Monday, April 04, 2005

first there was the first day

On the eve of my trip, in green pen in my notebook, I find:

Wednesday 11:30, eating a blueberry scone at the airport gate, brown paper, passport, magazines, lipsticks separated. It strikes you: you are happy. This life, it is fine. Oh sure, you wish, you wish. You wish for longer hair, for white teeth, for a book on shelves, for shelves in a house, a house with a porch. But no one else is in here smiling. A man on a conveyer belt car glides past, singing. A Vietnamese woman slaps her fists on her knees. You didn't care if anyone looked at you in the bathroom when you fixed your face. It's supposed to be sixty and it's fine.

That was the first day and I never forgot it. But that was not yesterday. That was not Saturday or now.

I find this green paragraph today and I wonder where that girl went.

Someone else came home with curlier hair and a new T-shirt, dumped her suitcase of dirty clothes on the bed (they were not her clothes or her bed but she washed them both, anyway), and answered her e-mail in imitative sentences, and thought about going to the store but did not, and thought about sitting in sun but there was wind.

Those who knew her would know better. She had gotten shorter, lost three pounds, liked different music (sad stuff, with organs). Or maybe she was just not wearing her heels. Or maybe that candle burn had left a new scar. Or maybe her shadow stayed.

There was a light gone from her eyes. Or a darker light back in them.