Tuesday, September 22, 2009

man of steel

I walk in and it looks like a crime scene. Blood everywhere. On the floor, soaking the pillow that hangs over the green chair, blossoming on the sheet underneath him. I keep my cool and smile at him. He is reclining, his left arm slung over his head and he speaks. Dear God, why has this happened. I tell him how impressed I am with his courage and then I start cleaning. Trying to get rid of the blood. What good are nurses if they won’t take care of their patients? And then a joke from him breaks my concentration. He’s laughing. He can’t not be a superman. I almost cry, not from pain but from pride. The same blood that’s been spilled all over this room also runs through my veins. I smile with him.


The window was open. He was naked, except for dirty torn blue jeans. He was looking out the window and his hands were on the windowsill. His back was facing me. The sheets were white and I could smell clover. The autumn breeze blew in. I blew a smoke ring and he laughed at something. The neighbors were hammering and a car peeled out below. He turned around to face me and sat on the window ledge.
Vegas, he said.
Vegas. I smiled.


I asked the ballet instructor if the dancers would like a fan. Since it’s so hot, I told her. She told me not to worry about it, it didn’t affect her anyway. I laughed at her honesty; its meanness struck a chord. How hot could tiny dancers get anyway, I thought.

Painted teenagers dancing. Painted eyes, painted lips, painted cheeks. Tiny, taut muscles, squeezed into blue costumes. Am I the ogre? I wanted to believe I wasn’t so I stayed hidden in the shadow. Tiny bodies with wicked curves here and there. The music swam through air. I looked away.