By Tiffany Storrs
The light poured in in its usual way.
The days felt electric with the extraordinary, but unbeknownst to me, they were ordinary days. Summer heat was burning and hateful, broken by the stillness and dust of evening before throwing its rancor again at my skin. Everything buzzed and burned, from the fizz of shared soda pop to the welts and bruises left by kisses lost somewhere beneath my chin. It was bright yellow, holy and wholly, explosive madness too concrete to define. I wore shoes you didn’t like, high sneakers to my shins, and sometimes little dresses just high enough to get lost in. Awake in bed wishing for peace, for death, for life, for whatever pulled me closer to you dragged me somehow further from myself. Hooked like bait & squirming, writhing, embracing an abandoned shell occasionally filled by your helium balloons, hot air, hot water evaporated then by your absence. Dry spell, stormy season. It was the strangest and most terribly common thing.
You sat two doors down with your face stuck in an eternally smug smirk, a plastic house with a toy car out front, no shade from the death grip of gravity. Grave and unphased, you’d wait out your days in a sand pit, happily unhappy, torn and unbreakable in a man-made desert where you hid in as many veils as you could find. Every color of the rainbow, but still too sheer. “I’m going out for milk,” you’d say to her, and appear at my door with one of your ten faces on instead. Didn’t matter which one then, it stayed so close to mine that the details blurred for me but not for you. You’d make love with a calculator, on a watch tower, with one shoe on and ready, spitting sickness the purest priestess could not cure (they were tired of trying too, frankly). Returning home you were in a bubble, easy to see but impossible to touch, to catch, to harbor, to save. Charmless, vacant, exquisitely endless and all at once ended, like a slamming door in a quiet hallway when you’re trying to sleep. It echoes, might still, I don’t know because I’m not there. I feel it sometimes, like an evil spirit, like a shadow passing from wall to wall. Passes over and once its gone, it’s bound to curse someone else’s house with its stubborn depravity, its burden of solitude, its leisurely insanity. In no hurry to go nowhere anyway. No summer, no prey, pray for more plastic things instead.
The simplest and most horribly complex thing.
Tiffany M. Storrs is a daytime cubicle inhabitant, a nighttime freelance writer, and a weekend daydreamer. She is a green-eyed, acid tongue-bearing, brutal sweetheart with a significant fear of blood, spiders, & boredom (in no particular order). Her dream is to spend her time loving, breathing, and making pretty word pictures that make other people feel freely.