Monday, March 17, 2008

The Apocalypse has come and we’re living on the top floors of Macy’s in the home furnishings department.

We never go out – or even downstairs -- sleeping on demonstration mattresses under stiff jacquard spreads.

There are no windows, only window treatments.

Drapes hang from curtain rods suspended from the ceiling at the head of every bed.

I play my cello, but I’ve only just taken it up. I keep scratching away, hoping to hear that melodious cedar sound. I am sitting on the edge of the bed, my cello between my knees, when my bow breaks. Did I break it? Did someone walk by and catch it with their knee?

It’s not crowded in Macy’s like it is on Christmas Eve -- it’s more 10am on a Wednesday -- but all this the furniture, arranged in conversation tableaux, clutters and stultifies my soul, like I’ve been rescued by the Victorian Age.

I hold the broken bow and its baleen dangles, hideous as a broken bone.

Tony takes the bow from my hand and snaps the wood into even smaller bits against his thigh. He does this absent-mindedly, as if disassembling cereal boxes for recycling.

I am aghast. I can’t comprehend this injustice done me. Who told him he could touch my bow? Why did he think he could get away with this?

I begin to protest but see that, in his eyes, he’s done me no wrong.

I feel post-apocalyptic Macy’s weigh down on me and I begin to scream.

Even in my own ears, I sound shrill, hysterical.

This dream is the opposite of a catharsis; it feels like sludge, burdening me.

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