Sunday, June 17, 2018

Adam in the Greenhouse

Last night, Brad was busy and so I went to the greenhouse because Adam told me he'd been decorating and wanted to show me something.

Wanted to show me something.  It took everything in me not to roll my eyes when he said it to me, because we both knew I'd be looking around the greenhouse for maybe 20 collective seconds before he'd ask me if I wanted to take a shower, and then... well, the last time he'd invited me to see his new pink cactus, we'd ended up fucking on one of the metal and wire table that run along the walls, and had knocked down one of his priceless orchids.

The smell of wet terra cotta is something I love enough to have requested Adam build me a shower in my bedroom with clay tile.  He'd compromised with me and put it in the greenhouse, if only for the reason he had better occasion to watch me there, while he was working.  The brick ground is always warm from the sun, and the green garden hose he leaves unwound always leaking like a runny nose when you step on it.

The white doors at the far end of the library all shuttered closed shine yellow through their pink-frosted glass windows.  I pass Brad on the way to the greenhouse, waiting for the seance to take place.  I pass Jack, too, but I just give them a wave because I'm mad Brad wants to have a seance and not tell me about the fucking hotel room I've been trapped in for a day and a half.

I pull open one of the 4 french doors that lead to the greenhouse.  Damp and warm air greets me that is the same temperature and humidity as my bedroom.  It's green and bright inside, but the glass walls lead out into the dark swamp lit with a sliver of a moon.

I see he has indeed redecorated.

What used to be a relatively normal greenhouse with labels on herbs and an apothecary cabinet for dried samples and seeds is now crammed with old table lamps, and antiques.  At the entrance of the French doors, there is a kneeling greyhound statue with a sign around it's neck which says WELCOME.

He is crouched over a sample of green leaves, his shirt rolled to the sleeve and unbuttoned enough to expose the necessity of his throat beyond the idiosyncrasy of his tie, loosened to a weak knot, swinging brown before him in shadows.

"Evelyn," he mutters to the leaves.

"Adam," I mention to the greyhound.

A low-placed antique Tiffany lamp sits next to the shower.  He doesn't look up when I undress or climb inside it, to turn on the faucet.  I see he's installed shelves along the wall, where he's placed some plants that need less sun and more water.

I wash my hair with the things he's left in the shower; all bottles with hand-made labels warped and smeared by the water to an illegible purple stain over the white paper on the brown glass.  I can hear him outside the shower stall, humming to himself. 

We fall into this slow place easily, as if the shorthand of it were embedded in our DNA, and maybe it is.  The simple truth is, maybe this is our bedroom, and always was to some degree. 

When I turn off the water and open the door, he is absently holding out a towel to me, parts of it snagged to long strings of loose terrycloth.  It's rust-brown.  I dry off in the heat, and put my dress back on before he acknowledges me at all beyond my name, when I sit down on a low shelf.

"Hello," he says, his voice soft as he removes the black horn-rimmed glasses he wears when he's studying.  The stool he sits on creaks soft the wear of the leather.

"Hey," I tell him, and he smiles.  Adam's smiles are so few and fleeting, I forget to do it back when I'm taken by surprise at one's arrival.

"Do you like it?" he asks me, gesturing to the room around us, and I nod. 

"It's very pretty."

He looks around, something on his face almost like pride or accomplishment. 

"I thought you would like it, when I was doing it.  I thought... well, I thought about how we would make love, here."

His brown eyes settle on my legs under my dress. 

"Do you think it's romantic?" he asks me. 

"Yes, very," I tell him. 

The smile is back, although now tinged with something darker, and he sets his glasses aside before swiveling the stool back to face me.

"Would you like to make love, Evelyn?" he asks me, and I nod again. 

We lay on the warm brick without speaking.  I feel when he kisses me that this is something married people do; they build one another surprise rooms to make love inside.  Some of the water from the hose leaks into the back of my hair.  Adam scrapes his knee on the brick.  He shudders when I pull his hair. 

We fall asleep on the ground, there, using my dress for a blanket.  I dream of him tattooing me with a heart on my arm, anatomically perfect and labeled.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Ian 60


In the fallow trees there is a silence of the thin air, through which there is silk idly waving and I pull it back from my face.

In the black heart of the woods which have been destroyed, embers keep the trunks warm and they pale and crumble backward from my touch.

The world unmade, and the bomb detonated, I am in two worlds which create duplicity and confusion.

I am a new spring.  I am touching the tender greens with pale fingers.  I feel the birds moving fast and empty eyes.  I remember Adam's names.

I am... decimated.  I am destroyed.  I am in Hell.  I have stitched the desert to the cells which created it and erased all I am inside by fire and refused to return it again to whatever beauty anyone ever saw in it.  I'm not a ruin, and would never be a ruin, and I have made myself simply not exist but for a scar along the edge of the desert sand.  I have unmade Eve and denied myself the rebirth.  I'm a waste.

But I had no reason to, and I'm happy here, and I am carefully trying to...

Trying to find the smallest reasons in the shallows of the river, rounded like fish eyes, to hold close to me and tell me the things we're meant to be doing.  It all could've been swimming there, in the river, forever, and I stopped watching because I was distracted and my quiet days of watching became lonely days of having nothing to watch.

I want to swallow the heart of this unmitigated rage.  I want to murder myself the way a stranger would, because it isn't enough to just die.  I want to be erased completely and washed away.  I don't want my bones to live on, but I want to stop existing.

You drew up from inside me some girl I no longer feel I'm capable of being - your twin.  But I am her, even right now, and why I feel I'm not her is because I don't understand who I should continue to be.  I don't understand the limitations of her, and if they're mine.  I just don't know who I am, and haven't for months.

I don't know... what the fuck... I'm even capable of.  And it's this idea that makes me feel both alive and dead at the same time.  That maybe I've surpassed myself, or failed us all, and I can't find my way back to my self-righteousness which would allow me to prove that I'm not a waste of time.

And Annik's reasons are that if I have to work so hard to prove I'm not, then to leave her alone and let her just be one.  Because there is too much at stake for her which she can't lose; my voice of all things.  Of all the fucking things, isn't she the one who is worth it to stop this need to change into the long-awaited butterfly we doubt so much the existence of?

To just stop trying to be and be.  To just stop trying to be and be.  I want to cut out my heart.  I don't know who I am.  You would only ever give me one answer.

I can't reach for anything inside myself to make anything I am feeling or saying make sense, except for you.  There's a lamp in the warehouse.  Did I push it over, or did I change the bulb?  Is it cold or hot?  Did I leave or did we stay?  Is there anything here but nonsense?

Torn in half,


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Thoughts About John