Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm walking home through the dark, slowly making my way down the chilly two blocks back to my apartment. Halfway there I meet a policeman who is peering at the back of a parked car. He looks up and notices me, nods and asks if I need an escort home. I tell him no, I'm fine, that I'm only going a little farther up. He nods again and I make my way down the sidewalk, arms wrapped tightly around my ribcage.

But twelve steps farther on something smells like rosemary and I am feeling suddenly and desperately alone, wishing that I was not the one making this cold and solitary walk home. It hits me out of nowhere and I instinctively gasp in a breath and jam the heels of my hands onto both of my eyes. When I gather myself and look around the policeman is looking at me, concerned, so I give him the thumbs up and go home.

When I get there I drop my things and turn on the shower, getting ready for bed. I see a little spider on the side of the bathtub and turn the spray away from it, glad for anything else alive in this inconsiderately cold apartment. But I have not moved fast enough and it drops down into the water, not holding its breath long enough for me to fish it out.

I can't bring myself to force it down the drain and so instead I watch it, swirling insensate around my feet.

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