Beautiful firefly

She got off bed at 7am. Awake since three and everything packed since four. She had spent the remaining three hours lying in bed, staring at the ceiling whilst he was asleep. Numb, counting his breaths every minute like she used to do with her dog as a little girl. At the same time thinking about the past, future and God and everything she had lived for, which after all had come to an end. A person’s mind grows old and dries out like a withered leaf on a cold autumn day. It was autumn – the end of a story. The last chapter that yet seemed endless and uncertain, but Nothingness was justified. She looked at herself in the mirror and slowly took off her ring, then her ear rings and bracelet. The wardrobe was open and she could see her favorite dress that he had bought for her birthday. It used to emphasize her waist and hips in an attractive way. However she shoved it aside and grabbed for her black hoodie in the far back and some ordinary jeans that she had not worn in a long time; less attractive, but at least comfortable. After she had cleaned her teeth, she put the tooth brush and her lip balm into her bag.
When she was ready, she looked at him once again, as if she had never seen him before.
She got onto the bus as everyone else did and began to count the rest of her changes that she had in her pocket. The bus drove past the local church where she got married and the supermarket she used to go to almost regularly to buy her lunch for work, because she hated preparing lunch herself, just like she hated anything that cost a lot of time. Nevertheless, it didn’t mean anything anymore. Time was over. As she searched through her heavy bag, she found a copy of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, which she had never managed to finish reading and never would, so she put it underneath her seat apathetically. Also there was a small bottle of eau de toilette, which she chucked into the bin beside her. A middle aged lady looked into the bin and then at her. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell the lady to grab it, but she would do it eventually. Sad bitch.
As she arrived at the train station she noticed that her mobile phone was vibrating at the bottom of her bag. Feeling disgusted, she threw it on the floor and stamped on it without looking at who was calling. That sudden outbreak of anger had caught a few people’s attention. Immediately she walked towards the platforms and threw a quick glimpse at the screen, looking at all the departures, but still uncertain of where to go. Lastly she decided for the small town Tonopah, because there weren’t as many people getting on the train. Just do it don’t think. So she bought herself a ticket, leaving herself only fifty-five cents to maybe buy water with. The train would first stop at Rhyolite, a so-called ghost town. But her destination was Tonopah, as she was thinking about the Tonopah Test Range, which was a military installation, where people launch rockets and undertake free-fall experiments. Or maybe a donkey would lead her to some gold. On the train she carried on emptying her bag. There was a nail file, photographs from the past. Next she cracked her ID card in two and placed everything underneath her seat.
A lump began to develop in her throat and she began to shiver. Her eyes were filling up with tears and she was clenching fists with a raging manner. She locked herself up in the bathroom and collapsed on the floor, crying in pain. It was troublesome for her to gasp for breath whilst sniveling like a hurt little girl. It felt like she had severely injured herself that she was not able to get up anymore. Suddenly the choking feeling was gone.
She looked around her and had visualized the toilet, toilet paper and a slightly wet floor; the tiles were octagon-shaped, blue and dirty. She got up listlessly by holding on to the wash basin. The mirror in front of her represented eyes that indicated a lack of sleep, colorless lips with little wrinkles in the corner and uncombed hair hanging down her face.
The train got to Tonopah station in the late afternoon. It was a small town, but luckily she had met a truck driver who was planning to drive across the Great Basin Desert on Highway 95 and he was ready to take her with him. The view presented an assemblage of dry plants, salty-looking valley soils and mountains that made you think of thirst and carcasses. Both of them heard a noise that sounded like an explosion from far away, but they ignored it. It had become fairly dark and slightly cool. Suddenly she saw a bright flicker in the sky that looked like the glimmer of a satellite or even a moving star. Please just let me get off here, she said. He looked at her as if she was crazy. It’s in the middle of nowhere. There’s a gas station another five miles…, he said. However, she insisted on getting off and he let her.
She wondered off into the desert following that glimmer in the sky with dreamy eyes and suddenly tripped over a prickly plant. She fell on her face and without even perceiving the pain she started laughing about her own clumsiness. Afterwards she noticed that her leg was injured, as one side of her jeans was running dark. But she couldn’t stop laughing hysterically. Curiously she rolled over, so that she could observe the sky again. Then her laughter had weakened into a delirious chuckle. Beautiful firefly. Her chuckle had ultimately backtracked to the previous demented laugh, as the firefly was getting bigger and bigger.



by Paula DeckardĀ  (c) 2007

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