a social worker comes to our door. tall, tubby, bald, with a suit on. he shakes my mom’s hand, then offers his hand to me. i shake it too, and introduced myself.
social worker, upon exiting: “i reckon you’ll get a visit from someone today”
we had had visits from an unknown visiter just yesterday. we had figured it was just some kid next door playing ding-dong-ditch. when this strange man unsolicitedly pronounced we were to receive another visitor. it felt eerie, cuz how the hell would he know?
…mom opens door and we see no one there…a rush of strangeness and apprehension, but then we see a delivery man bending over to lift a box (UPS uniform, longish hair, kinda john nash). he was bending down so that he was just behind the wall. he looks and smiles and brings in a big box with a dryer in it. we didn’t order a dryer. he puts it down, smiles and shakes my mom’s hand. my mom introduces me. he offers his hand to me. but, trying to do something different than last time, i dont take his hand but i look at him, smile, bow slightly with a nod “nice to meet you”. he retracts his hand in thought. what i did was unexpected but not impolite. he nods back and smiles. as he straightens out he seems to be thinking of something.
that evening a recently and rather strangely acquainted family of friends came over for dinner on short notice. a woman, her husband, and two daughters came over. the girls each had a small parrot with them.
man: so, how long have your family been living here?
me: a few years.
little girl whispers to me while we walk towards our seats at the dinner table: no actually you havnt been living here for just a few years…you were born here.
the woman overhears her: oh honey dont be so cruel…(turning to me)…you see, we’re from the world of the living. thats why their birds never die. you however, are living in the world of the dead end ahead. we can go from point a to b, then from b to c, and to wherever we choose.
i believed her immediately. it all made so much sense. thinking about it, i really didn’t have a recollection of where i lived prior to my living in this apartment. i had just always assumed that i’d only lived here for a few years.
me: well then how is it that there is age…that you for instance seem older than your children…what if one day you want to be a child again?