Sunday, June 21, 2009

Consequences 11

This is the 11th post in a game of Consequences. Post number 10 is here. Post 12 will appear here. The sequence begins here, and will continue soon here.

This one's for you, sister. It's been so long.

We were the same person. We were both oversexed and overworded. Both impatient of restraint. Susceptible to flattery, alcohol, and touch. We felt the expectations of the world were intolerable. We craved its approval, and we got it, but never enough of it. Never enough that it counted.

The lama said I should talk to you: people who kill themselves always have unfinished business. So I invited you, and you came. But you wouldn't speak. You sat cross-legged facing me, like we used to sit on the bed: eating cinnamon toast and scheming to rule our little empires, making up code words and phrases we could use to coordinate our efforts in a world we didn't trust a bit.

Crosslegged, with your guitar on your lap, your long straight blond hair hanging down, like Joni Mitchell's. Or like the blonde on the Mod Squad. You know. It was the 70s. But you wouldn't speak.

Your face was broken out where you touched it, and touched it, and touched it. As if any minute it might go missing.

Mom tried to train you out of it, in those last few weeks. "You're touching your face," she'd say lightly. And an agony of revulsion would run through you, revulsion at her, at yourself, at living with other human beings.

"Don't," I'd whisper to Mom. But not out loud. I knew that you were leaving. Already you were leaving us.

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