Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Antechamber

Whoever said "truth is stranger than fiction" must have known that my grandmother was named Mouse, that I have a scar on my stomach shaped like the continent of Africa, that one day my mom will die, leaving my brother and me to feed her parrot with the very sharp beak that talks on the phone just like she does. Mmhm. Yeah. Yup. Okay, buhbye. The slow suck on a Marlboro Red, the exact sound of my mother inhaled through the syrinx of a bird.
In high school my friends and I used to mine for crystals. After class, maybe once or twice during. We'd get stoned, although not so much me because the pinched end of a joint all soggy makes me want to wear pearls. We'd hike out to some hot, dusty hill supposedly littered with gems, armed with one garden trowel and a curfew, where we’d hack away at the dirt while talking about boys. There was a rumor in high school that I only liked guys with long hair, which still kinda’ pisses me off even though it is no longer 1990. I like guys with short hair or long, bald even, so long as their eyes are intense, their smile fast.
Back then my mom knew this woman named Lis who drove around in a Volvo full of crystals. If you liked something and she thought it “belonged to you” (in quotes for a reason), she would give it to you to be paid for later. Or never. Whatever. Apparently a very large milky white singing bowl “belonged to” my mother, but the minute she brought it home and ran the wand around the rim it began to zing loudly before it exploded into a thousand tiny pieces, the wall-to-wall carpet scattered with shards of frosted quartz, karma, dharma and dogma.
I have one cat, one child; I married my high school sweetheart and am seriously considering watching Dancing with the Stars. In many ways I am yawningly normal here with my brown hair and size 8 shoe. I like Jack Johnson. But my mother tops off her jello with mayonnaise, and sometimes? Sometimes my pupils dilate differently, the left eye infinitesimally smaller than the right. And so I stare at myself in the mirror, fibers of iris flecked gold, something that is not supposed to be possible. But I have to look hard. All of us strangers stranger than fiction, the truth far below, caverns of water and pressure, stories and bone.

12 comments:

thevioletpear said...

nice :)

A Perfect Gray said...

beautiful as always. maybe this one a little moreso...

Anita Davis said...

yawningly normal here too, with brown hair and a size 8. i wish my name was mouse.

ModernSauce said...

I never know where you're going to take me but the journey is always worth it. Usually at the end I'm thinking it feels like the beginning somehow but then I get to read it again!

Duel Living said...

It's not just your iris that's flecked with gold...it's your words. A gold mine...

xoxox,
Brandi

sherri said...

the continent of africa, really? i wish i had a scar so interesting, mine are just crooked lines. great post.

Simply Mel said...

brown hair, size 8 shoe, and a brilliant mind.

krista said...

i would be worried you had a concussion constantly, pupils all dilated to different diameters.
this condition might also be exacerbated by watching dancing with the stars so i warn you to be very careful.
i also seem to be unable to complete sentences in proper grammar tonight so perhaps i've been influenced by chinese spam.
not to be confused with spam musubi, the staple of hawaii.

Kelly said...

Those photos frighten me the same way that photos or footage of huge icebergs do, too. Nature wrought large: eek.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not a reader. Even when looking through my blog reader, I'm not a reader...I'm a looker. But your posts are SO good. I ALWAY read....ALWAYS. Thanks for putting it out there!

sophie said...

my scars are shaped like a lightning bolt and a crescent moon. although a scar the shape of africa sounds a lot more exotic...
lovely words. :)

Petunia Face said...

Thank you all. Of course now I'm wondering how all of you are stranger than fiction... :)