I’ve been here all along –here in the dark of my room, crouching behind my eyes, hoping you won’t notice how swollen they are. They and the back of my throat. Oh, and my fingers. My fingers are swollen from sleeping on them. Don’t look at my hair. It might be swollen too, which is probably why it stands straight up from its roots even though it’s unwashed and heavy with sleep.
Now and then, I’ve heard the phone ring and ring … until it clicks over to voice mail. There’s a light on the phone now that blinks and blinks; it’s to nicely tell me I have messages, but the blinking light serves only to annoy my swollen eyes. Even if I squeeze my lids tight to keep out the little pulsing light, I can still feel that light, blinking, blinking its way inside the pores of my skin and tapping its way into my bones. Blink. Blink.
I can hear a turkey thawing in the refrigerator. Drip. Drip. I hear it in the dark of my throat. My swollen throat that throbs with each tiny watery drop. On Thursday morning my swollen eyes and throat and fingers and bones will perhaps have shrunk enough for me to float from my bed in all my Martha Stewart aprony perfection. I’ll wear a Donna Reed dress and high heels and drift into the kitchen where I’ll yank that drip dripping turkey from the refrigerator and throw it, butt first, into the oven at 325 degrees for three and a half hours. While it’s cooking into a mass of something so dry it’ll never drip again, I’ll rest what’s left of my poor narrowed body on the kitchen’s cool tile floor. I don’t think I’ll be noticed lying there, in my dress and heels and apron, my face composing itself on the floor in front of the oven while I wait for time to pass and a turkey to turn brown and dry, dry, dry.
If only it were summer. I’d listen for the ice cream man. My throat would like some ice cream. Or a popsicle. Or that lovely Italian Ice with strawberry glace drizzled over the top. Yes, my throat would like that.