Friday, March 4, 2011

The Second Half

We are at a girls basketball game in an arena. The state championship. Halftime. We go to a meeting between the girls and their coaches though we don’t belong. No one seems to mind and we play the part as if it were our own. The girls are deciding whether to play on or quit. They put it to a written vote, collect the slips of paper, and you and I are chosen to tally the votes while they disappear into a locker room and the others melt back into the arena. But the slips in my hand aren’t the votes. These are blank scraps and old ATM slips. I search for votes. They are gone. The girls return. They look at me for the results. I have to decide so many things. Tell that I’ve lost the votes? Set up a recount? It’s too late. There’s the buzzer. So I lie. It was almost unanimous, I say. Get out there and play.

They go and we are left in a house with frightening architecture. Rain begins to pour. We have no coats and can’t go out in it. I have to find a raincoat for you. I left one here years ago. Where is it? Upstairs, the doors are locked. I don’t live here anymore. Our things are gone as though they never were. And I can’t get out of the stairway. How did I get in? The walls are too close. There is no door. I call your name. But you have gone on. To the game, to somewhere else. I’m alone. Stuck. Sliding fast into panic trying to remember what hope feels like in dreams and in waking.