?

Log in

 
 
29 August 2008 @ 11:16 pm
found deep in the archives...  
(this was written in one of my larger notebooks on 05/19/07; during that 6-month dark period i moved back home...)


A mother’s silence is never still for very long. I become still instead, matted up somewhere in the netting of her domestic routines; as the microwave heeds instructions, that hot-breath hum; we’re all nerves, back of my neck one long, taut wire until Ding! Her clogs are here, then there, one kicked over the other onto the dogs’ bed, and the house waits.
Music always in the background, but she is distracted by the rhythm of desires; her internal, lonely kingdom I’ve always believed in. The image of a resting spot, a space within is too scary, I don’t like that I feel betrayed and as if I betray her; it’s too unknown and shifty, confusing…behind blinking eyes, that blackened woodsy smudging of secrets, mother secrets. Family secrets.
She does her things. She lets out the dogs, her laughter follows them as they tumble over their front ends in the eagerness to seek out new places—then pulled back into perspective, trotting, looping in and out, dashing in front, off to the side—of a father’s car, after 5, 6pm, work. The timed-feeling of the next minute; that final clap of the door shutting; following the sudden crunching stilling of tires on sandy driveway. I can see the images of his predictable coffee cups ringed with that stale brown, over-with stain, wedged, forgotten underneath the passenger seat from the inevitable downward spin, emptied at some intersection where red-light timing sent it there, on that sun-strangled ride to work I do not know of; cannot know in my own bones.
When dad comes in, oblivious to this bound territory, always almost sacred-silent as he comes into the routines, the moments of mom circling, turning the bread-mixer on, sponging up coffee dribbles from the counter or left resting absently on a hardcover book jacket. Glancing at the answering machine; neon-red “2.” This glance is for me—they called, here, for you, again—and these repetitive, automated messages are her eternal admonishments, for me, combined with all the decades dad wouldn’t pay either, couldn’t pay, didn’t pay; the agony of these lives being owned in this stitching of obligations, this begging politely on the phone for the right to deny fears and insecurities. Now she gulps, silently knowing her life has never been her own and what she does is maintain the Stitching, lies stiffly when the house is dark and breathing in sleep, her eyes shiny-white and busy calculating the student loans, tripled now. The three children have grown up, grown up somewhere else. The dogs are the kids now, kind of, and this time around the affections are simple, unpolluted with the living room’s collective of family neuroses—ER is on—
I track your love (concern) in the tones of conversation with dad. You stay mutely distracted when I come down and cross through the kitchen before dinner, with my seltzer can, books under my arm, but I think I hear you speaking to me, I’m sure; when you stir vegetables in the pan, sizzling brownish, unnoticed, noisy on the stove, turning for your glass of modest Chardonnay, rolling your eyes about that chic-flick Diane Keaton movie you rented last night because there was nothing left.
I don’t think it’s that you want to drop your instruments of routine and press your palms into the counter's surface and demand, ask me something, maybe anything about all the times, the things and the feelings—the missed substance and the remaining spotted-stains, leaking onto tiles, surfaces of this house; we know best—
When I inhabited a bedroom this time around I was that girl, who I peddled gingerly around in, riding a retired creaky bike like a loner getting away, in the unseen hours past bedtime. I also bounce her back, forth, down, down, onto blind concrete; these are my nightly-lit slide shows of memories and I can’t leave this room. Always curling up into this moment, fully aware but dumb in feet, legs to be used. This is me with irony and context, see how my surroundings curve around me, gently drop, drag, like plants potted into gravel-dry soil, brought home.
I cannot make that final loop, pull up and snip the thread, I cannot loosen and pour rounded, age and memory-softened mementos warm under my thumbs holding them down; under my thumbs as I think about them—-how they were and are and how and now, as they settle and sink. Outside my bedroom window; that first glance out, and again, the first breathless pop in the firmament, the starry blink upwards, all that shifty blackened clotting of sky around me. I can’t think of anything and if I really wanted to, if my desire for dog-eared endorsed nostalgia and the crackling-thin aluminum wrinkles of adolescent years took form, formed like scissors or a spear, or a heavy black iron pan—
These are the tools of home, these are here and we all know them without thinking. Occasionally they are defined by the stretch of an arm reaching up from a busy thinker in the kitchen. They continue; deposited remains, like old Christmas-printed red-green-gold-paper napkins left on top of the fridge, left until the very end of everything in that House, however and when that will be.
I cannot hear my parents speak-- when I sit in any room other than the one possessed with that combined import of parental discussion—there--my instant slither into paranoia. This is the homecoming, and again, bedrooms end up as consequences; bona fide fallout shelters-- not on the original blueprint—but the thin-walled rooms always manage to kill time, rooms short of breath and spatially, still ergonomically all fucking wrong and lacking somehow, but--- those low tones of conversation, I’m catching the slow beating sarcasm drill, always could, commanding dry response, silently--- and always part of some routine in the kitchen; cracking the ice cube tray for ice, the glass of Chardonnay.
There--my mother moving until stilled in response, perched in reaction to words spoken-- indications of the effect had. As if normal capacities for movement, activity, shortens-out or freezes up, in pauses of time. And then she is off on the way she started, but with frowns, expression deepened, lopsided with distraction. Am I really still a significant subject of these pre-dinner parental discussions? It is here, there, that parents capitulate into a single measure of targeted concern, that forever-arriving nod to task, humming their confirmations again and again. I moved back home and become that teenage girl I was here, I moved back home and I forget that I remembered her.