Sunday, January 13, 2008

White heeled shoes

She arrived home. She had taken a carry on, which was good cause it was 1am by the time she got off the plane and down to the concourse. She was running in her new white heels, new for the Spring in New York. She grabbed the railing. She slipped. The back of her shoe got caught on the metal rail. She tumbled down the stairs.

Are you okay?

I'm fine.

The shock lifted her off the ground. What the hell was she doing? The man who pulled her to her feet looked nothing like her. They grew up in completely different cities, universes, bus rides. He looked at her.

I'm fine. I'm fine.

But do you feel grounded? he asked

She shook her head and blinked. There was no man there in front of her. There was no different looking person reflecting on who she really is. She walked towards her car and with a click, unlocked the smokey grey BMW convertible. She climbed in, pulled out her IPod, went to plug it in and realized it was dead. She pulled out of the parking garage, the hum of the airplane buzzing in her ears. She needed something to fill the space. Fucking radio. She tuned the music. Rock. Some late community station playing a washboard banjo klezmer band. She finally settled on words. The radio announcer sounded old. And she couldn't quite make out whether it was the voice of a man or a woman who had been a singer in her younger life, but whose voice now cracked like gravel on a road. He said

Are you feeling grounded?

She blinked her eyes and focused on the word, what?

Pluto's not a planet.
The sun is not hot.
The announcement came while you were away.

She switched the channel. What was this bullshit?

I said, the sun is not hot.
You were out on the land. And everything. Doing real things.
The announcement came while you were away.

She had to take the car back to the dealer and get a whole new sound system installed.

The sun is not hot.
We are all the heat.

We are all the heat, she thought. She suddenly felt her ankle, knee, elbow. The places where she had fallen on the stairs. The cement, rocky white stairway.

We are all the heat. And we're going to require ice. Or large amounts of water soon.
We're going to have to send manned expeditions.

She was startled awake in her seat.

So we're going to need a lot of money from you.

Of course, she thought.

But it'll save you. You are the fire.

This weekend, while you were away.

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