The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes: I write them
down in my notebook...
of the Dust Mites
notebook in which I write has a black cover. Black is not a color,
it is a value. I print, I do not write in cursive. My mother writes
in cursive. Her letters are long and flowing, like ribbons on the
page. The Sister who taught us cursive writing said that only children
print. The sun is out today. The windows of this cabin are broken.
The glass lay on the leaves outside. The windows were large, but
now they are broken. Or should I say that the glass was large, or
that the openings are large? Windows are openings, not necessarily
defined by glass. A window could have plexiglass. Or saran wrap.
Translucency seems important. Glass is made of sand. The heat of
an atomic bomb can turn the desert into glass.
There is a rusting
truck, an overturned washing machine, and three chairs outside. A chair
needs three legs in order to stand. I have not been outside for three
days. There is an empty oil tank outside, and a wrought iron railing
that leans against the cabin.
There are 13 steps to the second floor, if you count the top as a step.
I am unsure if you are supposed to count the top as a step. Perhaps
there are 12 steps, like the apostles. The top step is for Jesus. I
am not sure if the 12 apostles include Judas.
I keep my other notebooks in my backpack, protected in Ziplock bags.
I dont want the writing to get wet and bleed.
Today I will go into town. I am out of chocolate Pop-tarts. I can buy
chocolate Pop-tarts at the general store. I have already recorded all
the people at the store in my notebooks. My printing is small, like
typeface, but I have filled many notebooks.
There is a pornographic magazine on the table by the couch. It is open
to a page of a woman performing fellatio. Or giving a blow-job, one
might say. The corners of the pages look like they have been dog-eared.
The drops that have come through the roof have made them curl.
I will buy Spaghetti Os at the store.
My stomach is upset, but not as badly today. I will empty my bucket
outside. I get my water from the stream. Maybe it is a ditch. Today
I will boil my water. Purify it. Boiling water makes it taste flat.
There is no taste in water that has been purified.
I will stay until the cold comes; then, I will return to mother. The
checks will be waiting for me. Most people have to apply twice to get
those checks, but I had to apply only once. Mother knows I like to go
in the summer. The checks are still coming in the mail.
She asks me if I want to go the grocery store with her. She wants me
to get out of the house. Sometimes I wear my dark glasses and carry
the white cane when I go out. People will not usually speak to you if
they think you are blind. The cashiers usually say hello, and then I
write them in my notebook. I believe my mother is ashamed of me when
I carry my cane. Her friends she plays bridge with know that Im
not blind. I have already recorded them all in my notebook.
My earliest memory is of my father. We were at the ocean. He was carrying
me and he had gone waist deep into the surf. I clung tightly to his
neck. His face was rough. He had blue eyes. I have blue eyes.
I cannot remember a time before I could speak. I cannot remember being
a baby. My mother did not breastfeed me. A cow is my mother. Maybe the
brain does not have the space for memories at that age. I would like
to remember being born. One does not remember being born. One does not
remember dying. The entry and exit doors lock when they shut.
The rain carved more ruts into the road. The machine will need to go
by again before the summer is over and take out the channels. Mosquitoes
bit me on my way to the store. The farmer at the corner who grows the
pumpkins said hello to me as I walked by. He grows giant sunflowers.
It is not so much the sunflower that is giant as the stalk that holds
the flower is excessively tall. I recorded him in my notebook.
I swam in the quarry on the way to the store. Two dead dragonflies floated
together on the surface of the water. There was an inescapable sadness
in their floating together. In some cultures, they are a symbol of regeneration,
and in others, death.
I bought bread at the store. Was the Manna that fell in the desert leavened?
Perhaps they ate the locusts and that was the manna. Locusts have more
protein than steak. I have never purposefully eaten a bug.
It appears as if my notebooks are divided into chapters. Birth to age
seven, the age of reason. Seven to 12, 13 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 35.
My life has no chapters. Only two sections, pre-pills and post-pills.
The government gave me my insanity certificate when I was 26. I redeem
it to get monthly checks. It has proven to be more lucrative than my
If I cant remember a name, I create a name. The bus driver from
sixth grade had a small train track in her yard that was big enough
to ride a miniature train on. I have named her the Conductor. She had
an Irish accent. One day she let us ride the train. She wore a striped
hat and pulled the whistle. She is in notebook number two. I cant
remember anyone else to put in notebook number two. Maybe another will
come to me, but I think that notebook is finished, but it is not complete.
I wonder how many people I have neglected to add.
The pills that I have brought with me wont be enough to last until
the fall. Tomorrow, I will start to cut them in half.
There is another abandoned house on the road by the stream. The back
wall of the house is missing, the timber posts acting as the only support.
Someone put a mannequin at one of the upstairs windows. An empty shell
in an empty shell.
Today as I walked past, I heard voices inside. Perhaps the people inside
are the same people who were at the cabin where I stay, the ones who
left the magazine.
I went down the steep bank by the pumpkins, and walked through the tunnel
that goes under the road. I began hiking up the stream. There were no
crayfish or minnows. The water was clear. It takes a certain degree
of murkiness for life to exist.
I walked up the stream and sat on a granite peninsula. The water had
worn it smooth, except for a spiny ridge that ran through the middle.
I sat there and watched the water.
A car went by on the road and I heard the radio news mention the Grand
Ayatollah. It made me wonder if there is a Miniature Ayatollah. I would
like to have this on my gravethe Ayatollah of the Insignificant.
The King of the Dust Mites.
Animals learn how to function in their animal society when they are
young. A mother monkey will teach her child how to break open a nut
with a stick. A bear will teach the cubs how to hunt. The animal focuses
on territory, sex, and food. Human beings are animals. We arent
plants, or robots. Perhaps my father was part robot. His human side
developed the cancer.
The girl in the magazine has pink nipples. They are like rose petals
on her chest, barely visible in contrast to the paleness of her skin.
Lovely Brandy in notebook four had pink nipples. Later, I saw her in
the park, nursing her baby, and caught a glimpse of her nipples, which
had turned darker in her motherhood. Rose petals to tea bags.
I was napping upstairs when I awoke and heard them outside, but they
were too close for me to exit, so I crawled under the bed with my backpack.
I was hoping that they wouldnt find my bucket.
They stayed in the sitting area.
He said, "I think someone has been here."
She was talking about getting new shoes and getting a carton of cigarettes.
I could hear them as they had sex on the couch which has the cushion
with torn upholstery. It is the only couch. It didnt last long.
I could smell their cigarettes. My father smoked unfiltered cigarettes.
I stayed under the bed with the tiny spiders that look as if they have
no mass. They appear to be specks of dust that have come alive. What
internal mechanism directs them? How could they hold a brain or heart
or blood, but they must eat, all living things must eat, so they must
have a stomach and digestive system. And an asshole or eliminative organ.
What could an insect that small eat? Dust mites, perhaps.
A grown man under the bed in an abandoned cabin. I am reasonably intelligent,
am I not? As a child, I played advanced Chutes N Ladders and accelerated
hide and go seek. I had scored well on standardized tests. I stayed
under the bed and made up my own test questions.
A train is traveling west at a speed of 20 mph. If Tom hops the train,
what are his chances of meeting a schizophrenic alcoholic with scabies?
How does a doorknob work?
I dont even know how a doorknob works mechanically. With all the
knowledge I have acquired over the years, I could not create a creature
as simple as the dust spider that lingered with me in the shadows. I
have no children and I never will. I have climbed out of the gene pool.
I watched them through the window openings as they walked down the drive.
The girl walked by a briar bush and got them stuck on her shirt.
They didnt speak to me directly so I didnt write them in
my notebook. I have considered writing everyone I see into the notebook.
There are a finite number of people with an infinite number of faces.
They left their cigarette butts on the floor.
Today I walked down to the church and the graveyard that is behind it.
The church is Victorian, yellow and white. They dont worship Victoria,
however. I assume they are Christian. When one tithes, does it come
from the gross or the net?
The farmers dog ran over to me to greet me while I was in the
graveyard. He also grows gladiolas. The farmer, not the dog. The dog
began pissing on the grave markers.
The leaves are beginning to turn and soon I will go back to my mother.
My mother is not my sidekick. I have no sidekick. Maybe I should get
a dog. I could go on journeys, like King Arthur. He was nobly born but
was not aware of this until later in his life.
I also took a piss on one of the gravestonesthe name was Beckett.
I stepped in the dogs crap on the way back to the cabin.
© Mary Wilson September 2004
Previously by Mary Wilson
The Temple (A particular
favorite with my creative writing students)
all rights reserved