i walk into my dark room and take my shirt off and the glow from a neighbor’s light illuminates a strange flat slow-moving form in the grass. somehow i got it into my head that it was a turtle. i was completely transfixed on it, wondering if things like this were always here and i just never saw them. i had grown up in this house and how could it be that i had never undressed for bed in the dark with the window open noticing all these woodland miracles in my mini-forest behind my house? how many summer nights like this have i taken for granted?
so in a hurry i put my embroidered shirt on inside out and went flying tiptoe down the stairs where dad sat in dim living room light folding laundry, watching a tv special on some airport built on an island in japan. without missing a beat he jumps into my game and into my wonder and we’re opening the curtains and i open the sliding glass door. the trees were blowing wild and only the front row of trees were barely able to be made out and thunder came and lightning and the humid spectacle was so amazing that i forgot about the ‘turtle’ which perked up at the sound of my footsteps and showed me his full rabbit self.
i sulked in disappointment knowing full well that i am spoiled by nature. that stepping off a plane over a month ago, seeing rabbits, foxes, raccoons, deer and possum were small incredible miracles coming from a place where only the strong survive; lizards, scorpions, and camels.
so as i sulked, dad closed the curtains. he offered stories of actually seeing turtles in the backyard. “i even held one once” he offered to which i kissed his cheek and moped upstairs to bed, folding the soft white cotton comforter back and slipping into my warm familiar safe bed, listening to the rains begin like ghosts on the tops of stairs. a chorus of tin sounds and a pang of motherly worry over my sister being out on the roads in it.
i have surrounded myself with the elements of all that i have known most of my life and strength to continue. over my bed hangs a tapestry that used to be adrienne’s, there’s a mug from virginia from renee, a faerie globe from diana, a plaque that says my name from birthdays passed, a book on soulmates with tsafi’s photo and a spell in progress inside, a butterfly gift i never gave my grandma and always at my bedside the two decorated boxes of journals that i began writing at age 6.
the thunder is picking up now. i am very scared… it barks and cracks over me and i’m scared. i’m afraid the lights will go out. eeeeeek! i’m runnin for dad…
humid morning racing in my car around turns, banging the pink muppet steering wheel pogo-ing in my seat screaming every lyric to REM’s ‘end of the world’. one in a series of songs from high school memory; any song from the violent femmes or the smiths among others…
farmingdale, nj is the town i work in and its name is exactly what it is. it’s 6 miles from the house where all the roads in between have wild grass coming right up to the pavement and a canopy of spring trees overhead. it’s a one post office, one bank town. the chinese food pplace has a screened door and the main attraction is an ice cream made of tofu sold at ‘two dips’. tucked on the far end of the two-inch main street is ‘midnight candle company’ with gothic crafts, across the street from a convenience store, cumberland farms. there’s a pub down the road called mulligans where they’ve ripped up the parking lot to lay new water pipes down. there’s homemade soup at the bagel place and the bank looks like a gingerbread house. people watch the news at lunchtime and shop-owners sit on white wicker chairs outside in the sun gossiping on cordless phones. there are old coca cola relics, avid comic strip readers and tales of cancer from driving with the car window down. price is right re-runs are on the tv as i wait for my steamed broccoli. the italian place next door has a weathered sign that says ‘no shoes. no shirt. no service’. nj is full of black jettas and curious people. a few steps up from inbred the further you get from nyc. i still get a kick out of the renewed patriotism.
on a purple mexican blanket making dreamcatchers next to my sleeping sister in our backyard. like footsteps of giants, thunder comes. each burst sounds like a bomb until it gets closer and clouds cover the memorial day sun and we can hear it crackling over our heads, sky darkening, a twin engine plane echoes and birds call less frequent. a wind sways the branches and wishies fall onto my lap. a fly vibrates against my empty water cup and the world turns bluegreen. i show diana a potential dreamcatcher of tied branches in the shape of a fish and she sings the golden fish cracker song as she turns over to read slaughterhouse five “i love fishes cuz they’re so delicious!” we theorize over the origin of ice cream truck songs and she gets into a strange stretch justifying it by saying that it stretches out her hip. the sky continues to threaten but we casually decide to play chicken with it as i let my mess of feathers, beads, glue and scissors lie. she holds up page 122 and shows me a full page headstone with the words “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt”…
at danny’s in montclair. overcast day. having just woken up from a late afternoon nap, i sink into the hammock listening to deafening sounds of birds, car radios and the occasional owl. so content…
yesterday i drove to debbie’s house and we collected branches in mahwah to make dreamcatchers and bought hemp string and beads. we ate mexican food and went pixie t-shirt shopping, returning home to watch zim cartoons til we fell asleep.
“why did you become a teacher instead of a vet?” i ask my childhood friend, sarah over yummy italian food, mafia chatter and a wonderfully strong cosmo.
“because cats and dogs were monotonous…” she answers telling me that teaching isn’t monotonous.
“the kids are a different kind of animal…” she says and we laugh~
i’m hiding from the wind, from my future, from indecision. i’m hiding in between the cement jacks that make up the end of the jete at point pleasant beach. late afternoon sun, fishing boats heading out with rusted appendages, fishermen and children, grafitti professing undying love. an orange swastika barely noticable. laughing seagulls and the moon on the horizon preparing for the night the way that birdlings must wake up; popping up but stuck at the bottom. i’m seeing sarah in an hour…
on edge, unwarranted, full of comfort yet somehow displaced. tonight diana and i watched ‘the beach’. made me think of planetblood. stories are slipping through my hands because i don’t make space to write. i have been eating too much crappy american food just because it’s american. mental note to go to the gym tomorrow. i am now absolutely comfortable driving a car. four near-death experiences with tractor trailors on route 95 to and from maryland this weekend would do that to anyone i s’pose. only i can get away with careening into the paths of 18-wheelers and justify it in terms of blind spots. gabrielle roth had me in movement meditations after once i had to pull over to have a good cry in panic. faeries don’t make for good 18-wheeler sandwiches, ESPECIALLY without honey-mustard… and i guess it just got too much. i haven’t driven in 10 years and back then i crashed into a church, sunk an army tank and wrecked plenty of cars enough for nj to take my license away temporarily.
the rest of the weekend in maryland was just as empowering, loose and emotional.. mostly empowering though. just the journey, me driving and the destination of jen’s sweet face alone is aligning. saturday night reminded me of new orleans…i had a good time but peices of me are missing. on the news last night came word of a bomb in netanya’s souq and i just shake my head slowly seeing now what others see from over here while i am over there. then today i saw a seemingly informative paranoia spreading as channel after channel newcasters prepared america for similar terrorism here…and soon.
work is good. i work as a secret agent for a detective agency. i’d write which one but…i’d have to kill you… hee hee… i spend alot of my day listening to war stories and snooping in surveillance files for characters to write about.
a homegrown band sings and paula gave me a faerie suncatcher straddling the moon. it was the first thing i noticed in her house… i hope it won’t break on my way back to israel. going back to israel seems…insane to me right now, right here with these people that i love, the language i use, the freedom i find happiness in. in this moment, i am happy with the light changing to green and indian food waiting for us, the US postal truck next to me and jen in control of the car and home, wherever that is, in reach…
“i smush and i write and i smush and i write” jen says and she messes up my hair and i smile knowing she is making fun of me. “if you’r ready to go, i am” and i ask her how and she says that she switched to drinking seltzer water earlier. i was searching for something tonight. nothing that i found. but i got to experience the night in a party atmosphere. i never stop thinking of tsafi. i yawn from my toes as i sit in a chair and a band is in the kitchen philosophizing about their next tour.