--I KEEP STUMBLING UNTIL I FINALLY MISS THE LAST TRAIN
…Right now there’s a blue inner tube floating in the middle of the lake. It’s the only thing on the water. It reminds me of all those scenes in Breaking Bad with the stuffed bear floating in the pool, and it’s many episodes later when the viewer learns it’s there because a plane has crashed in a residential area.
The last eight episodes of the show are coming up next month. I can’t wait.
…How was your Independence Day?
…Here’s something I wrote last week:
Songs of Angels
This one is strange, odd in a good way, and it scares her.
Naked under the sheets, he props himself up, cocking his elbow, head on chin. “So, you’re a collector,” he says.
He studies the shelves of ceramic angels, angels on the night stand, on the ledge behind the bed, a few others on the dingy, oatmeal-colored carpet.
“Are you religious?”
This one’s not from the trailer park. He’s clean and kind. He hadn’t tried to hurt her when they had sex. No vile verbal abuse, no biting or kinky shit.
She doesn’t answer, just stares at the flaking ceiling, at a sunburst water spot.
When he asks what her real name is, she turns and says, “You gotta leave.”
She watches his green eyes blink, becoming steady.
“Sure,” he says. “I get it. Another customer?”
She watches him dress. His body is lithe and muscled, like a swimmer or gymnast.
He collects his slacks and shirt from the floor where they are neatly folded. He tucks in his shirt and buckles his pants, saying, “They’re really something,” about the angels, then “You are, too.”
He has an easy, college boy grin and straight teeth.
He places cash on the night stand beside a periwinkle angel playing a flute. When he bends to kiss her, she puts up her palm. “We’re all done for now,” she says.
He’s surprised and hurt, yet he says, “Of course.”
As he closes the door to her trailer, she inhales his scent—citrus and almonds—the smell giving her a kind of high, like those first few seconds after snorting a line.
An hour later, a bull of a man thrashes over her, one hairy hand choking her neck, the other yanking a fistful of her hair. His chest and gut are slick with sweat, and he spits crude commands into her ear.
She remembers being sixteen, a year after her abortion, trolling garage sales with her mother, a rare thaw that day.
“You can pick something out,” her mother had said, “but it can’t be more than five dollars.”
Her father was an eye surgeon, while her mother was thrifty.
When she picked out a bronze angel with eagle’s wings and the chubby face of a child, her mother scoffed. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” she said. “Put that back.” she said.
Now the man’s breath is a rancid furnace washing over her face. He bucks and punches and chuffs. His fingernails pierce her neck skin. They’re close to a vein, but not close enough.
She focuses on the angel with the flute. It plays her something pretty, something hopeful, a song about strength and renewal.