Table of Contents
No one knows I'm here, or where here
is for that matter. But I'm notorious for leaving a trail;
stealth in planning, sloppy in practice, or so I've been
accused. I've felt unprotected for so long that when he
grips my throat I am able without any particular fear or
hesitation to lean into the loss. His hold is like a lullaby.
What is your definition of freedom?
A jangled smile wavers on his face
as he tries to coax happiness out of her, leaving mother
irritated and disgusted. When this doesn't work, he clutches
his stomach (or his chest or his head) and shrinks. He pushes
his food around on his plate and chews antacids for dessert.
Sometimes, he gets angry and pounds his fist or his head
against the wall -- always directing the hurt at himself
but making sure we see and feel it.
"It's much easier to learn the
technique of kissing while on a bed," he teases as
we both sit down. I suddenly wish I were home, watching
reruns of Gilligan's Island or any other inane, safe activity.
Lessons in Floating
"Only one." The words resounded
against reverberating corridors in the back of my head.
The most confusing matter of all was my role in this predicament.
Should it be up to me to decide who should be saved and
who should be sacrificed? Why couldn't someone else make
this decision for me? A young, husbandless mother in the
midst of labor must be responsible for such lofty judgments?
I resented them, suddenly. Resented being here, resented
the cold outside and lack of heat in this building.