Tuesday, February 19, 2008
3:00 am 1989
My bare feet, already large when thought about near the idea of my age, were perched on the cold laminated surface of a place mat. A home made place mat that was a laminated page that my mothers newest man had ripped out of an atlas. I was standing on one near the north wall of the one bedroom apartment. The other three i had thrown recklessly into the air up and away from me. Each landing at different angles across the room. I checked the time. Which confirmed that i had roughly 28 minutes left of this game. My toes curled on the mat and i executed one of the biggest leaps o had memory of. i landed on the map closest to the one i was just on. a "yessssssss" escaped me with a long drawn out hiss. i surveyed the room again, choosing carefully the mat i would next conquer. I closed my eyes for a moment and envision the orange yellow and brown shag carpeting to be hot spitting lava and these place mats my only buffer from the boiling depths. I leap again. this time my left heel lands in the lava. i make the faces of oh well and oops in quick succession. I know not to whom, as i was alone. I continued on with this game until i heard the bed creak in the other room, I hit the light and in one hurried movement i snatched up the place mats and placed them in a jumbled pile on the table. then i made one final leap, this time to the couch. which was my bed, and had been for 2 months. The familiar sound of the man gently walking into the living room approached. he was always very careful to be as quiet as he could. always under the impression that when he and mother would say goodnight to me around 8:30 that i would stay asleep until 7 the next morning when my mother would rouse me. The man would tip tow into the kitchen, start the coffee, slink back into the bedroom to get dressed then silently emerge again, this time carrying his shoes. He always had an irritated look on his face. i imagine because of the ridiculously early hour at which he had to go to work. he looked like someone had pulled a thread too tight across his brow. he poured a cup of coffee, still with shoes underarm, and walked outside. The door shut behind him and i heard the key in the lock. He released a throat clearing cough, the first sound he allowed himself to make, stepped into his shoes and walked down to the car.