Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The blank space, white like the snow that never falls, a world that hardly beckons. How to begin again? And where is the urge?

The house is clean, intermittently. We eat out more often than we should. The wee one speaks in sentences we cannot always understand, sits in her highchair at supper and picks at her pale white foods: crackers, cheese, plain pasta, the occasional pea.

Out the window the world is deceptively autumnal, the backyard ground still unswept of brownleaves and twiglets. Only when we step out the door do we feel the sudden freeze in our lungs, sharp and dangerous. On the morning drive to work the world is still, save for the constancy of smokestack grey rising ever upwards. Even the students waiting for buses by the roadside do not move, their shivers lost inside their huddled, heavy coats.

At work the term winds down in the usual fog of grading and last-minute adolescent angst over grades long past the point of revisiting. My computer classes give up their mice, learn to love Tab and Shift and the function keys, come finally to trust that no amount of key banging and guesswork will irrevocably enflame the hardware. I sit at my desk and chat in hearts and symbols to the howdyspouse, at home with the kids on her lap, while the students struggle.

One night the elderchild's musicbox stutters and is still; I play soft strings, dulcimer in the dark by her bedside, until she falls asleep, and the next night she is finally weaned of our attention, her solo slumbers come so easily it is as if we never coslept at all, never worried how we would ever get our bed back.

I spend my time reading birthday books: the full round of this year's Best American collections, mostly. Deep in my mind, the world is still and quiet, unfamiliar, and yet somehow like the winterworlds I remember, white snow dampening everything, out and in, macro and micro.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:16 PM |

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