October 2nd, 2005



I don't hear my husband get up but I hear when the kids do. The television displaces sound as it slams on with a whoosh. I bury my head in the pillows, burrow down the cocoon-tunnel of the winter duvet I put on the bed yesterday. Its warmth and thickness is not enough to keep out the jangling disharmony from the television set. "Turn it down," I croak. Anders hears me and admonishes the children: shut mama's door before you turn on the tv! Moments later, the door snicks to, a creaking slam, then not exactly silence, but quiet enough. I drift off again.

Later, when I awaken, my family has disappeared completely. The only traces are breakfast dishes thrown higgledy-piggledy into the sink and a cloakroom box left open and empty. The house nearly hums with the silence this time. One car is missing and the dew outlines a whiter rectangle on the paving stones where it stood and dripped this morning. Where have they gone? The fish are mute and gaping; they know nothing.

Still later, my son's girlfriend calls, "Can Martin play today?" I tell her they've disappeared and I don't know where they are and am unreasonably gratified to hear the shock in her childish voice: "They've DISAPPEARED?" as if they had literally vanished into thin air. I reassure her with a laugh and make promises for afternoon playtime, contingent upon their reappearance, of course.

I shall hog the bathroom, soaking under the shower in hot water and steam until the mirrors vanish too, until I'm pink and wrinkled. I'll put music on, and turn it up. Maybe Mozart for this succulent Sunday, a day with no plans, and maybe not.

Later, I'll finish cleaning, and working on half-finished projects. I'll finish my book and start another. A walk is beckoning: come out, come out!

I'll welcome my family's resurrection. Later.