The Waiting Room

I stand in the room in the back of my house, remembering flashes of the things that happened there. So much is lost, stolen from me like some precious thing, some secret that I shared with the wrong person. In this room alone I’ve choked, puked, laughed, screamed, and cried…. The must hangs in the air, as I hold my pregnant stomach, I reflect on the irony that two hours of steam cleaning just made the smell thicker. I thought this could be a good nursery, maybe it would help me connect with my fetus, pick a name. The stains are gone-ish, like the father of my first child. My favorite song lyrics from the Postal Service float through my head,  “…there’s just an empty space, there’s nothing left here to remind me, just the memory of your face…” Again it’s ironic to me, “Postal Service”, our favorite correspondence for the two years he lead me on from Chicago. The albums seem to cling to the wall—clinging, something I know too much about — they were my creative form of wall art, and I know their time will come. They cling with desperation in the wake of all of my destruction singing, please don’t take us, we’re here to remind you, we’re here to remind you, we’re here to remind….


There is a futon and a relaxing chair, a table with a lamp, some reading material (that no one will read) and even some guitars and bongos. The bathroom is a quaint little set up with a toilet and a sink, a medicine cabinet and a mirror. There was a window for air. Everyone is crowded in the small room, all ten of us. The air is thick with cigarette smoke and whiskey. The albums on the wall hang, trying to be dapple little dew drops, but  no one cares, no one looks.  We’re all looking at the six foot gay man in purple booty shorts prancing around, all jolly like some prized pony, his testicles bouncing around precariously in the thin fabric, jewels threatening to break out of their packaging. We all silently hope they will, just for a laugh. We wait from the minute we walk in and sit down. Anyone who enters is explained the terms of the environment: No one leaves, no one has morals, and everyone waits. It’s just something we decided one day. Everyone who entered was ok with it. We always had enough booze, cigarettes and pot to keep us entertained. Not to mention the jewels that “,Oop,” slip out and send us all reeling.

“I’ll never get this stain out.”


The sin sticks in the air. Heavy. Dank and dark, mud in my lungs. Drowning me in the memories.

“What are we waiting for?” “Just waiting here. Have a seat.”

Am I still waiting?  The rest of our lives is coming, we may never even see each other again. And now of the ten of us…he is sitting in a hospital bed realizing that drinking will kill him. She is crying and screaming alone in her bed. He is walking alone and broke down the road, shackled in his addiction. He is sleeping in his car. He is lying in some hotel room alone talking to me on the phone. I’m scrubbing,

“This damn stain.”

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