Sunday, January 7, 2007

The creation of a comfortable life out of an old woman's bones

Jason: You should come running through the fields with me or down the side of a hill…we’ll get our ankles all covered in dew and roll until we can’t roll anymore.
Annabelle: Oh, you sound like a poet. You sound like Joan Baez or something.
Jason: Well I read a lot of Hemingway, and this is how I speak…and it's with my own tongue too.
Annabelle: Well, it’s adorable. But we’re supposed to be talking about my new apartment.
J: Right.
A: Is the tape rolling?
J: Yeah. Hold on, let me check the mic. Okay, it’s good. Go.
A: Don’t you think it is important that my doorway does not stand completely tall? The doorframe is crooked. See? It’s leaning slightly to the left.
J: I realized that the other day…after you first moved in…it’s the same in the floor. I was on my hands and knees, mopping the wood, and the soapy fluid kept running down and underneath the refrigerator. I think your whole building is slanted.
A: I do, too. I think it’s important to live in a space where at least one doorway is crooked…and if not a doorway, then the whole building.
J: Or, at least, a place that had been inhabited by an old woman with lots of grandkids or maybe some kind of shut-in religious freak who had bazillions of books.
A: You would never believe that an old woman had lived here, though. A few hours after we had unloaded the truck, I began sweeping and dusting in my closet, and there was hardly any dust.
J: That’s really nice. My place still has those big cockroaches.
A: It’s terrible at your place…such bad vibes. Once when I slept in your bed, I had this horrible dream.
J: What happened?
A: Well, I remember this strange man in beads. He was short and stocky. He had a funny hat on, too. He killed and skinned this poor blonde woman in the basement of my parent’s house. The woman owned an ice cream shop down the street on Broadway. He stuck her in a black garbage bag and handed the bag to me. I don’t know how he got in to the house or why he was carrying out the deed there, but he was. So, he hands me the bag and tells me it is my responsibility to dispose of the remains. But of course, when he turns around, I call the police and I drop the bag and run down the street. I don’t remember very much more of what happened.
J: Jeez, well, that’s bad enough; you don’t have to keep going.
A: Anyways, ever since I moved in here, I haven’t been having any nasty dreams. I feel a calm in this place. Sometimes old tenants leave bad traces of themselves behind. But the old woman is truly gone. Her lovely scent is still here, though. It’s like roses, isn’t it?
J: Definitely, roses.
A: So, now I have pleasant dreams. And on nights when it’s raining, I have the privilege of listening to the rain tip tap or lap lap on the vines that grow up the side of the building.
J: That’s so peaceful. Listening to the rain outside my window…ooh, or on the roof as I was going to sleep, was definitely a highlight from my childhood.
A: Mine, too.
J: Hey, but what’s with the blue work light in the bathroom?
A: Oh, that…I got frustrated with the pull lamp and tugged on the chain too hard. I think I might have ripped it out of it’s hole.
J: The blue light really does give the room a specific ambiance.
A: I’m going to throw bath parties. But instead of filling up the tub we’ll just let it overflow. We’ll all get naked and just lounge in a very wet bathroom.
J: Sounds great, I can help you set up. Oh yeah, I also dig that photograph of a bathroom that you hung up in the bathroom. Strange dynamic.
A: I bought that at an art fair. The woman knew I liked it so much that she sold it to me for dirt-cheap. It’s a real expensive print, too, you know.
J: How much originally?
A: Oh, I think…um…eighty bucks or something.
J: You always get those kinds of wonderful people cutting you breaks.
A: I have a pull. Hey, you know what I was reading about today?
J: What?
A: I was reading about when the sun first came into existence.
J: I’ve never thought about that before.
A: The universe was bathed in complete darkness.
J: I guess that’s logical but I never thought about it like that before. I just figured it went straight from god to sunlight.
A: Well, it was completely black, and all of a sudden, the sun came into existence and flooded the entire universe with a blinding light. But there were no living beings, so nobody got to see it but god.
J: He gets front-row tickets to all the best Broadway plays, too.
A: Every night!?
J: Every night.
A: I hate Broadway theatre.
J: Yeah, I hate it too, but I’m trying to get used to it. I’m trying to find something culturally or spiritually redeeming about it, but it’s hard. It feels so empty.
A: Well, I guess the people making the shows put a lot of hard work into them.
J: Yeah, that’s good enough for me.