Monday, May 7, 2012

footprints in the sand

I was eighteen when I got the tattoo. It was a premeditated whim but not entirely out of character. I've always liked the idea of something under the surface, hidden from view, with roots even deeper than a layer of skin. Something that won't rub off.

It was a mark with a vaguely defined meaning. Something about walking with someone you love? Or maybe about running really, really fast? Open for interpretation. That the years might alter it -- might pull on it, might stretch it further -- never crossed my mind.

Today, it means this:

Their voices bubble up from the basement. Their bodies burst into the living room. I watch from the sidelines.

They ricochet down the hallway in high heels, in slippers, in slapping bare feet. I'm wearing my bathrobe. 

Their bedroom door slams. The walls muffle their noise. I press my coffee cup to my forehead, to the grooves that are growing there between my brows. I close my eyes.

I imagine the hallway lined with sand. I see their footprints, divots one on top of the other, impossible to follow. Volatile in the wind. Nothing in the rain.

I get down on my knees and cup my hands around the places they've been.