Abacus beads across a horizontal, wooden rod being counted. A tight frame where we see the eyes behind bars, behind glasses. A lock of hair dangles over the frame, unnecessarily. Cool, but staged. Realizing the elegance of radicalization when it comes to understanding the precepts of mathematics. No time to think, do, or feel. Jeopardizing the big project. Sealed documents cover the table, now illegally unsealed. Waiting for a rainbow, waiting for a room to spin. Saint Patrick’s Day and our protagonist could spit diamonds. Secret bookshelf. Anne Frank. Distant runner. Long shot of a field. Perfect symmetry. Skies that besiege Scandinavia. Rolling rocks down long avalanche mountains, currying favor with Nature. Different energies at stake. Wraiths fly in three-dimensional figure eights in the air. Needing to know what comes next after the ‘Happily Ever After’. Stories never end. The stories just beget new stories. Officers having pipe dreams where they can do no wrong. Lullabies sing to sleep the lilies in a giant garden belonging to no one, where wildflowers run free and everything is safe. Crimson colorings on all the petals; The dominant genes are strong and if there’s anything I remember from biology it’s that. Turning off my mind.
“Do you wanna know what I think?” she offered. “I think that you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Presents are wrapped with ribbons askew. The corners of the boxes have too much paper smushed and frantically taped along the edges.
“I never said I was good at this but they’re wrapped, aren’t they?”
Lyla laughed out loud and said, “I suppose they are,” in an amused sort of way. She tucked her chuckle back in her throat and walks out of the room, nearly tripping over a large cylinder of cellophane. The plastic wrap, sheen, but loud and crinkly. See-through, opaque with mild distortion.
“Have you wrapped the basket for the baby yet?”
“No,” Laura responded in a gruff, annoyed tone.
“Well,” Lyla waits and considers what she’s about to offer, just in case. “Why don’t I help you?”
Laura tosses her a skeptical look. “You’ve been teasing me all day about this and now you’re playing Mother Teresa? I may be a lost cause, but I don’t need charity.”
“No, no! I want to help. I have nothing better to do anyway. Look,”
Lyla grabbed the tube and the basket at the foot of the bed. Arranging the baby items in some QVC display fashion she must’ve learned in some godforsaken, stereotypical high school elective geared toward domestication, Laura thought; Lyla suddenly created a piece of art out of tissue paper and ribbon, filling the basket with blue booties, binkies, and bottles. In the back, she added little books and in the front she arranged the toys so that all could be seen. Then she fearlessly released the cellophane from it’s containment and rolling out a ginormous piece, centered the basket on top of it, smack dab in the middle. Once Lyla was satisfied, and with an all-knowing smile, she used scissors to cut and grabbed both ends.
Possession of mind, body, and spirit. A haunted house has maudlin black and grey walls. Antiquated wallpaper, still peeling from 1926. Marshmallow duck, stuck inside Easter bonnet, spooling and spilling through, melted on the floor so we must put on our galoshes to stomp in these sticky Easter puddles. Basket, hardwood floors; The house renewed. Different, but structurally the same. A necessary exorcism at Bobby Mack’s Music Hall in Kentucky. Ghost Adventures episodes. And a millennia of time that seems to have passed between then and now. Possession – As if women and people are objects. As if life is a game of control. I don’t understand how others live that way, guided by these subservient, toxic rules. The jig is up sooner than you think. Not sustainable. Cannot end well. 10 shots to the face for the feeling of being possessed by spirits. Or else, just really tired, fall asleep at the bar, things we still value over time are dumb. New traditions, new religions, new value system. Maybe we wouldn’t need a nuclear family if the bomb wasn’t such a threat. Possessed by conviction, haunted dolls sold on eBay (no thanks). Gumption, nerve, standing toe-to-toe with adversity. Staring down the eyes and mouth, looking at the belly of the beast – whatever beast that may be.
$300 raised for the Community Food Bank of NJ! Check out more of what Grandma Sophia’s Cookie’s had to say about the ‘Songs About Soup’ compilation here: https://grandmasophiascookies.com/2021/04/16/pizza-bagel-records-cheffed-up-their-songs-about-soup-compilation-raising-money-for-the-community-food-bank-of-nj/