Letters from Home

Everybody’s got a darkness…

The fog and the mugginess this morning reminds me of London.
Previously posted on Jan 16, 2006

Dark and rainy By Monica Arellano-Ongpin
Everybody’s got a darkness
They’re not going to show it to you.

It’s Monday and grey again in London.

I dreamed of you last night. I sat in a cafe over cappuccinos with some friend. He told me the flat I used to live in on Randolph Avenue was going to occupied again soon. By you.

Everybody’s got a shadow
Following them around
Clinging, clinging to their footsteps
Dragging them to the ground.

In the dream, I felt you coming here like a rocket shooting to the moon. I thought, in the dream, that suddenly you realized you could not be away from me anymore.

Hear them rattlin’ bones

My friend, well, he didn’t know I knew you. He said your name like he was reading it off a marquee. I listened, then I blurted it out. Who you were to me.

Hear them rattlin’ bones

There was silence over the wobbly wooden table, as we stared down into the dregs of our foam. It was strange to him — as it is to everyone — the thought that you were mine once. He stumbled a laugh, one that I mimicked. We changed the subject. But I wanted to leap up and run to 115 Randolph Avenue and sit on the step, petting Missy the cat, and wait for you to arrive.

Everybody’s got a little secret
Something they never gonna tell
Gonna take it right down to their grave
Up to heaven or maybe to …well,

I tried to go back to sleep after that dream. It was 2:53 a.m. I flipped on the blue pinlight of my booklight and tried not to wake Colin. He rolled over and reached for me but did not wake. I read for a while, then got up, and laid on the couch. There was a rumble, deep inside of me, pulling down, down.

I watched BBC. In the middle of the night, they rebroadcast shows with a sign language interpreter in the corner. I watched the face and the hands and didn’t listen. I watched until 4:15. Then I went back and read some more.

I finally slept, maybe around 5:15 or so.

There is a skeleton in your closet
Do you hear, do you hear it rattlin’ bones?
I think you better look the thing in the eye.
It’s never gonna leave you alone.

This morning, I walked from our flat on Delaware toward the shops at Maida Vale. I carried my laptop on my back, heavy and full of stories I am having trouble telling. A thin, dark man walked toward me. His coat was too big for him, his eyes looming large behind his glasses. The weight hanging from my heart swung and loomed, pulled down again. I walked by 115 Randolph Avenue under lead skies.

I wondered what that man, walking by me just then, carried inside him, the color of his darkness. “Tell me your secret,” I whispered to myself, a dirty proposition. I wondered what he dreamed last night.

Hear them rattlin’ bones.

*Lyrics from “Darkness” by Kelley Hunt

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