Dec 7, 2006

Passing talk
Something like the sound of seeds dropping on both sides

Her black feet walked over the carpet. Around her feet the carpet strands looped up and then down again and around the impression around her red toe nails one loop was broken loose, unwoven and unthreading its way up into the air.

She walked, calf tensing with a step, heel rolling to arch to ball to rolling foot coming up on the tips of the toes and then her right foot left the ground and for a moment was gone, disappearing up above. Black calf tensed, catching a light, heel touched and rolled to arch depressing the carpet's loops.

I heard none of this. Not as a sound. It was only a shifting coming down from the floor in the apartment above through my ceiling painted in textured patters and through the blank space between their brown-carpeted floor and my generically painted ceiling and down into the structure of my walls - a shifting, a displacement, an adjusting.

She paused. She said something. Everyday talk. Good morning she said. Good morning howya doing this morning? There's coffee on.

In the last apartment, I could hear the upstairs neighbors. A week there and I heard them rumbling from one side to the other, back and forth. What's that? Furniture. Furniture? I think they're moving furniture. Dragging it, one end raised and the other end cutting carpet loops and shaking the floor and my ceiling with the dragging going from one side and around the end of the room and back again to the other end like a game of duck duck goose without anyone sitting down.

Later I would hear them again, following the furniture noises, with the music turned up with the base sounds and a man's low voice singing sweet songs in a gruff whisper of R&B nothings said slow. The furniture would stop dragging and for a day they would be silent upstairs and then music would come up with the rhythms coming down, up and down, up and down, up and down. The sound of the music disguising the sound but not the feeling of the shifting in the walls.

They would fight again later. Now the woman's feet moved again now, walking away back to the coffee maybe or maybe to the shower. They were brown on the bottom the color of walnut stains and the skin was wrinkled where it didn't touch the floor.

My coffee pot leaked water leaching through the unmeasured grounds and the paper and came out into the tint-stained pot in a black trickle. The kitchen faucet dripped into the off-brown sink. My bolt was turned from the door into the wall and the little chain was over onto the frame's latch. My blinds were dropped. The sliding door was slightly open and I could hear the sounds a car, a dog, an airplane. I haven't started talking to myself yet.

The car revved up the long hill and putted over a speed bump. The dog sniffed and then barked. The plane came in for landing with the people's faces pressed to the portholes and it sounded of dry thunder.

The gate at the end of the hill was closed and chained. It was built, I think, in an older age to keep people out and now has barbed wire looped in circles over the top, to keep us in. The gate was closed and the weeds were leaking through, dropped seeds on either side. It looked like it was locked forever. It looked like it was waiting for an impossible opening ceremony, for the coming up of some savior who will walk across ground and open the gate and pause and say, good morning, there's coffee on, howya doing this morning?