It’s like floating, unattached, spinning through a universe full of emptiness. When you close the door and the scent of you fades. Your touch slips from my skin, your smile from my memory. I feel distant. Alone. Like I’ve floated beyond reach into vast nothingness, outer space. I will float here till I die. Just out of your reach.
“Fuck, Ana, did you take your pills?” He was angry. No shit.
I smiled and put my hands on his stomach; it was hard and flat.
He gripped my wrists, removed my touch, used my locked arms to set me down on the mattress, like one would pose a doll, a mannequin. Perhaps that is what I am. He searched my face, but my mind drifted, floated. He shook me. “Did you take them? Tell me.”
I nodded. I had taken them. I remembered taking them. I didn’t remember stopping.
He left me, and I heard things falling, scattering, and I heard him say fuck again, then his hands were on my shoulders, making me stand, walking with me. “C’mon. You gotta get them up, Ana. Wake up.”
I wasn’t sleeping. I was sleepy. I couldn’t feel the floor under my feet. I watched him lead me into the bathroom, watched him push me down over the toilet, watched him knot his fist in my long hair and pries open my jaw and stick his finger down my throat. But I’d watched this movie before, so I left.
Earlier today, I was hanging off our balcony. The gray grease spotted asphalt four stories down looked oddly soft, liberating. I listened to gulls on the roof across the way, and I listened to the literary agent on the telephone tell me it was more shit. Why can’t you write me something like the last one? This is shit, Ana. I can’t represent shit. You’ve lost it. You’ve got to get it back and stop sending me this shit.
I climbed over the wrought iron rail. I couldn’t cry anymore. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I couldn’t hate anymore. I worried about leaving Rob. But Rob had lived longer without me than with, he’d carry on. He’d be relieved if he was honest. I watched the gulls squabble over french fries. They dripped with gravy. What an oddly foreign thing to do, put gravy on french fries. And cheese. What the fuck.
I held on with one hand and heard a squeak. A boy, ten or eleven maybe, propped his bike against the wall. He sat down on the raised brick that jutted from the building. He took out a box, and crinkled plastic and jabbed the straw in. I wanted to let go so badly. I wanted to know if I could fly, if those fucking angels they talked about in church would catch me. If the gray and white gulls would mutilate me before Rob came home from work. There was a slurp. The boy’s baseball cap was an Atlanta Braves one. Not Blue Jays. How odd.
Then he took out a sandwich.
I climbed back over, and he heard me. He looked up, smiled a sweet, almost angelic smile. I gave him a thumbs up and made the tomahawk sign, and he grinned and made it back.
I wretched. I felt his arm across my belly and his fist in my hair. And I thought about my little Braves angel.