@ 2014 Mary Anderson Parks
Someone wants to come and visit me. Why? I am fine as I am, here by the window, flitting into the garden when a whim strikes. I do not trust this woman who wants to come and visit. I do not live alone here after all, though I am alone so much. There is a man in my life. We make love in the early morning, he wakes me from sleep to love me and in the night I grow aware of his hand resting on my hip, claiming me. At least she will not be able to get into the bed with us. But will I have to stay up with her until she is ready to go to her room? He will go to bed early as he always does and I will want to go with him to that safe place where we are like children together and where there is no need for words. I will need those times more than ever when she is here.
How long will she stay? Did I invite her? No, I remember now. She invited herself and it’s been years since I’ve even seen her. She is not a person I want in my house. But if I don’t answer the door, she might try to come in through the garden. Can I lock the French doors and hide behind my chair? I would peep out probably just at the moment when she was peeping through the glass. That happened to my Aunt Mildred. The minister came to visit and had his face close up to the screen door, peering in just when she stuck her head out. Aunt Mildred was very fat and had trouble getting all of herself hidden behind the chair. He might have seen her even if she hadn’t stuck her head out.
All the ha-ha-ha’s and how-de-do’s. I can do without them. Perhaps I will be very grave and read a book while she is here. “Just go about your life as usual,” she said. “Do what you normally do.” As if that were possible. I climbed a tree in our front yard one day not long ago. Is that the kind of normal thing she wants me to go on doing?
I will not even be able to fart or laugh hysterically or eat noisily by myself because I will not be by myself. There! I said a shocking word, fart, and I have not been struck dead. No one even noticed. Actually I am very ladylike. Like a ladybug. Quietly traveling across the rug, leaving no sticky shiny trail as a slug does.
I will not think about the visit. I will think about how good I will feel when it is over and I can take off all my clothes and run around the house naked. The trouble is she is a human being and has feelings. I don’t want to hurt the feelings of another human being. My own feelings are tender and tentative like sprouts in the earth, piercing their way into the air, swaying in the wind.
So I will be kind if I can. I am tired even with the thought of it and want to drift away into a dream.
. . . . . . . . .
The visit comes and goes. I rise to the occasion. Is life a long series of occasions we have to rise to? The good part was she left sooner than expected. Perhaps because I forgot to put sheets on her bed.