Friday, February 10, 2012


In peripheral vision illuminated pyramid steps. Venetian blinds framed by pinned back curtains, thinking about dead girls I once knew. Years ago I saw them peripherally, eating sandwiches sunlit on wooden benches, or nervously finishing Trigonometry homework, the cafeteria's unkind fluorescence. Talking excitedly to other girls in matching uniforms, in poorly lit hallways, in navy ankle or knee socks with white cotton blouses and blue, black, and white plaid skirts. Reflected through the glass doors and across the shining linoleum, the grass and beyond that the tennis courts. The sunlight bouncing around the cement courtyard, cement Virgin Mary gray eyes downcast. These girls now invisible, now dead and gone. One in an avalanche, others more predictably. Invisible girls. Gone women. Gone won't be at the reunion. Not in person but in lowered voices and heartfelt slideshows. In peripheral vision a white car drives downhill under neutral gray of sky, behind dusty pyramid blinds. These living girls returned peripherally to my consciousness, removed previously at some undetermined time. It's cold in here now. Thinking about those poor dead women I knew as girls. Lost on the periphery of my consciousness. It's not just nostalgia it's resonance. A card flipped over and the revelation of its face rippling through all human tissue for a half mile radius. It's ridiculous, this tiny island of living. Once about bag lunches and ankle socks and rolled skirts and ponytails and rubber bracelets. Now sitting thinking in a room so far from anything, fingers forming sentences on a screen. These girls I once vaguely knew. My classmates. I can't even remember their faces. Didn't live in their town or work with them. Never met their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives. Never knew their children. Weren't friends online or off but still. In peripheral vision black treetops and green splay of houseplant a tiny dinosaur made of latex, day disappears with a sigh. I once knew your face, heard your laughter, made passing eye contact on way to class. This year 25th reunion. You re-enter my consciousness peripherally, as words on a page in a newsletter I don't subscribe to. I never dated you. I never sat in front of you, or behind. I might have drowned out your conversation once with obnoxious synthesizer music. Maybe I saw you talking to my girlfriend. Your face--my memory of it, you--lost in that unknown other place.

1 comment:

  1. Matthew James DeCoster1:35 AM

    SO effing great!