It was the clattering in my kitchen that woke me. Stupid cat, I thought and turned under my blanket. Wait. I have no cat! I sat bolt upright and listened, heart pounding. The kitchen clammed up. I croaked a ‘hello’ into the dark apartment.
My dry throat begged for a glass of water and a panic room. Gosh, all these wishes were as likely as an oversized cockroach making me coffee. The air moved. Something smashed on the tile floor. It must be rats. ‘Mr. Burglar, go away. I’m broke.’
More sounds dragged over the kitchen floor. That’s it! I yanked the blanket away and went into the kitchen without paying attention to my brain’s horror visions. I switched every light on. Finally, when light flooded the kitchen I saw the mess on the floor. At the table sat a tiny old lady, with a toothless smile. ‘Made you tea.’ She waved a hand toward the empty seat. Her white hair hung from her skull, and her eyes were white too. She was blind. ‘Sorry I woke you.” She smiled.
‘Who?’ I croaked. She held her palm up.
“Destiny,” she simply said. “Now drink and breathe. We need to talk.” My head swam and I obeyed before I had a chance to protest or question her. “I see all the things together. Past. Presence. Future. You. Everybody.” She sipped from a cup I’ve never seen before. “Uh, shouldn’t it be present, not presence?” I asked. The way she had said that rubbed me the wrong way. What does she even mean? “I need you to come out with me.” I stared at her confused. “To take a peek at the sky.” I sipped from the cup she prepared for me. It dawned on me, that I had no tea in the kitchen. She chuckled. How did she react to what I did? She was blind. ‘I’m blind, not deaf. Your thoughts are loud enough.’
‘Okay. Going back to bed. Bye.’ I stood up and turned, but it was dark again. I wasn’t in my kitchen. Where did the wind come from? Oh- I. Was. On. The. Roof. How on earth was I on the roof?!
‘Pay attention this time. I’ll show you.’ The old lady stood behind me, bony finger pocking the base of my skull. ‘BANG.’ From behind a heaviness pressed down on me, I couldn’t move a finger. As if solid bedrock had me in a full body hug. I couldn’t move my head, my gaze was fixed at the night sky. To my surprise, I moved upward. ‘I curse you with the weight of the world.’ The blind woman laughed. ‘Float like a leaf in the currents, gravitate towards the sad and ignorant until you find meaning in your way.’ I swallowed hard.
Part 2 / Part 3/ Part 4
pic: Mermaid, original art by author ( crayons, cinnabar on paper)