as I lie on my back pressed beneath piles of blankets, nose cold, contemplating the twining ivy stenciling along the top of my bedroom paneling...
This week, misshapen buildings and profiles, all my half-formed impressions of downtown Providence came circling around me, peering down at me, when I laid in my bed.
In the morning, when I would have been scrambling for the bus, I wondered about my bus driver, and the three passengers who I ride with from my stop, I wondered about the old man sitting in the Bank of America reading the paper, and the businessmen who smoke in the alley beyond the revolving glass doors, and the boy with tattoos who is always in the Arcade, and my make-believe-homeless woman, who always has her hair a different color and wears new clothes while she begs.
I thought about the uneven cobblestones outside of the Hanley Building, and how my kitten heels always get caught between them if I am not careful. Inside, to the claustrophobic little lobby, the white brick face inside the stairwell. Outside, all the places I walked for lunch, along the river or to basement cafes, or inside the Arcade—always a last resort. Because the air smells like oil and the echo is too much and the people in there are all stereotypes from some other world.
It seemed distant and foreign and not at all like it had ever belonged to me, a morning like that, walking from the bus plaza to my office, humming and clicking my clogs down the street. It seemed like a pencil sketch or a claymation village, and very very far away.
I lay beneath my blankets perfectly still, as the sunlight came in, webbed and white, between the curtain lace, in stripes between the blinds, and a wrenching sense of passage, the heavy vacancy of a closed door, a corner turned, a view altered.
You magnify the beautiful, reduce the ugly, and fall in love with the memory traced out in your mind...