I want someone to come home to again. My house has become a glaring cliché in its emptiness. Everything is louder: small shifts in air flow patterns when the vents jolt similar to a defibrillator or stun gun, the crickets’ erogenous call for booty blares like a megaphone. something creaks or cracks, sometimes from the architecture's structural spine sometimes from my allegedly arthritic joints.
I am a simple person, but how did my life get to be so routine, so opaque, so unexciting? Technically, my life is more functional and stable relationally, yet somehow it is completely bland, exhausting, and soul sucking.
I go to a client’s house for swim lessons depending on the given week; I wash the chlorine off of my body with a slightly soapy and still stiff (like pumice for exfoliation of a buffalo with psoriasis) loofah. I check my e-mails, squeeze out a resume to a seminal writing company or just remind myself to send one, pick up dinner from the few existing non-fast food –but- I- can- still- pick- up- food-quickly venues, day dream about farting into a jar and sending it to someone I don’t like via the fine postal service, visit my mother in the hospital for a four hour night cap, followed by a lonely ride home, then listening to my boyfriend complain about cleaning gunk out of his blind, diabetic dog’s eye. Then a real nightcap: Two hours of some escapist sitcom while I fight sleep with my remote as a quasi- Epée and drink a glass full of Pom until 4:00 a.m. So I guess that makes me some kind of rock star minus the booze and women. Well, minus the booze.
And all that keeps me from thinking. Or over thinking, or feeling. Anything. Until, it’s time to go home and I leave with the same Barnes and Noble bag filled with the current day’s New York Times, a memoir about reading the encyclopedia, or a borrowed Neil LaBute play, and a mostly finished bottle of Poland Springs water. And as the elevator door opens into the lobby, the security guards give me the nod as I walk by and validate my parking. They don't seem to care that it's 11 p.m. and visiting hours ended at 8. They all say the same thing, “Don’t forget to put this through the machine around the corner before you go”, then an arm motion to the left, and I walk away to brave the stale humidity of the parking garage.
Tonight as I walked through the revolving door I saw the brake lights of Joe Pesci’s Mercedes sedan parked out directly in front of the hospital, and then his quick but cautious exodus from the parking lot. This is the second day in a row that I just missed him. He’s been around for at least the past few weeks. And the security guard hearsay is that he is local to the area and gets parking privileges. Very hush-hush. Right.
His car is usually parked out front before I arrive in the early evening and still there when I leave. I guess he’s not like us $ 4.00 a day-survival-of-the-fittest-parking garage nomads, us regular shlubs. Even though I’ve been coming every day for the past five weeks, I will never get any kind of privileges, or reward savings, miles, or even coupons.
I have been anxious to see Mr. Pesci. Especially, the past few nights that I was only seconds from seeing how he’s aged since his “Home Alone” movies. It’s not a need to see him for some facebook status update, or cool story to tell the grandkids or some celebrity crazed lust. No,
I want to see if he walks with a crippling twinge of uncertainty in his knees. If he lets the hours he spends visiting wear like scoliosis because fighting it gets so damn hard.
I want to see his face, not for the sun spots or wrinkle count but to see if his eyes are smudged –like charcoal –from the sleep depravity of watching his loved one scream. There’s some kind of haze that consumes you when you watch loved ones moan in their sleep and scream when they awake. Even the empathy of how they must feel when sitting on the bed pan, rolled over, then wiped and rolled back down like a helpless, exposed infant. Maybe he once believed his eyes were the window to his soul and that he could do anything; nothing was off limits. Or maybe some corny teacher told him so.
I want to know if he licks the tears off his mouth when he realizes the lie in it all; the helplessness and the uncertainty of being human and feeling alone in it.
I want to know if on those nights he walks through the revolving glass door, alone and doubting everything ( for about three feet until he reaches the end of the curb to his car), if he by chance stares up at the low, yellow moon and smiles at the strange and rare occurrence that it looks like a banana.
I want to know if it saves him. If, as he follows it on the car ride home, it reminds him of his childhood days when bananas could be plucked for gold coin points in a rail road cart –the way his thumbs ached from playing that video game for hours, the way his mother’s voice was a safe finality when she rubbed his back gently and said, “It’s time for bed”.
I want to know if it makes him feel whole again. Even if just for a second.