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Ava, Chapter 53: Phoebe

Reply to Alsike

Posted to June 27, 2004

     No one told me that washing dishes was very Zen.  You get into the zone between the soap and the trying not to think about what the remains on this dish could be.  You feel satisfied in the job, getting every dish so it shines.  Stacking the dishes up and having them disappear without noticing.  Things fall into place while you're washing dishes.  None of the crazy things happening in my life really seem to matter quite as much as getting the remains of General Tso's chicken off the plate.  It's amazing how the human mind deals with things, being able to forget, refocus, not have the whole world overwhelm you, not be afraid of the things that could happen every day.  Who knows when another meteor could strike the earth, who knows when you'll step out of your front door and get run over by some crazed drunk driver.  If you thought about all the things that could happen to you, the things that happen to other people every day, we would never leave our homes, never be able to face the living world.  But we can get lost in little things, just focus on what is happening next, not worry about what could happen, just living, day by day, minute by minute, lapsing into boredom, not thanking the higher being for one more moment of life, one moment like this which is pure happiness, just being alive, the vague promise that death does not await everyone and that maybe you'll be the one to defy the odds, to do everything that you want to do, or that every day will be like this, and that's enough.  If only every day would be like this in the future, but I've had too many good things that I've taken for granted.  Even having a sister, one I no longer have, and another who has left us behind.  I never think of my time in New York without lingering regret, for the person I was, for the person she could care about, who disappeared, I don't know where to, I wish I did, because I would hunt her down in a second.

     "Hurry up with that plate, I'm finished putting away what's in the drainer, you're not falling asleep are you?

     I jolt out of my reverie, finding I have been rubbing circles on the same plate for the past five minutes.  Kylie has prodded me in the side and is grinning at me in that completely obnoxious 'I've got you now' way that makes me want to pick her up and carry her off and kiss the smirk off her face, but, she doesn't want me to.

     Why am I so obsessed over this?  I'm having an Alien face-off in my living room, but I'm frustrated because my ex doesn't want me back.  But one thing I'm not going to do is push it.  if she doesn't want me, that's fine, I don't mind, I don't care, well, I do care, but I will not try to change her mind.  It's her decision and I will let her go, you have to be able to let go.  I have to let her go or I'll just prove that I'm weak and needy and not a whole person on my own, the whole reason she left me in the first place.

     Liz has given up on the Alien stand-off.  She's sitting at the kitchen table, filling out the UC application.  Paige comes in to get lemonade for everyone.  Voices raise outside and then they lower again.  They'll figure something out.  Who's going to run their revolution on their home planet and who's staying here, and what they're going to do with "the fourth alien.  The only person they never seem to ask is her.  I don't think she knows what she wants, but it would be nice to ask.

     I finish the last dish and unplug the sink, or at least I try to unplug the sink.  The plug comes out but the water stays right where it is.  Plugged.  I know what to do.  I fill the second sink with water and then walk out into the living room in search of the plunger.

     "Paige, do you know where Piper keeps the plunger?

     She looks at me.  "What happened?  she asks darkly.  Why does she always read into things that are none of her business?

     "Nothing.  The sink's plugged and I'm trying to fix it.

     "I think I should call Leo for this.

     "Oh yeah, like pansy boy's going to be any good at actually fixing something besides a human.


     "I'm right.  I can fix the sink.  But the little brat called for Leo.  He pops down from up above, and asks vaguely panicked, expecting a massive demon attack or one near death, not the convention of humanoid aliens and Paige informing him that, "the sink is plugged.

     "Oh, um.  He wanders into the kitchen.  I think logically and locate the plunger in the umbrella stand.  This is Piper logic, not mine: 'it's the same shape, sort of.  And head back to the kitchen.  Leo has his head under my sink with a wrench.  He is going to break a water main and a geyser will take out half our house.  I march up to him, grab the back of his shirt and drag him out.  "What are you doing under there!  It's a clogged sink, not a take the entire sink apart and transform it into a water propelled musical instrument!

     I plunge the sink in the correct way.  Twelve plunges and the water flows away like sand in an hourglass, or like water in a properly draining sink.  I push my hair back, and tossing my head I catch sight of Kylie standing in the doorway and watching me, smiling.  I saunter up.

     "Do I know how to fix a sink?  I grin.

     "It is merely an aspect of your excellence.  She grins back at me.  Her eyes look like they used to, flaming, desirous.  Suddenly my stomach plummets in fear.

     "Do you, do you want to get coffee tomorrow?

     Her grin falls.  She looks at me slowly and intently, "yes, I would very much like to get coffee with you tomorrow.

     My world is soaring in the sky.  Let me cling to this moment for as long as I am able to.  But I have to turn.  I have to wash my hands, I have to try to ignore the laser rays of Kylie's eyes burning into my back.  I want to take it as an invitation, saying yes let's just go and be the way we used to.  But it's not that easy.  We can't just go back, you always have to go forward.

Continue to Chapter 54

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