snake around a stick

I am at my grandmother's old farmhouse, with the fourteen foot ceilings in the new part and the flagstone porch in the old part, in Trumansburg, New York.

S and C are there and want to see me. I do not want to see them. I am avoiding them. It is a big house. I am avoiding everyone. The kids can find me, they know the hiding places. At one point I come up through a couch. There are five pieces of wood that don't quite meet in the center as the frame of the couch. I come gently but fairly quickly through them. I wonder if everyone there knows about coming through the couch or just me. Surely my mother knew. It's like being born, from a couch. I go through the flagstone screen porch and outside.

I look back and C is standing by the porch door outside. She is talking to someone. A snake. A snake that is wrapped around a stick that she holds, but the snake is a child. "There she is," says C to the snake, "Maybe she'll talk to us. Maybe if she knows her mother Helen is here." But I keep walking away around the side of the building and in another door -- because Helen, my mother, is dead.

I go to the storage room and lie down on a pile of pillows. It is dark but not cold. There is light in the doorway at each end. I can hear people. I am hoping I can sleep, hoping they won't notice me in the pile. Suddenly my sister pushes me and I stand up. "I want to know if this is what I should cook for breakfast." says my sister. The lights are on. She has a cast iron frying pan with something in it. With almonds. She is in full glitter, the charm on that could enthrall a room. I don't like the glitter, though, and know that it hides things. "It doesn't matter what you cook," I say, "There isn't anything that you could cook or make that would make me want to rejoin you." C is in the room and my mother Helen. They are wanting, hopeful, that there is something. There isn't. Our paths diverged so long ago.

I wake up.

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