Monday, April 12, 2010

A bit of fiction.

Lilacs bob outside my window. They smell like paper smeared with honey. The shadows try to sweep the bits of sunlight from my desk, but they stay put. I put my hands in the sun to warm my fingers. I weave the warmth with my fingers, twisting them in the air. The creases in my fingers look deep, like fault lines. Imperfections in the foundations of the land, pushing and pulling, shaving crumbles off each other. Maybe my fingers will dry up and crumble into a pile of dirt. Maybe they'll push into each other and form strong mountains. I fold my hands together tightly to imagine what it would be like. My knuckles form a little range of hills. Not too impressive.

There are toy trains all over my desk. I pick one up and admire its detailed body. I drive it over my knuckle hills; its wheels turn smoothly and it navigates my hands with steady and reliable precision. I look around for some track to set it on, but I think my son has taken them back to his room, leaving only this one engine for me. I roll it up and down the desk with my palm.

I'm still in my bathrobe. Tying it seemed like a nuisance, and besides, I'm enjoying the touch of the sun. My stomach has stretch marks. More faults. The lilacs have calmed down a bit, enough so that the bees are having an easier time landing on them and searching for nectar. Their little warning-colored bodies crawl clumsily over the blossoms, then are lifted by buzzing, iridescent wings up into the sky. They fly higher and higher until I can't see them anymore because the bright light wipes everything out of sight.

I lean my chair back from the desk, trying to follow the bees' flights for as long as possible. I have my foot flexed and hooked onto the back of the desk and I'm balancing some tea on my chest with almost complete no-handed success. I shouldn't have sweetened the tea, because soon, a curious bee wriggles its way through a hole in the screen and dips into the tea. It carries its sweet, herbal liquid back out the hole to tell the others. I take a sip. I think the bees will like this, and imagine a batch of tea-scented honey. A couple more bees come in and dip into the cup. I think about my son, similarly humming back and forth in and out of rooms, slamming the screen door, coming back in to show me this trinket or that frog, offering me strong opinions. His favorite thing to do is ask me questions. They are small but hard, like the beaks of birds, pecking. Most recently, "Why daddy has more keys than you?"

I should've put the cup back on the desk. Now, the bees are coming in and out in a steady stream, filling the room with yellow noise. One decides to land on my stomach instead of the lip of the cup, and in a panic, I flail to brush it off. My foot slips from the desk and I fall backwards with a crack. The cup spills over my shoulder and soaks my hair with tepid tea. I am surprised the bees seem unfazed. I lie on the floor, watching as some blood mixes and swirls with the tea. The bees are still coming in, floating their tiny bodies up and down to siphon and carry the liquid to the hive to be turned into something golden, sweet, and translucent. I feel the sun warm my face. Just a little accident. I will get up in a second.

The bees are starting to fill the room now, as it's easier for the bees to collect the sugared tea now it's pooled on the floor. I see little feet patter toward me through the haze of fluttering bodies. They exclaim, "Mommy!" I squint to try to see the feet better, but they're still a bit blurry. The feet say, "Mommy, bees. Mommy, bees!" I see a little body sit and begin to cry.

Yesterday I was told my body was the only thing that had any value. This morning, I woke with a little boy bringing me his trains to play.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I always find your writing pulling me into a place I've never been before. I have no idea how you create something like that, but it's wonderful. Thanks