When everything is said and done
When the carrot has been eaten off the bone
When the friends have not only forgotten me
But I am no longer even a figment of their imagination
Then you will come in my room as you do
Take my hands and bring me up – standing
Looking into your eyes, the only land left
For both of us, each others eyes
The children, our son and daughter
No longer children. Solid but fragile
We have abandoned them through no fault of our own
Time. Disease. Change.
From the beginning to the end. The mutated middle. Decline with peaks and gullies.
The peaks flattening into hills, eroding. The gullies filling with sand.
You used to call me Woman of the Dunes. How strangely prophetic.
Only you knew me
What a gift, my prince.
Fragments remain. The layout of the house. The spiral stairs, a corkscrew in space. The hall to the bathroom. The door to the patio. The door to outside. I dare not step out there when I am naked, in between taking off the pajamas and narrating the steps it takes to get dressed from the clothes I placed on the hanger. Although the urge to run away remains. My body is no longer my own. An alien has taken over. Apathy. Stasis.
Everything was supposed to get better. You’d moved back home. A fancy new red car. A modern kitchen. Stainless steel appliances. Money in the bank. Then…
Forgetting passwords to the accounts. Walking up the spiral stairs and into the bedroom. What did I want? Why am I in this room? What do I need? Nevermind.
Stepping out of the cab wearing platform clogs. Falling on the sidewalk. Falling again on Park Avenue. Why do I keep tripping and falling? Rushing to teach a class, I realize I’d forgotten to brush my teeth. Walking through the upper platform of the PATH station at the World Trade Center, then on the street, out past the Jeff Koons balloon sculpture. Retracing the route to get to NYU for the class I taught. Knowing I am an imposter. Knowing I am swimming through the deep end. Getting lost. Finally finding my way. Nobody noticed.
Five years since then. Maybe six. Now I hold the banister, my feet, monsters, clomp down. And then not knowing what else to do, I pace, around and around.
From there to here.