Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It took a while for the elevator to start moving again, and when it did, Amber's world was in shambles. Shadows played basketball on her face when she arrived at the lobby. Somewhere in her purse was a pocket pack of two-ply Kleenex brand facial tissues. (In the same purse was a lock of her own hair, from when she was a girl in Ypsilanti.) She didn't know the tissues were in the purse, so she grabbed a few paper towels from the nearby ladies' room. Every paragraph in her brain was on the cusp of becoming a Pop Tart.

Outside she tried to hail a taxi, stepping off the curb with confidence and raising her arm in a taxi-hailing motion. She remembered, as she watched and waited, learning one day many years ago in seventh grade that plasma is rare in the universe. Her arm ached. Matter consoled her with its Newtonian heft, the purse hanging heavy and growing old as a tree.

Slumped five minutes later in the backseat of her taxi, she wondered how to respond to the message she'd received. How to proceed? She thought and thought. I've got to weave, she finally decided. Then she asked herself, Weave what? Am I saying I want to learn how to weave things? Baskets? Rugs? No, she realized. She had meant "leave". She wanted to leave. But leave what? She was again confounded. Leave the city? Leave the metropolitan area? Leave in some metaphorical sense? As in, stay in the city but "leave" my old habits or desires behind or something?

Amber's thoughts were cut short, momentarily, by the words of her driver, who said, "Hey. Hey hey, lady, where you say..." But the driver's words were cut short, permanently, by a blood clot that had been traveling toward his brain and now stopped there. Five minutes later police and EMTs were on the scene, and Amber was looking apprehensively forward to a holiday that hadn't been invented yet.

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