dreamy and suspended, floating like memories.
These are thick and woolly and full of air, fresh-smelling, not wet
and humanity-soaked, not discarded at the end of the day with the
weight of the world but light and breezy, with the promise of youth
and the first rays of sun in the morning and clean folded linens,
wrapped up in hopes and dreams and downy comfort, smelling like the
laundry basket with pillowcases held to your cheek still permeated
with warm air, like the word swaddle.
It appears to be the radiator by your old window on a snow day
afternoon. Your mom is warming your socks there before you go back
outside. You sip your hot chocolate and run your hand across the
moisture on the window pane, all frosted up but melting on this side,
and it goes whoooop under your fingertips. Your heart is racing
and you are thinking: how will the day go? Where will it take me?
It appears to be an array of hastily discarded spring clothing, a
trail of blouses and denims and undergarments and socks resting on
top, crumpled, flung from a distance. You cannot make out the bed
exactly but there is a sense of tussled hair and down comforter and a
tumble of young limbs. The breeze from the window smells sweet like
flowers, inviting, just a bit.
It appears to be several piles of clean laundry with a toddler inside,
outside, across the top, the child just mobile enough now to trundle
trundle trundle over to where you've made a neat stack of socks and
shorts and the pile goes BOOM! with the little one giggling madly,
eyes open wide with a grin that says I did that. You are
picking up the socks again one by one, balling up a few that have
come apart, arranging them differently this time, smiling to yourself.
It appears to be a box of old clothing, hard to make out exactly what
now, eyes not what they once were. Cataracts. Touching them they become
familiar things, unused and boxed away because it is only you left now.
Here is a sweater that was an anniversary present. Here is a scarf
that you bought together in Scotland, on one of your last vacations
together, though you didn't know it at the time. Still, there are
things that keep you busy: books to read and reread, long walks
rustling through autumn leaves, visits from children and
grandchildren. You put the box back on the shelf. Tired after a long
full day, you take off your slippers and prepare for bed.
It appears to be a sock castle of some kind. Still off to the edge of
your vision, but closer now than it has ever been, bright and
attainable, maybe for the first time.
Mom is here now, helping you
on with your mittens and snowboots, fixing your hat so it's over your
ears and your hair is tucked in, just so. She kisses you on the
forehead, and you take a last look around to make sure you haven't
forgotten anything. Then you bound out the back door into the bright
limitless white, not even looking back, and you're gone.