Friday, October 6, 2006

Woman Against Silence

Eyes open
acknowledge it is warm and cozy in my bed.
realize there is probably no better place than the place I am in.
minutes pass in milliseconds, pillow never felt so amazingly soft.
I am weightless and snug.
get out of bed anyway.

Stumble like a drunken St Bernard to the bathroom.
the people downstairs probably hate my lead foot in the morning.
make coffee.
hardly time to drink it.
leave it sitting.
get dressed.
no one will notice how wrinkled my pants are, right?
or that my shoes are so old that they look like they were dredged
up from the bottom of a swamp.

Run down street.
why aren't these people going to work?
wait for bus.
see the same girl I always see waiting, she never looks me in the eye.
same bus driver I always have, very nice but tough white woman, waits for old people, says good morning to everyone and announces all the stops. One morning I overheard her telling someone that she came home one night and her husband had left her
and he took the kids.

Arrive at work.
no one is there.
no one is even in the hallway.
What is an Anthropology Department with no humans?
flick on lights in lab.
prop the door open.
check email.
no one wrote.
turn machines on, listen to their entrance hum.
take buffer out to defrost.
check email again.
make more coffee.
set up reaction.
go to same place for lunch, they MUST recognize me after all these years, yet we never exchange any familiarity, even though I always put something in the tip jar.

Go back to lab.
the silence is smothering me.
I hear keys jingling outside the door,
no one comes in.
shut off lights and machines.

walk to Madison to catch the bus home.
see some funny looking people who are overdressed and botoxed.
see myself in store window, my pants are pretty wrinkled, huh.
beep of the metro card.
stare out window.
put on iPod, prepare for uplifting tunes.
battery is dead but I keep the headphones on.
my head turns forward when the bus jolts.
something smells funny.
kids are talking too loud.
at home.
it is quiet but,
it is not a relief.

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