Saturday, March 13, 2004


I am at Eleanor’s apartment, which is at the top of a high rise in the ocean. It is all white and light, and utterly round with walls of windows and a white shag carpet. The living room is inhabited by a large white couch curved into a half circle, with a huge potted palm behind it. The coffee table is also a white half circle, and the living room and kitchen are divided by a white counter curved in the opposite direction, completing the circular effect. I am about to finally meet her boyfriend. He comes in and is quite unexpected – an overweight, tall Chinese man. We sit on the cloud couch, talking, hanging out, and munching red peppers dipped in goat cheese. A huge black and white pinto draft horse (Gypsy draft) walks through the living room and out onto the balcony. We follow him onto the balcony. Eleanor walks over to him and, stroking his face, tells us he is hers. The ocean is lapping at the edges of the wrap around circular balcony, soaking the bricks and making them slippery. The horse slips and slides as he walks around the curve of the balcony. I follow him. A Thoroughbred foal is up to her knees in the deeper water around the curve. Horrified, I realize that if she moves too fast she will slip and fall into the water. I start to walk toward her to take her inside but when a loud noise spooks her, she slips and falls under the water. She is floundering about, thrashing madly, trying to regain her footing. I begin to run for her, and my belt falls about my thighs, shortening my stride. She is now laying on her side. She stops thrashing and her head goes under. I shimmy out of the belt as I run. Her head lifts, then falls back under, the water swirling around her delicate nostrils. I reach her and lift her to her hooves, wrap my arms around her neck and press my cheek on her soft, thick, curly foal fur. I walk her carefully into Eleanor’s dry apartment.


I remember spending the night at my grandparents house. In the little room upstairs with the slanted roof I would sleep. Standing in front of the dresser with the round, wood framed mirror, I fingered the old pea green Lucite hairbrush, part of a set laid on the embroidered linen runner draped atop the dresser. I glimpse my ghostly reflection as I pick up the brush and glide the natural bristles over a lock of my hair, spreading the oils from my scalp to the tips of my hairs. When finished brushing my hair, I crawl under the knobby white bed cover, electric blanket, and crisp white sheet. I reach for the milky white glass lamp, covered in teardrop shaped bumps, and flip the switch off. Pulling the electric blanket up, I rest the silky soft edge of it against my lips and fall asleep.


Every night, when my boyfriend and I are safely tucked under our blankets, our kitty jumps up on the headboard, and leaning forward over our heads, ears pricked inquisitively, scopes out the bed. Her soft meow is a question as she jumps onto my pillow and tenderly steps toward the opening I create for her by lifting the blankets. I am laying on my side, my back warmed by my boyfriends stomach, his arm draped safely around my waist. Our kitty sidles over to my belly, circles, and plops down, sitting with her front paws kneading my arm or neck. The motor in her throat purrs full throttle as I put my free arm around her and pull her towards me, pressing her against my belly. She purrs so hard that she squeaks out contented little meows as she lays down, resting her tiny head in the nook of my arm. When I wake in the morning she has moved to either of our chests, using a turned cheek as a pillow.

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