reno dakota.

so i had a new job, that much made sense. i was wearing thick-rimmed glasses and my hair was up, strands dangling like fast rain. no one would let me in the bathroom, which was small and the color of cardboard. these types were the best safe-havens for moments alone but still halfway in public, to collect and clean the scattered crumbs of my distorted thinkings and remember who i am exactly if and when i am myself. the other waitresses were fast and proficient. i knew i had been too, once, i just couldn't grasp it now, i couldn't grasp anything - everything slipped. i'd been proficient before too, i swear, but my brain fell out, somewhere. i was leaking.
a very important group of people were beginning to arrive, dripping in like large insects in different colored suits. i was expected to do things. i looked at a pile of clean cloth napkins neatly folded, ready and a crumpled pile of used dirty ones. they looked back. things clicked in my brain that concerned me.
you were there, your bright boy face, a part of the group of important people. i peeked past corners at you, you glanced occasionally. i died, a little, each time. what did i want? i couldn't tell you, i couldn't even tell me.
my mother showed up unexpectedly and i ran to her, grabbed her off to the side. i pleaded.
i said please, my brain is in pieces. it's in piles, messy and cleanly folded ones. i can't do anything. i can't see straight. she was mad. this all made her very angry.
"you're fine."
"no, be fine."
"you will lose this job."
my eyes were teary and warm and felt like the last sip in a beer bottle no one wants. i went to the managers office. walked over in a panic i know so well the merriam websters dictionary definition couldn't even compete. it was not foreign but so well known. too well known. the three women in the office looked at me like i had done something unspeakable that needed amends or punishment, at the least. i tried to explain. a tall brunette spoke slowly. "your glasses are full of fog which i know means you're lying. it's a tell tale sign." i felt the fog. i switched lanes.
"look," i said. "look, i'm with child. i can feel it. i'm sick. i can't breathe. he's here.  i can't separate the clean and dirty napkins. i'm not sure whose inside me, who did this. i can't lose this job. he's here. will i lose this? 
"separate the napkins." she said.
i tried to use my hands the way the other people used their hands. they were unwilling.
i dropped heavy silver forks and knives. the sound was lusty and full-mouthed. the other servers picked them up for me, it's alright, they said, we'll take care of this, they did their job and mine. i thought he must love them, as they set up his silverware, he must.
the sky outside was so sharp, wrestling through the restaurants glass windows. the sky outside was my mothers eyes times a thousand and i knew when i looked at it that i was liable and flimsy and that i should be filled with shame and i was.
i lost my mind, i would lose this, and the job, probably. what would i lose? 
things happen out of nowhere.
we were in the city but i knew very well it never looked like this. everything was off, everything was choked up and about to cry. i watched you more and more from behind hidden things and looked for any slight signs of possible love, any more love. you laughed with the important group of people and maybe there were small moments for me but nothing was big enough to compete with the universe.
i decided quickly to run outside and got on the first bus i saw. a country bus, a city bus, it switched up, like the napkins.  a man said "chloe" and i said yes? without thinking.  he said your name is chloe? and i said oh no, but it sounds a bit like kerry.  he said are you with child? and i said its funny you ask that because yes. because i am with child. he asked me my name and i thought of all the names i wanted for my child. 
i touched my stomach. everything was threatening and childrens-sing-song loud. the two men in front of me were kissing, they said "bless you child, you are beautiful". but i knew beautiful left me when i stopped sucking my thumb and started to bite my nails, ignore phone calls and drinking vodka from the bottle. it left me in a mirror asking questions with no answers, only this darkness.
i saw you then in my head while i was on that bus. 
i had my head against the window and then there was the city, there were store fronts i recalled. we passed a home, unlike the others. it was subtly colored, a soft yellow, and a dark indigo blue with dark purple paneling. a woman nearby told her companion "its just what i imagined. we can live there one day, after everything." 
once she said this i saw their whole lives up until this point, in an instant, i felt all of it, fast and hard and clear. it was not pleasant but beautiful, still. 
in the movie we watched in a dream i had, that house was the same colors of your blanket that you pulled up over your head, in my head and i wanted in there, no matter what. i wanted inside no matter what.

6 comments:

sarah san said...

this is a really lovely post. you are beautiful.

Kerry Giangrande said...

you are beautiful back, and thank you, darling.

zachary said...

Vivid post, I love it:)
Do you scribble parts separately before putting them together? Because each part captured the moments best. Just wondering...

Kerry Giangrande said...

sometimes i do, but not with this one.

Len said...

this is terrific. bravo.

Kerry Giangrande said...

len:)