Thursday, August 24, 2017

Almond Skin



My floor is soft. The fresh snow of cat hair. Some weeks I sweep every day. Other weeks I don't sweep at all. I think, No one's coming over because I'm fine with no one coming over. Josh and Shawn are either at home or at work. I'm always home, and sometimes home is work. The cat sits in the window and sleeps. The hardest work he does is beg for attention, the default work we all do no matter what other jobs we have.

My dog is the color of an almond skin. He eats food I didn't know dogs would eat--broccoli, carrots, apples. Almonds, too. I gave him an almond earlier when I was knitting on the couch. I'm finished knitting, but the almond is still there next to him, a small mirror of his own golden coat. They are like two horses in a field of winter nothing. This one closer. That one farther away, a smooth abstraction in the distance.

My dog is saving his almond for later. He'll eat it when he feels it's under threat of being stolen. No one in this house would steal his almond, but he doesn't know that. He doesn't know there's a large bag of almonds in the kitchen where this almond, his almond, came from. And he doesn't know he's lucky to be alive, that after he was adopted, his mother and siblings were torn apart by a larger dog. His only brother now is the cat who sometimes hisses at him and sometimes grooms him. Here, we are all as good to each other as we can be.

My drawings are in a box Josh gave me. I add a new drawing to the box once or twice a week. Each one takes a day to imagine and another day to draw. Eight of them will fit on the clothesline in the dining room. When I'm feeling colorless, I'll hang a few drawings on the line. I'm surprised by them, that I made them. Those are mine, I think. Shawn says they come from me naturally. Only I could make them. I like to think he's right. How could they not be me? And still, I stand there, proud and confused to see what I've done, to measure the distances I've travelled to get my own attention.

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From the mouths of beasts.