chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From Nisha.

There is a little nook where the roof of my ‘apartment’ does not quite meet the roof of my parents’ house. It’s person-sized, like a spy hole. Like the perfect drop off of a thief or a hideaway for the Underground Railroad of the present century. It has just enough cover to be dry in all but the wettest rain and snow. It is my getaway.

I do not know what the argument is today. It might be something I did. It might be something else. I have learned not to ask and not to react. Much. It will turns out the same, anyway. It will be something no one has control over, but everyone has an opinion about.

As I start to crawl out onto the roof, I think I almost hear my mother saying something about Dinah. Dinah, my cool older cousin, the only one who would have anything to do with me during family holidays. Dinah, who first introduced a meatless diet to me. I stop and sit on the window sill, one leg hanging dangerously out of the open window. Dinah?

I can only hear snippets, like the conversation is purposely being hidden from prying ears. Like a shameful secret. “Should’ve known…” I hear. “…disown my daughter if…” Hissed whispers, a heated exchange between father and mother. I take a deep breath and lean a little further out of the window, trying to catch

“…filthy lesbian…” Seconds pass and I find myself wedged into my spy hole, my thief spot, wondering just what happened here. Dinah? My Dinah? Was…? It was too much to comprehend. I stare up at the cloudless sky instead, eyes blanking out all the street lights below me.

I try to think, while the breeze brings up snatches of phrases as my parents keep talking. Something tells me I may have known about Dinah before anyone else.

“…radical vegetarian…”

Something about the way she had held my hand and never talked about boyfriends.

“No decency… in bed together…”

Or the completely open way she had had about her.

“…not letting Nisha… think she’s just like her.”

I stare up in the sky, eyes locking on the full moon above. I see Dinah there, and maybe even myself. Maybe Dinah had the right idea anyway. Maybe I am just like her. That would just blow my mom’s mind, right? She would freak.

I lay there in my thief hole, plotting my mother’s nervous breakdown, with only the moon to watch or condemn me. The Dinah moon, the moon that knows my secrets.


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