I'm driving to Thousand Palms for Aubrey. That suits me just fine because, out here, it's the real desert sliding past my window. Looks like I just missed a good dust storm. The air is thick with fine particles tinted pink by the last of the sun's rays. The mountains, through that filter, are a pastel painting by a student of pointillism. Listening to Foster the People. That suits me just fine too. It fits--reminds me a little of Gorillaz with almost childlike lyrics on top and underneath, a darker layer held in place by a melodic base. Good stuff for this landscape. It's a sensibility I'm tuned into, this dusk--this hour with night on the way.
I wasn't born with it. but I was born into it. My childhood was a mix of sweetness and wonder, with both secrets and night air sighing through the walls at night.
What is is about children and ghosts? Light and dark? Good and evil? Is it the contrast I look for, or the balance?
Orion's room has bookcases both wide and tall, filled with books and toys and bits of interesting things. It has walls I painted myself with sunlit clouds and blackbirds flying. Occasionally, it has a strange sensibility. Not evil, not scary...exactly, just strange. Before it was Orion's room it was Aubrey's room. Before that, it was just a room, roughly in the center of this house. On the day we moved in, I thought I saw something in there. It was a fleeting thing, trick of the light. What could possibly seem out of place in a house just moved into, when everything seemed out of place? It was just a shadow, after all.
I saw the shadow through a glass door--newly installed--as I passed by with a box or an armload of clothes. I don't remember which, there were so many. What I do remember is that the house still smelled of fresh paint. I was walking fast and lightly. It was a good, happy day with everyone bustling about. I was in a light mood and I teasingly said to the shadow, "I see you." And, instantly, I felt a change.
The desert's light shifts from pinks to lavenders and in the dust, headlights pop on at random. Thinking about it now--the change--I don't know. If pushed, I'd say it was a change in the air pressure. It only lasted for a few seconds.
I don't think about it often. I trained myself not to, at first. After all, it was just a shadow. And we never, ever had a single incident or odd happening of any sort in all these years. Although, Orion went through a phase of nightmares for a good while. I slept in there with him a lot during that time and felt nothing. The memory wore pretty thin.
Gurtie slept in there and now Soosi does. It's good to have a cat in the house. Houses want cats, I think. Dogs too, probably. But most definitely cats. It's a happy room with cartoons, games, reading and playing.
Aubrey has a new apartment. Her new apartment is getting new cabinets, so she's here with us this week. Orion is visiting his dad and grandparents this weekend so she's bunking in there alone. She didn't sleep well last night. Said she woke up and had this weird feeling. Not disturbing, but uneasy. We talked about moving day. She remembered too.
I've arrived. Aubrey will come out and we'll head back home. The song has ended and now there's an ad for something but I don't hear it. I'm watching the mountains, black now, outlined against a sky just a shade lighter. No stars through the dust, just streetlights and headlights, fuzzy in the dust. It's still beautiful, in a very different way. I'm wondering about shadows.