Once, when you were still a girl, you loved another person. At the time, they were a girl too and you relished in your mutual girlhood from the roof of the funeral home in which you lived. You stayed in the funeral director’s suite and put up strings of tiny lights and a record player your girlfriend restored from the 70s. You would lay in the park with this friend of yours, heads on each other’s chests, nights spent giggling and intertwined. When they were a girl and you were a girl they were magic. You would crawl out the open window onto the veranda and smoke, looking down at the flowers below, wearing each other’s shirts and admiring the matching tattoos you got on your wrists. There’s a photo of you like that, bare arms snaking around each other, the little shapes in the crease of your wrists identical. Taken on the balcony. There was always music coming from somewhere, usually you. Putting lipstick on in that rosy pink ceramic bathroom and pulling black tights over your legs in the leaning oval mirror. Dancing together, dreaming together, droplets of childlike tears leaking out from the sides of your eyes together. Doing drugs at the Drug Free Zone playground or hopping the cemetery gates at night. You used to dream of their kisses, when you were both girls.
When you close your eyes you see the house in ruins, overgrown with ferns. You see the veranda on the second floor and the chiseled stone emblem that says Funeral No Parking.
Some nights you hear a sound in the basement and walk down the steps slowly, holding a kitchen knife. There is a suit jacket in the wardrobe on the third floor that you keep for yourself, and an army bag and a series of strange brass rings. There’s the creaky bed where your best friend kissed your house guest. And the kitchen, which is the most haunted room in the house. You forget who told you that. The one perfect finished room in the carriage house where a professor used to live. Tiny and yellow. The garden that always smells a little sticky like sangria and the fallen leaves you dutifully rake. Down the hall there’s a bathroom at the front of the house, a cool grey where you bathe when the owners aren’t visiting. Sometimes you look through the drawers and find lube or intricate lighters or old jewelry. Sometimes you climb out on the roof with your best friend and light up while you watch the sunset and almost put your lips together. There’s an art expert around the corner who could change your life but you’re only good enough to walk his dog. You try not to close your eyes too often.
Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower