||[Aug. 5th, 2002|01:30 am]
scarlette was walking down the street talking to rabbits. at one particular lawn she stopped and smelled the air. autumn was coming. she’d be wearing a sweater soon, beige and frayed. it was one of the things she’d stolen from her grandfather’s closet. there were 2: grandmother’s to the right, grandfather to the left .after he died scarlette placed it in a bag of flowers from the funeral. her mother kept all the flowers, she said that she wanted to try taking some seeds from inside the center of petals, and when she got home she put them behind her wedding dress. if scarlette feels bored she can go in that place, her mother’s sanctuary. it’s the morgue of the Empty’s heirlooms. The long closet across the hall from Scarlette’s mother’s room.
Scarlette stood underneath the trees and breathed. Nose breath mouth breath nose breath mouth breath inhale exhale inhale until the moment has passed.
her house is the red one at the top of the hill. cute little trimmings, pail pink paint and knockers and shutters. people driving past whisper things about the gingerbread house. little girls and boys talk stories about the gingerbread people, and the uncreative ones tell their gi joes about the one that said cant catch me i’m the gingerbread man. sometimes the mean ones find eachother at night and wait for inhabitants to appear. they bring the household dog that hasn’t had dinner.
Quiet skippy, they’ll know youre here! shut up, you can eat one if you keep ruffing! make him shut up nick.
Scarlette’s mother stayed inside. her face was faints from not opening the curtains. sometimes she watched t.v. she had nightmares. in the middle of the night she opened the music box in the morgue. it played “julia,” and ms. empty touches her sticky face.
scarlette liked the sky. the backyard had a white picket fence that was torn down and replaced once a year at christmas. scarlette laid in the middle of the grass and sunburned her face.
when she was a girl she took her mother’s nailpolish and painted stripes across her face and the brown paperbags from the grocery store. she cut the bags into triangles and tied them to her arms. in the guest bathroom she made her hair into two braids and stared to be sure she looked like the little girl on the ripped out page of national geographic. the paper girl had feathers. feathers. scarlette took the babyfood jar she collected seagull feathers in and placed two in her hair. then she took the crow feather she’d hidden in her backpack on the way home from school. she pushed it between her part and looked again. the girl in the picture had a ling going down from the middle of her forehead to the tip of her chin. scarlette stood on the toilet seat and opened the cabinet above the sink. aunt ruby’s old lipstick was stuck in a corner, accompanied by cutips and travel size kleenex. scarlette would use it for her stripe then put it in her mother’s closet. she pushed the line down her nose and looked at herself. her center, her brain, her lungs filled up with music. she made her mouth sad and compared it with geographic girl. they were almost the same. she ran down the stairs quietly so mother wouldn’t wake up. she opened a drawer and put on the christmas socks from yoga and opened the screen door and was outside in the wind. her feet jingled. she had nothing on but her christmas socks. she put up her hands, she pointed her face toward clouds and opened her mouth and moved her feet. she began jumping and moving her hands, her braids bumped her shoulders. grass, and sky, and house, and trees, and fence, and ants, and world, scarlette ran around the yard in circles and sideways and started scatting like great aunt susie’s records that were on a higher shelf in the morgue - ella fitzgerald. spinning around singing blue blue bluh buh buh buh blue for the sky and drrrrrop for blizzards, wiggling her hands in the air or lakes and swimming @ the Mince cottage upnorth, running from one side to the other screaming and falling in the daisy patch, breathing hard and smiling in the inside, feeling the first pieces of rain landing.
if moira was in the sky she’d look like a head. her hair is black and her clothes are black and lacy and old like the sky. she has dreadlocks and lives in the house behind scarlette. moira’s car is her dad’s and we used to call it mr zebra pants. mr mince broke the trunk so he put masking tape around it. it peeled off in a rainstorm and some robins took the tape to make a nest. there are still marks on zebra pants, but every other sunday mrs mince takes it to the carwash, and the stripes become small spots and dots. i call moira in the morning.
why hello miz scarlett empty.
lovely to hear your voice miss mince. is your dancing card open?
if you only knew, miz scarlette.
shall we take mr zebra pants for a walk?
we shall indeed. we’ll be ‘round after i get my nose powdered.
moira hangs up and walks to the bathroom mirror. lalala. her and scarlette were in the advanced 7th grade reading class. they read gone with the wind and talked like the old south for a few months. 7th grade. seventeen year old moira puts on her great grandmother’s rings and chapstick and puts the keys in her great grandmother’s purse. moira enjoys pretending she’s a fun victorian widow. she enjoys being mocked in the hallway. she has a pet mouse.
she drives around the block to the gingerbread house. scarlette’s waiting behind the bushes with an apple. she gets in the car and moira asks her where she wants. they often frequent thrift shops, book shops, flea markets, their friends, moira’s boyfriends when she has a boyfriend.
scarlette’s seatbelt clicks and she spreads out her legs.
ok. moira and scarlette streak off in mr zebra pants listening to a mixed tape.
when scarlette and moira drive they talk about psychiatric appointments, social worker appointments, the mince family, the empty mother, movies, music, or they sing. they sing along to the collection, which is 50 mixed tapes from road trips. every vacation has a tape, dating back to age five. they made them at moira’s house or scarlette’s, together and by themselves, and today’s was #3. moira and scarlette made it last minute when yogo got sick. they drive through cars, houses, grocers. it’s a mild day, warm and too sparkly, its 50 minutes until the aeroport. moira’s speeding in drug store sunglasses, scalrette leans in the seat with her thick framed spectacles. the clouds are elongated cottonballs in the atmosphere, and they make names for them.
a herd of clouds.
the face of a boy with blue skin as a teenager.
boats, the way you see them in an ocean.
scarlette’s in one of her poesy moods. isnt it nice to be below the ocean?
moira forgot to go to the bathroom and she parks mr zebra pants by a bowling ally and runs in, picking up her dress. the sky looks like normandy now, from the top of the channel.