Sunday, June 18, 2006


I wake up and it’s still yesterday. You had called in the afternoon to tell me what I felt and that it was time for my execution. You were precise, I'll hand it to you. You had the document. You read it out. It was much like the way people think trials work, but don't. I kept thinking, you called it in.

I don’t know how many days it will be until it stops being still yesterday when I get up.

A few hours after that, I walk to the grocery store. I focus on items on shelves as if they are an urgent math problem and world peace depends on my attention. That is all I am thinking about. That is the rule I’ve made so that I can buy things from a list I've written earlier. And just as the supermarket soundtrack spins into a song by Sade from a CD that was your first gift to me, and at precisely that same moment as a tornado is unwinding itself in my chest, a friend spots me, asking frantically, “Have you seen my husband? Have you met my husband?” I don’t know. I don't know. The talent for breathing seems to have left me, momentarily, and I’m caught somewhere between gasping for air, screaming, or laughing at the universe –
good one, universe. How about that woman-alone music? Could you get a little more cliché? - while I try to make polite conversation.

And then I go home. I tip the taxi driver. I arrange my face into a smile. I put away the groceries.

I tell myself life goes on. I start my beadwork. I hunch for over it for hours, the needle weaving back and forth and then I spend the same number of hours ripping out endless mistakes. Life is, in fact, going on, but the pattern is unraveling.

I do not drink. I have eaten one boiled egg the entire day. Some primitive survival instinct kicks in and squats between me and the Bombay Sapphire. I sit, instead, numb or hoping for it, while the sky outside goes from breath-taking blue to sundown pinks.

Today, I shower and dress. Comb my hair into a ponytail and get down to work. I make progress until I declare the work a loss and decide to try again with something else. Everything is square pegs in round holes. Nothing meshes. Nothing works except sitting and watching the sky.

I walk in the afternoon and just past the crosswalk, an invisible sucker-punch lands square in my chest and I’m focused again…breathe in, breathe out. I’m blowing air from my mouth like a woman in labor. I’m counting the inhales, willing my ribcage open. Pride, in my case, is not going to goeth before a fall. I keep walking.

The minutes crawl by on broken legs. It is 6:30 p.m. An hour later it is 6:40 p.m.
And it is still yesterday. The curtains flail in the wind. The vase of orange fabric flowers blow over. The dishes sit in a basin of cold water, all the bubbles hours gone. I observe. I don't move to change anything.

There is nothing to be done. Nothing to be done.