on without flickering, washing the blank white walls with a pure light, revealing the etched wood, the tiny little loops of the carpet's weave, and a small white spider that crawled aimlessly up at the corner ceiling in the foyer. The fruit and cut-up strips of meat in the refrigerator were fresh, pulsating with the need and the desire to become part of my body. And the water from the tap in the kitchen was cold, invigorating and somehow sweetly reminiscent of lemonade. As I climbed the stairs to retire for the evening, the plush white steps began to push me up along my way without my having to climb so hard on these weak, overworked legs. In the bathroom, the shower head spoke a gentle rain to the skin of my back.

All of this was my home in the process of pleading innocent by reason of neglect. It wanted me to stay home, for good.

And I felt for it.

I fell for everything and I apologized and sympathized, out loud in the blank white kitchen and in the well-lit hallway and the bedroom, and to the bed I caressed an apology, deep strokes of care and understanding into the fabric of the white linen and the thick white comforter.

But in the morning I snapped on the light. Bright and early, to catch the early train back to the court house.

The light in the bedroom had dimmed yellow. The house became puppy dog eyes. The shower head wept onto me, and the bristles of my tooth brush almost refused to scrape my teeth clean they were so weak and lifeless. Down in the kitchen, in the dim yellow of the rising sun that was cutting through the white strips of the window blinds, the knives seemed less sharp. With a dull meat-cutting knife I smeared butter and a pale jelly over an unwelcoming stale bagel from the back of the pantry (like it had been hiding from me), and I slipped it into a dish in the microwave, but the machine had to be prompted for almost six whole minutes before it would comply and heat up my small little breakfast.

I sympathized, out loud, and asked forgiveness, but that I had a task, and a responsibility to be there, at the courthouse. It would end soon, I reasoned. There would be a culmination, and a verdict.

The little light in the refrigerator snapped off, with a tight sound of grief, and the carpeting fell dead underneath my feet, and would not offer to escort me to the front closet to get my coat. Indeed, the knob on the closet door seemed as if it might ultimately refuse my grip, but at last it turned, and the other white coats did not want to be near the one I had been wearing of late, to the trial. It hung there, lonesome, without another coat's shoulder to rely on. When I pulled it out, it was cold, as if it had slept alone.

On the way there, in the train, I felt such stress in my body. But I had to steel myself for the long process of the proceedings. Hopefully things might wind down, and I would see a miracle.

There had been no crying yet. No heated arguments. No jibes or barbs. Hopefully, yet, I would see a miracle.

Your friend,

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