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July, 2010

  1. Untitled, pt. 1

    July 14, 2010 by Danielle

    If eyes could gasp, mine would have. They pop open, it’s dark, too dark to be anywhere near time to get up. Normally this would excite me, the prospect of more sleep, but tonight it puts a sinking feeling in my chest. I am already too awake. I turn over, check my phone, plead with God to let it be atleast after 4, closer to sunlight than the ascent into darkness. 2:58AM. Of course. Always in the perfect epicenter of night, when everything couldn’t possibly be quieter, blacker, more isolated, this is when I awake abruptly and with remarkable alertness. My eyes immediately adjusted to the darkness and with every single tiny hair standing on end. More than once, I’ve found myself waking to my body spinning around to face the door, as if it had sensed someone or something was there before my brain was fully aware. I sigh, sit up, crawl to the end of my bed and fumble blindly with the tiny television buttons until it clicks on.

    Ahh, infomercials, nothing more soothing. I turn the volume down to that perfect level, resting in the place where it’s loud enough for me to be comforted by their voices but soft enough so that I can’t make out any words or focus on the content. The sleepy hammock of sound. The epitome of background noise. Forget the whirring of white noise or the computerized crashing of waves on a nonexistent beach, my American brain is relaxed by the relentless drone of useless household appliance salesmen. I throw myself backward onto my pillows and think about how I have to be up at 6 and how much that sucks. At this point, I won’t fall back asleep til 3:30, and that’s if I’m seriously lucky. That leaves me two and a half hours to sleep, which is just enough time to make my way into a deep slumber but still awake nice and groggy. Great.

    I arch my neck, chin to chest to see the TV. My glasses are off, so I can only guess at what they might be pedaling tonight. I throw my head back again. It’s always the same stark contrast of colors, reds and yellows and bright blues. Everything is so bright and so cheerful, the whites of their smiles unmistakable even in my state of near-blindness. How could I be lying in my bed, in this empty apartment, panicking, all the while seeing that there is someone out there who is so care-free, so excited, so pleased with their recent purchase? How can I possibly lay here and let scenes of my own kidnapping, rape, or murder run through my head when I should be planning a party just so I can make salsa in under 15 seconds? How dare I contemplate the details of my own death while being fully aware that my car is in need of a serious shining? There is so much potential, so many things left to be blended, toned, chopped, polished, organized, condensed, transformed…

    The sudden silence and darkness is actually what wakes me from my light sleep. My cozy warm safety blanket of incoherent retail babble ripped away. Instant confusion. Did I set the sleep timer? Do I even know how to set that? Instinctively, I check my phone again. 3:30 AM. Before I have time to muster up dismay for the time or continue to wonder for why the TV is off, I notice the light creeping out from under my closet door. I sit straight up, ponder for an instant if I left it on, in the same second realizing I haven’t used that light since the first day I moved in and accidentally ripped the cord off of it. The bulb is still in place, but with no means to turn it on. I watch as it flickers and goes out. Rub my eyes. Another light sweeps across the floor, this time from under the bedroom door. From the kitchen. I swallow hard, snap my head back to the closet. That light is on again, both are on now. My eyes so wide, they might just split at the corners. Too horrified to blink, they are quickly drying out from the ceiling fan. It is now that I realize that my air conditioner is also off, as I am coated in a warm sweat. Suddenly, shadows of movement appear from within the closet, visible in the crack under the door. I shake my head side to side. No. What. The. Fuck. I swallow again, which this time leaves me with no saliva in my entire mouth and throat. I bring my blankets to my gaping mouth, open my eyes wider still, and scream. Or atleast try to – nothing is emitted. My vocal cords merely squeak. Tears spring to my eyes and I leap out of bed. It is at this same moment that my bedroom door begins to open…

  2. From the Top, part 2

    July 7, 2010 by Danielle

    From the Top: part 1 (by Tom Shaggy)

    From the Top, part 2 (by Danielle Baldino)