Monday, December 6, 2010

During the initial impact you have to hold onto whatever is around you. My hands were tied when it happened, putting groceries in the fridge– an apple crisp half a dozen eggs, three red peppers, two green, and an onion, so I held onto every sight and scent around me. The small details were like handles to keep my body from ruin.

The fluorescent lights hummed and exploded in some kind of bright flood. The dishwasher groaned, and the tile was cold under my feet and froze up through my legs into my face. His voice was lining apologies like dominos. My breathing was staggered and knocked them over. The front door shut.

And then there was my bed. I became very familiar with the arrangement in front of it - my desk stacked with papers, four pens, an owl ornament my brother brought back from Italy, the position of my favorite sweatshirt, its arm hanging over the edge of the desk, fishing at the mess below – shoes and paints, scattered remnants, a red heeled shoe and a deflated burgundy backpack.  The wooden beams above my bed, stained dark almost black, and that portion of ceiling in the corner that was missed, a warm newer looking wood.  

The first few days were a small year in which I could handle nothing larger than my full size bed. I took in small things at a time, small doses of reality, so as not to become too overwhelmed with the eternity that had recently broke over me. And so I admired the brick of my bedroom, the crannies that cradled a million subtle shades of polar green paint -a million other things to latch onto, to keep from falling through my bed, the basement floor, and out the underside of the earth. 

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