Bent Words

Bent Words

September 19, 2006

She had not realized the pen she had been holding was still uncapped and craddled between her fingers until the blue M & M sized dot caught on otherwise unmarred white paper caught her eye. She blinked, as though in disbelief, and worried the ink might have bled through to her desk. It had not. With the four or five sheets piled together, waiting her attention, the ink had not infiltrated all the way through.

She capped the pen and placed it parellel next to the sheets of white paper. The exhaled cigarette smoke followed her as she turned back to the window. The couple below, walking arm in arm, were bundled against the sudden onslaught of crisp, icy wind; unexpected, by typical, for this time of year.

It could snow tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised, she thought.

Shivering, she turned back to the knot of ink on a once innocent, fresh sheet of paper. If it weren't for that single, accidental spot of color, there would not be a single mark -- no signs of life on that span of pure white.

She looked down longingly, frustrated with her lack of thought. The words alluded her still.

'Another year has come and gone...'


'If one more year means more time with you...'


She looked around the room and sighed. What inspiration could be wrought from a pile of dishes in the sink? What collective genius could be wringed out from the towels hanging limply over the shower curtain, past their prime? The stench of week old laundry caught her senses and made her brow clench for comprehension.

Her adoration was shrunk into the utmost corner near that spot under the day bed that usually only collected dust, cat fur and Chinese take out.

Chinese sounded good. She had not eaten yet that day and it was already past noon. She could walk across the street and place an order with the slight squint of a girl who never liked it when she grinned in anticipation of the deep fried crab snacks in a grease soaked sack.

"Chinese? Damn it."

Her mind had drifted again.

Concentrate! She begged of herself to concentrate; to think! There must be something...

'You used to tell me
All these things
How the curl of my fingers
Could send you sailing
Across your skin or
Within the waves
of a salt and pepper sea
All these things
You once told me'

"Way off," she muttered, "but right on."

She crinkled her eyes in response to a tear. The chill of the breeze through the open window stung her moist eyes and sent waves of brisk longing over the surface of her skin and then soaked deeper into an unknown core of her entire body.

She would rather cry than concentrate.

The tips of her eye lashes sparkled with dew. The length of her slender fingers curled up with a small, dull pain and she turned back toward the window, wishing it wasn't already so cold.

Out of the corner of her eye, she found the blot of ink once again. The lump of nothing, like a thousand words piled together on the same exact spot, hanging on her heart as heavy as the load of clothes unlaundered in the bedroom or the cast iron pans and pots laced with sauce in the shrinking space of the kitchen sink.

A meaningless mass of confusion on what once was a piece of perfection with purpose...

How fitting.

How very fitting indeed.

Written at 8:40 p.m.