Later I will

Later I will tell you a story about ghosts.

You won’t be the last person to die in this house, after all.

I need to fix it so you walk more quickly past mirrors, and think twice about opening your eyes in the middle of the night.

Don’t tell me there are no sounds you wonder about. Tonight you will see what quiet can be like, and we will find out what you think about that, when the whisper lets you hear the things you couldn’t before.

The walls are not going to leave you alone, and neither will I.

I’m behind you. Above you.

It is important that I do this to you. A story about ghosts is not the same as a ghost story.

Flowers for X

I was buying flowers for Rosalie last night. There’s a place down the street from my office that’s pretty good, nice people, interesting arrangements. It’s not the best, the best is on Centre St. in JP. There’s also a place near my office that employs some of the surliest, most abrasive flower-sellers ever. I don’t go there anymore.

Anyway, I went to the place down the street and pick out a pretty good arrangement from out in front of the store. I like going to the florists in the fall the best. First of all because the flowers tend to not lend themselves to being bundled with a bunch of baby’s breath, which is ugly and hated by everyone, but also because the bouquets tend to include not just flowers but other, prickly things, blue alien things, berry-laden things. It’s more interesting to me. I can’t actually name any flowers by site. Except snapdragons and belles of ireland.

I took my bouquet to the register. There was one guy ahead of me, who was carry a more traditional type of bouquet, probably tulips or something. Just he hands it to the girl behind the counter –who must be a new employee, I’ve never seen her before, she’s probably a student from Northeastern– his cell phone rings.

  1. He’s in front of me, therefore holding me up. Preventing me from the rest of my life.
  2. His bouquet, which he’s getting wrapped up all fancy, obviously for his girlfriend, is not as nice as mine. He is an amateur at buying flowers, or his girlfriend has lousy taste.
  3. Cell phone.

So the girl was wrapping the flowers up all nice, and this guy seemed to be getting the brunt of his conversation delivered to him. Lots of silence, breaths & half-utterances of disbelief, Yes I dids, No I did nots, I do not understands, Where is this coming froms, Buts.
He got hung up on. He stuck the cell phone back in his jacket just as the girl finished wrapping the flowers.

There was another person in line behind me at this point, and I was wondering if there might be someone else in the back room who could open another register or something and move this process along a little quicker. She handed him the flowers, and started pressing register buttons. HE was looking at the ribbon bow on the flowers as she said “Fourteen fifty.”

He put the bouquet down, took out a ten and a five, picked up the flowers, took the change she was holding out to him, then said: “Here. These are for you now.” He held out the flowers to her.

She looked a little stunned. It was a surprising thing. It seemed like an odd gesture to me. She probably got all the free flowers she wanted, working there. But she probably didn’t know what to do, because she took the flowers from him without saying anything. He turned and was out the door, turning left, heading up Mass Ave.

“He should have kept them for himself,” the woman behind me said, and I agreed. I guess he had suddenly decided to do make a stab at something sort of bittersweet, which, incidentally, is a word I’ve never liked.

Many Girls Laughing

1. Did you watch 7th Heaven last night???
The fucking olsentwins are going to be on next week.

lastnight?The

What did I tell you about those troubleGirls?

I really like that sweater.

2. Take it to the bridge.

I saw a girl all alone on a bridge last night.

Alienation, unbelonging, somewhere between girl and woman, set apart, loneliness, no one understands, trying to be something I’m not sure I am. Don’t you see these are all common themes.

Come on what.

3. I practice the way I dress.

I pretend I don’t care

But my invisibility on the sidewalk as you pass by is carefully conceived.

You think I’m joking when I say you would not recognize me on the street. Sure I would you say.

You are lying to yourself like girls acting their age + 10. But don’t feel bad I wouldn’t recognize you on the street eyether.

7th Heaven was good

it’s the sound of a large group of girls, perhaps a dozen, laughing

Drowning, for Rosemary

I feel safe and protected inside and suddenly the storms are everywhere. Unable to grow any stronger out under the canopy of the sky, they come in through cracks in the windows or over telephone lines, seeking new spaces to darken, new light to choke, life to drown.

When the phone rings bad news, you can tell before they even say one word.

It is the way they inhale before speaking the first syllable
(the last syllable before drowning)

I’m thinking of a storm by the sea, the grey sky and the grey water, and all of us on the rocky shore, struggling to push the boat out into the endless ocean.
Arrows fire from off the cliffs behind us,
and the burning on the water feels like our hearts.

I would tell you a story to help you sleep,
and make the dark night pass as though it didn’t even exist,
but then who would be left to tell me a story, and keep me from all the nightmares I know are waiting for me.

I dream about the ocean at night, and everything beneath it.

Maybe there isn’t heaven, but can we intuit the peace of those who are gone.

The waves have claws, and we’re always lost,
but I think I can feel your peace, Rosemary.

I think you are somewhere:

if I can not let the storm be everything,
then there you are, everywhere

hollow wind following

We went shopping after work tonight, clothes, toys, anything

We were in a store that is popular with the teenage girls. We were leaving and out of the corner of my eye I noticed the security guard. A very old man, thin, balding, sort of lost looking, smiling even though he looked broken inside.

I didn’t think about it until we got outside, and I realized I knew him.

He used to run a convience store down the street from where we used to live

A really great store, the kind of corner store that always comes through in the clutch when you just realized you need flour, or batteries, or ice cream, and no place else is open.

He was a really great guy, he had operated the store by himself every day for decades.

Then one day he got sick, and the store never opened up again. And the town was coming through every property in the street with eminent domain anyway

Gentrification

what it is like for him, so old, who used to run his own independant store, and now has to be a mall security guard.

The girls in the store probably think he is creepy. in a fake whisper so he can hear. but he is a really sweet, excellent man.

I feel absolutely alone tonite,
even worse than normal.

The wind sounded much hollower than it should have on my way home tonite

and I was sure at least 10 people were following me home