Reggae rolling under the breath of an open window. Clementine rinds abandoned in skirt-shapes near the stairs.
We watched the clouds, took stock of the weather to see if the pool party would hold. The party gave time a direction, a Saturday purpose, a sense of momentum--overlarge, suburban--sturdy enough to hide in the pantry and lean my shoulders against the shelves for a minute. One minute to weep.
"I'm getting shit for the dip recipe."
I had the rationale ready, the sensible reason for my absence from the weather-watching event. Any gathering of mammals is an event in the context of a nuclear family, any eye-roll is a happening.
And so I left the pantry lights on as evidence, stagecraft gleaned from high school, what to show, what to hide, what to suggest.
Pure theatre. There was no dip, no recipe, no swimming bag, no birthday gift, no wrapping paper, no sunscreen, no bullets to my plan except a few tears running wild, unmolested.
"What are you doing in there?" Three knuckles, enjambing the door.
I thought we were sturdy.
"Mom--hey mom--what's up? Why are you in the pantry?"
My son's voice played with the last word, trying to decide if it was funny, if this was what moms did for fun.
"Oh? Is it locked?" I wondered. But I didn't reach to unlock it.
It's not a closet--it's a home. It's not a prison--it's a nuclear family's pantry.
"Marina, are you in there?"
His voice, the old rotten timbre of heavy trees. Beware the big trees during a storm.
It's a game theory scenario in which all parties lose if one of us decides to drop a bomb.
"Hey"-- rap rap rap--"come out already. Game's over."
My lip moved across the wooden shelf ledge, my lips running, running, fondling a trigger.