Monday, March 20, 2006

Well Lit

Beneath sky and birds' sway, the many windows of the upper-class house let light in. In fact, the house was always well lit. Sandra was tired of the house and its command of her time to complete her daily duties. Between the meals and the perpetual mess the Smith kids left, she was losing herself. The bright white light sent downward through the windows served as to encapsulate her, or so it'd seemed. Lately, she just pulled the blinds in her room, lying in bed, trying to grasp on to some sort of semblance. There in the dark, Sandra found comfort from the yelling and crying. For in the dark came her dreams and a better past now gone.

She lived here, but had no stake or claim to ownership. Consequently, decisions obviously, were left to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and sometimes, even the little Smiths. Material wasn't her thing anyhow. She had a few things. But they were small. A little notebook and some pictures would occupy most of her free time, maps and letters that never would be sent the rest of it. She would look at the maps of far away places, planning her many trips as her eyes traversed major mountain ranges and canyons. They had seen many miles, and they were now tired.

She looked over at the sink and its dirty white china stacked about the forks and cutting board. The dryer had stopped and it had gotten quieter, albeit the parrot in the adjacent family room. Another day's light pricked with her thoughts, as she sighed and made her way over to the dishes. At least the dish soap was quite effective. If she finished early she could write her brother a letter. However, she thought, what new would there really be to talk about…nothing new had really happened. She closed the window above the sink as she began the washing. At least nothing that could be described in a letter. Yep, sometimes she thought, a lot of things are better told in person. As she continued scrubbing, she thought how great it would've been if she could've done the same for her heart. Take it out and with the sponge, scrub the dirt away and wipe it clean. Sandra's beat most surely would've improved. Suffice it to say, after this it was the laundry, cleaning the squawking parrot's cage, and vacuuming. What sometimes kept her going was the notion of visiting her brother and getting out of there and away from these things.

One of these instances was last year when she'd visited her brother in his modest flat in the dry heat. Down the road was a place where three Elvae were not seen as abnormal. While there she picked up some ideas hearing them converse as they sat at a dimly-lit Vegas bar drinking whiskey and clutching their guitars. She had aimed her ear, just to hear, as she eyed people exchanging cash near the pool tables. It was as if she could see the smoke waft into the sound waves creating some kind of cohesive idea in her head. Maybe she had one too many.
“Can I get ya ‘nother miss?” asked the barkeep.
Sandra tipped the bottle, and the barkeep, listening contently still.
“In a few…sir,” replied Sandra.
Soon her brother had come out of the rest room and ordered her another drink, but she had gotten the general idea. They sat sipping the drinks with really not much to say to one another. Not that they didn’t have anything to say, but they would bear it at home away from the crowd. She had a picture of her brother in this bar, his half-smile front and center to that slight collage of a memory all around. He was really all she had. Sandra figured such the same in reverse. It served as a reminder, and as more than just one. She kept it on the mirror on top of her oak dresser, supplied by the Smiths.

Not that the Smiths had really done anything wrong at all. Or maybe that's how Mr. Smith saw it, because his wife surely didn't know. To Sandra, the birds and the feathers, yeah, they went together. She wouldn't take another trip into that room again with the staunch piercing light, the straps, and the video device. She did her best to block it from her mind. And it was just by accident, that the poster of the Nile was placed on her wall. However, things were coming to the surface, and it wasn't working anymore.

She had finished her chores and stood before the mirror and her picture. She lit a candle and watched the oncoming light battle the dark in her room. The family was sleeping, and it was starting to get late. She was ready to get out of this place, and had her bag already prepared for going. She blew out the candle and grabbed the rest of her things, including the matches and made her way downstairs. She scavenged the living room for any possible details she may have been leaving behind. Then Sandra looked at the photos on the wall, as if she’d potentially change her mind. She took one last look around which seemed to take her through a series of emotional aurora borealis as her face looked of a crossword puzzle.

As she went out the door taking a glance around, she knew first a bus to her brother's was in order. After that she really didn't know. The only sounds were but joints cracking on her petite-frame as Sandra set down her bag and the tin can. She then went back in and grabbed the parrot from its cage and let him fly off into the night. What a shame she thought to put a parrot like that in such a small cage, or any cage for that matter. She struck and dropped the match, and made her way down the front porch. It was her way of saying goodbye.
In fact, the house was always well lit.