Friday, February 24, 2006

Moving Day

When all is said and done, usually more is said than is done.

Jaynie rips the sticky packing tape about an arm’s length that makes a sharp tearing sound. The pitch goes from high to low like a knife tearing through bed sheets, as the piece grows longer.

“Need the tape?” she asks me but what she really means is “Can this be right?” I take the tape after marking the box with the word: “KITCHEN”.
“Thanks,” I tell her but what I really mean is “I can’t wait to be out of here.” I mark my box with the word: “OFFICE STUFF”.

Jaynie pushes the box she just closed, heaving a gentle grunt as she does so. “One more box down…”, she starts and then suddenly quits but what she really means is “I am not going to miss this place.”

I smile at her and begin loading the bone white everyday dishes into another carton. “Yeah, I know,” I tell her but what I really mean is “What is the point of staying?” She marks another box with the word: “SUNDRIES” and remarks: “The new place – do you think – I mean – do you think it can – I can – we will be happy there?” But what she really means is “I feel dead inside. Don’t you feel dead inside? How come you don’t feel just a little dead inside?”

I wrinkle newspaper and stuff it around the dishes when Jaynie stops and gets up. I tell her, “You know we can call someone. I mean, there are people…” I stop but what I really mean is “How are you going to get better if you don’t try?” I write the word: “BEDROOM” on the box I am closing up.

Jaynie waves me off like I am a fly, touches the windowpane and begins to scratch small spirals into the ice that has formed on the inside of the glass. “I hate winter,” she says but what she really means is “No! No one can know about this.” She writes: “LIVING ROOM” with the fat end of the marker, holding the cap in her teeth.

. “It’s just the season,” I tell her, “It will be spring soon but what I really mean is “How could you let this happen?” I mark another box: “UTENSILS” and tape it up

She smiles softly and goes back to packing. She picks up a picture frame and in it is a picture of a little boy and she fights back tears. “I can still smell him,” she says but what she really means is “Fuck you! Fuck life! Fuck God and fuck everything!”

I touch her gently, probably for the first time since that day; that day when the noise stopped coming from that room. “Jaynie, don’t do this,” I say but what I really mean is “What more do you want from me?”

She holds up her hand again pushing me away in gesture then tries a forced smile. “I know, I know” is all she can say but what she really means is: “How on earth am I supposed to go on living the same way?”

We go back to packing and I make another box and label it: “GLASSES”. I say to her without looking at her, “When we get to the new place things will be different. You’ll see. Everything will be fresh,” but what I really mean is “Christ! I am carrying twice the mortgage on this new place – what do you want from me? Can’t you see how I am hurting too? And anyway, he was my fucking son too!” I close up the box I am working on and write: “KNICK NACKS”

Jaynie goes to pack a framed poem by Mary Oliver and reads one line out loud: “Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?” then she just stares again out the window.

“I really hate the winter,” she says but what she really means is “I am so scared right now about what I might do next.” She hesitates before she writes the word: “MEMORBILIA” on the side of her box.

I carry another box labeled: “BLANKETS” over by the door, place it neatly in the pile and say, “Yeah, me too,” but what I really mean is “Yeah, me too.”
M C Biegner


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