[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

Donna laughed. Teresa pulled her knees in closer, digging into
her sides.
 Do you?
Donna looked up at her as if she were a pinwheel blowing in
the breeze.
 Don t ever.
The Houses Lef t Behi nd 93
Donna s junior year, her parents put the Addison house up
for sale. A  white hot market, the Realtor says, and her par-
ents carry this phrase around like a closed umbrella, releasing it
at dinner, over the phone, and inside car interiors, giving Donna
an uneasy, unlucky feeling. The Realtor s name is Fran, a small,
nervous woman whose pantsuits always have cat hairs on the
sleeves and whose emphatic, unsure sentences make her seem
a kind of understudy for another, more confident Realtor who
never arrives.
 Are these the original moldings, or? she says, appraising the
dining room doorway.
 No, Donna s mother says, explains.
 Right, right. Then,  So do you usually keep these shades
drawn, or?
 Oh, I just closed those the minute you pulled up. Should I
open them?
 No, closed is fine. Nothing wrong with closed. Unless.
In this manner they tour the house. Donna follows. She feels
a kind of kinship with Fran, since Fran is awkward in a way that
she privately feels herself to be, and she s excited by the possi-
bility of watching her mother tolerate behavior from another
that she would criticize from her. Later, she will explain this to
 I could tell Mom wanted her to shut up, but she couldn t say
anything. Like we went into your old room and the Realtor said
we should angle your bed diagonally from the wall and you ll
love this take down  that funny horse picture. 
Teresa laughs.  What did Mom say?
 You know, something like  that s certainly an idea. I don t
even remember now.
 Did she take it down?
 No, but we did angle the bed. All three of us. It was weird.
Like we were moving a set around. Donna pauses.  It felt funny
to have a stranger in your room. Even Mom being there was kind
94 The Houses Lef t Behi nd
of weird. We were all just standing there in the space where the
bed used to be, not saying anything. After a while, we sat on the
bed together.
 I used to dream of things like that, Teresa says.
Teresa, away at college, sharing a house with three roommates.
Donna has visited only once, for a long weekend, sleeping on a fu-
ton mattress and sitting cross-legged at a secondhand coffee table,
her first taste of sushi, saki. She had been surprised by the room-
mates, the way they slunk around the house, mumbling inside
jokes and criticizing the fourth roommate, away at home. Donna
listened, trying to decide which one of them she was most likely
to become, a grim sentencing she d taken to lately. She watched
the way Teresa reacted, her gestures, wisecracks, and felt that she
no longer knew her. She listened to Teresa, as Teresa stood to
pantomime something the fourth roommate had done recently,
and longed for the attic door again, with Teresa jumping for the
 It s horrible, isn t it? Teresa said.
 What is?
 That someone would do that, Teresa said.
A month before Christmas, Donna finds the Realtor s For Sale
sign in the garage. Upside down against the garbage cans. When
Donna asks her parents about it, they tell her that they ve de-
cided against moving for now, and a little silence spreads through
the room, like a crack in a windshield. Later, Donna helps carry
Christmas ornaments out of the basement. Mixed in with the na-
tivity set, tree stand, and coils of outdoor lights, a box of books
Teresa has left behind. Donna opens the box and glances at the
covers, then pushes the box to  Teresa s side of the basement, a
distinction that has never struck her as odd.
In winter
The heater makes noises like dropped pennies. Donna sleeps
with her socks on. In every window, an electric candle that flick-
ers like the real.
The Houses Lef t Behi nd 95
Kinds of doors
Sliding. Donna s first apartment. These divide her from a park-
ing lot and a twenty-four-hour gas station, where she sometimes
sees a homeless man screaming into a pay phone, one hand to his
free ear, fending off noise. The sight of him gives Donna a kind of
optimism, although she cannot explain what kind. On weekends
her boyfriend, Paul, visits, and they walk around the city, eating
meals they are not hungry for, and nearly buying things they re-
linquish at the last moment: remaindered books, antique picture
frames, cool shoes. One time, Paul says,  If I lived here, I would
never stay inside, and Donna feels a sharp pinch she does not
wish to recognize. When Paul leaves, she lowers the security bar
to the sliding door, and calls Teresa for the first time in months.
Pocket. Between the kitchen and living room. Rarely closed,
except when Teresa gets take-out Vietnamese and a video. She
likes doing that, especially on a Friday night, when it s nearly
dark and the sense that she should be out, doing things, meeting
people, shows up like a weed.
The door slides heavily along its track; Teresa must use both
hands to slide it all the way. There s a brass lock that can be locked,
if she wishes, but why? What does she wish? She wishes she had
gotten an extra order of spring rolls. No, that s not it, she thinks,
but then the video begins, and she must chide the previews and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


Powered by WordPress dla [Nie kocha się ojca ani matki ani żony ani dzieca, lecz kocha się przyjemne uczucia, które w nas wzbudzają]. Design by Free WordPress Themes.