Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« BeginningsBe the child »

“So he tells me that I need to move out, because, get this, he doesn’t love me anymore.  Like that had anything to do with anything before.  It was never about love and he knows that. But now, just because he says, I have to pack up 17 years worth of junk and haul it to God knows where!”  Dawn said as she stomped around the apartment.  Since there was nothing for me to say I simply watched as she hurled her things into boxes.  As I heard the smashing, crashing, and crumbling I wondered if I shouldn’t try and intervene.  But was it really up to me to try and save vinyl records from the 80’s?  I shouldn’t make fun and if she’d known what was going through my mind I’m sure some of those things would have been aimed at me, but I’d been through this before.  It never failed to amaze me how involved she got.

In the 17 years that they had lived together, Tim had evicted her twice and she had moved out three times.  And each time she packed everything and moved in with me.  Why she was acting as if she had no place to go was beyond me.  After the second time, I learned to not help her unpack.  It was a wasted effort.  After a few days of not taking calls, screaming, cursing, crying, they would make up and she would be in a flurry of excitement.  But she was right; it had never involved love, at least not any kind I had ever been a part of.

The unpacked boxes bothered me.  I wanted to rip open the boxes and unpack even the last stray sock.  I had to walk by them and pretend they were a part of the wall.  As the days passed, they started erupting, like big brown boxes of Jiffy Pop.  They had no bottoms; I know they must have, after all I did take physics in school, but those boxes must have belonged to a three-ring circus; stuff just kept coming and coming.

As my floor slowly disappeared and my utility bills doubled, Dawn made herself extremely comfortable.  Luckily for us we’d been friends for so long that seeing her 24 hours a day seemed natural.  Her physical belongings weren’t the only things that were filling the apartment.  Her almost daily shouting matches with Tim were becoming legendary around the apartment building.  I was sometimes stopped in the hallway and made to recount the latest for the few people who missed that day’s episode.

It never occurred to her to be self-conscious about her ranting and raving.  All the windows and doors could be open and she would still continue to curse out the man.  I liked having her around, feeling her presence dispersed throughout my space.  I could tell where she’d been, from the fingerprints on the glass table and the pressed down cushions to her soaking wet towels on the bathroom floor.  There were times that it seemed her air was pressing against mine but when that happened I went into my bedroom, shut the door, turned off the lights and shut her out.

The day I came home from the gynecologist’s office, I needed to desperately shut her out.  At that moment I wanted to take every single box and hurl it out the window.  I wanted every microscopic bit of her out of my sight.  How I’d made it home was a mystery to me.  I left the office and I was home; two distinct moments with no interconnecting memories. I stepped out of the elevator and walked slowly to the door, taking slow, deep breaths, trying to paste a smile on my face.  I unlocked the door and pushed only to be stopped by the double bolt.  The rage that passed my body at that moment was only equaled by the sparks my key was creating against the lock.  They jumped and flew about as I fought with the door. 

My key-ring was yanked out of my hand as she swung the door open. “What’s the matter with you? Why are you making so much racket?” she asked. But it took only one look at my tear-stained face for her to realize that this was not a moment for questions.

Published 01/27/03 in Writing • | Views: 2144 times | Print

2 Comments & Trackbacks

that’s a piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago. To keep occupied yesterday, I typed up some of my stories but only felt like posting this one.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  03:03 PM

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