On Waiting for the Results of the Biopsy

I have set myself out a dinner plate on the dining room table, and I’m staring at it now, blankly: lima beans from the freezer, instant mashed potatoes, vegan barbeque ribs. I swivel a wine glass slowly and listen to it grate against the wood, then put on I Gave It All by Aquilo to fill the silence. I wonder, momentarily, where Kelvin is, and what he is doing. I mash the components of my meal together with my fork, and begin to eat, resting my head against my left palm. I think that my father would have never allowed me to eat like this as a child, with my elbow resting on the table. I feel memories from my life gushing around the edges of my walled up consciousness, as if I’m slowly bleeding out from a lifelong head wound. I remember that one afternoon when Michael parked his car in the middle of a field and how we listened to an entire Brahms movement together without speaking, staring out the windshield at the weeds swaying about haplessly in the late fall breeze. I remember a quiet moment after my English lesson with Win Win, when he toddled over to his shelf to pick out a book for me to read to him, and how I stared out the window of their South Shenzhen apartment at the endless balconies, laundry hanging outside each one, billowing in the wind. Between bites I look down briefly at my waist and remember how terribly I had wanted to have a child with Nick, how I thought it would give my small insignificant existence some semblance of meaning, and might make it easier to go without, as Dylan Thomas would put it, raging against the dying of the light. I remember the day I found out that might not ever happen, and how Craig turned his palm upright on the table in the Greek restaurant after my doctor’s appointment to receive my weary head as I rested it against the glass pane of the table. I remember laying my hand on the fresh soil of Mana’s grave at dusk, how I stood up screaming until I was hoarse at the cracked and crumbling moss covered graves of the dead that surrounded her in that empty cemetery, screaming for answers in vain. As the song ends, I quickly move to change it to avoid the silence from closing in around me like a storm, and turn on God Of Wine by Third Eye Blind. I remember looking up from my sobbing when I was very young, blinking my wet eyelashes and looking out my bedroom window, at the trees and the pens and the broken down barns and just beyond them, the sunset painting the sky with vivid pinks and purples, the heavy last rays of light settling in over the golden fields. And I think of my mother, and only then do I remember how to feel again, and allow myself at last to put my fork down, and cry.


About A B

"There is all this untouched beauty, the light, the dark, both running through me." -Over The Rhine
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