Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wishing you sweet dreams to ease your pain

Fog crawls over my body, blankets itself in my hair, nuzzles, musses. / The dawn is hidden. / Most still lie warm in their beds / a peaceful time for some / for others troubled / wishing you sweet dreams to ease your pain

Lately, getting out of bed before dawn was more difficult than usual. It always happened this way. She would rouse peacefully, mind drifting from one slip of dream to another. Then, her heart would remind her it was broken.

Laying in bed, she looked out her bedroom window and could only see the night thinking of making room for light. She sidled one leg and then the other over the edge of the bed, inched her sleepshirt off, and took in breath for a deep sigh. Her tentative hands moved across her body, caressing one bruise after another.

The colors were deepening in beautiful patterns tattooed across her sides, arms, back, legs... That's all she had the energy to notice for now.

She held herself close as she assembled herself for the day, every movement slow and deliberate, perhaps an effort to reclaim her body and self, perhaps to warn any further blows that she had her share already.

The warm water from the shower streamed through her hair - she tried to imagine what it might look like. When she was little, she remembered floating her head back in the tub and swishing back and forth so that her hair would sway in the water like a mermaid's she imagined. Now her hair reached below her shoulders, blanketed her back, mottled black, blue, purple and green screened through the darkness of her hair.

She drifted again to a winter’s morning when she had found the bottle wash up on the beach… cliché. But, there was a note inside. It read, “Tonight I marry a man I don’t love. I don’t know what will happen, but with you I want to share this one piece of advice that I’m counting on.” It said, “Cherish your mistakes – they are what will make your life interesting.”

It began with a shudder, a slight quiver in her breathing... Heaving sobs she didn't know were in her were forced out. Her hands were splayed on the wall of the shower. She couldn't see through her tears and the water now mixing together.

Drained, she sat down on the floor of the shower, the water raining down an aggravated assault. Finally, when the crying stopped, she turned off the water, wrapped herself in her towel, got out a new nightshirt, put her hair up, and collapsed back into the sheets and pillows, her damp hair wetting it all. She formed a sort of nest, a cocoon. Back to sleep... Back to sleep... Start over again.

She looked out her window one last time. The sun had risen, but it was a hazy cold light. The clouds had come down.

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