Things feel transparent today
The sheets coiled around her. The silk asiatic robe she had fallen asleep in twisted around one half of her body, leaving her breasts exposed to the ceiling. She snuffled into her own wild locks and pulled the sheets and robe back over her again.
What was the time? The light was already filtering in through the suburban forest outside her wall sized windows. Green leaf light. Morning light. Light with a tinge of extra red. It seemed nostalgic somehow. But it was early. She knew that. Good. She was tired of late starts. Good to get up early. She could do yoga for once.
She reached over to check her clock. 7am. Great! She smiled to herself. I woke up! Great! Through the window in her guest room door she saw Kate, smiling and fully dressed at such an hour. Who was she talking to? She wasn’t ready to engage in good mornings yet, so she rolled back over, arm over face, just for a few more minutes. Until Kate had gone back upstairs, and she could be allowed to wake slowly. With no talk.
In the next moment that she blinked open her eyes, grasping for her clock, two hours had gone by. Damn. Nine o’clock. She wouldn’t have time for yoga now. Damn. And no walk. That walk had not been happening for the last six months. She inwardly groaned at herself. Fark! Some resolution.
She was up and out. It was time to make life happen. Showers and food and strong gunpowder green tea were enough to get her system moving. She would mediate once her tea was done. Then there would be enough focus to concentrate. She had never liked meditating early morning without some kind of stimulant. Even Tibetan monks have tea in the morning. With butter! She could meditate through the tired haze, but it annoyed her. She’d rather be alert. She knew she was avoiding part of the practice there, but shrug it off. Whatever. It was enough she sat every day, wasn’t it?
Outside on the verandah she sipped the gunpowder. It was bitter and strong, and lukewarm. Just how she liked it. The light had become even more red and gave the world an odd hue. Everything seemed more in focus somehow. More raw. It was an undeniable presence that was added to everything. It felt like the last day on Earth. That kind of quiet. Well, the kind of quiet presence that she imagined might be there on the final day of Earth, anyway.
She inhaled deeply, seeing the deep red light splaying across mounds of fallen leaves. There was smoke. It comforted her, that smell. The smell of being held by fire. Of being held in the orange light of small rooms coddling themselves from the cold of winter. A huddle of people laughing into the evening, sharing lives. Sharing stories and dreams and time. But it wasn’t winter. It wasn’t even autumn.
It was the middle of Oregon summer and the leaves were falling off the trees and the light was red and smoke was filling her nostrils.
Later that day in the car as she and Kate drove over the broadway bridge, they could not see past the first row of CBD high rises. The smoke was too thick. A cashier from the local store told them that it came from the woods way upriver and that strong winds were blowing them into Portland. He enjoyed being the well of information and enjoyed it even more when he made them laugh out loud at his theatricality.
“He’s nice” She had said to Kate. “I liked him.”
Kate nodded and smiled and cracked open her can of Yerba Mate. They sat in the car discussing archetypes and the cycles of nature, watching a young man with ‘Peter’ printed on the back of his belt unload his groceries into the car. His mut dog barking happily at him. Glad to have company again.
“Everything seems more transparent today.” Kate had remarked. It had. The homeless people on the street. The man yelling obscenities at whoever would or would not listen. The heat. The way that their bodies would not allow them to do things unless the absolutely wanted to. A spell billowing through the city. Exposing all the parts. Showing what was hidden. Burning away the boxes and tight places where all had been hidden.
“2016 to 2017” the astrologer had said to her that morning. “That’s when it’s all going to ease up. That’s when you’re going to find more stability.”
They were sitting on her bed. Laughing. She was reconstructing the main points of the reading. She stopped mid sentence.
“I had this feeling when I woke up that I needed to ask you about your dreams.”
Kate laughed. And then looked at her fascination.
“That’s so weird. I woke up and thought to myself, I need to remember my dreams so I can tell hem to Courtney. But then I kinda just forgot them.”
That night, as they packed up the home cinema they had created – an evening with Charliez Theron in Mad Max – She asked Kate
“Were you in the kitchen this morning? About 7?”
She had had a bizarre sensation. As though she had been there but not.
“Umm.” Kate thought for a moment. She head to once side, her quiet voice still umming as to her own whereabouts at that time. “No. I got up, but I stayed upstairs. And then I went back to bed.”
“Are you sure? I saw you outside my window. Wearing a black sweater.”
Kate looked at her, pressed her lips together and shook her head.
“No. I don’t own a black sweater.”
“I wonder what your dreams were.”