They want you to be JesusIt's Saturday morning and I wake up perfectly. My eyes don't hurt. My feet are sticking out from the bottom of the sheet and the quilt and my pillow is comfortably under my neck instead of pressing against the top of my head but not supporting it. Loch and Ben are still sleeping and don't stir as I crawl up out of the covers and down the center of the bed to climb down to the floor. My skin is filthy with the long night behind us and I turn on the shower, waiting for the hot water to reach the top floor of the house. While I wait I poke around inside my brain. Testing doors, cleaning up a little, tidying errant thoughts scattered haphazardly around the cold concrete hallways. Jacob is sitting in the concrete room with the big metal door and I have propped the door open with the stick I found outside in the fall, above ground where the wind blows and it's always dark and just about to rain, brown and burgundy leaves twisting, trying to hang on as long as they can to avoid the winter that never comes. I keep it just so, you see.
They'll go down on one knee
But they'll want their money back
If you're alive at thirty-three
And you're turning tricks
With your crucifix
You're a star
The door used to be closed and I kept him in there but then he wanted to be closer but that wasn't good for me and since I'm the one who is alive I had to make the decision to put him back in the concrete room. It's a lot further for me to go if I want to see him but it's what I need, and I left the stick there so if he wants to he can come and go. He likes having that option, I think. I haven't heard a word.
Cole can't get out. He is still in that room. He'll never get out. He can just linger there until forever, perched up high against the ceiling the endless shadows. He can't get out because I won't let him out. His permissions are far different than for anyone else, as they always were.
When I am satisfied that the memory thief hasn't been back to see me I get in the shower. It feels so nice. Super hot. I use all of my fancy scrubs and soaps that I don't bother with when it's not just me. I shave my legs and deep condition my hair, grown out now from the gamine Jean Seberg pixie to a flippy little almost-bob, just as soon as it makes it past my ears again. The curls are pronounced at this stage and will disappear completely once the length pulls them out eventually as I make the slow return to my mermaid hair. It was fun to chop it off and now it's time to grow it back.
(Loch smiled when I came to that conclusion. My braid was his security blanket/leash/lifeline for years.)
When I get out of the shower my skin is raw and I'm fresh and brand new to greet such a beautiful day. I should do so formally, before the baggage takes over and pulls me back under. I find a dress and a cardigan and skip the shoes completely. I put my lipgloss and my rabbit's foot in my pocket and I head downstairs to steal sips from everyone's coffee all the while denying that I drink it anymore.