Head in the Clouds


She’d been holding onto this feeling for a good long while now. It was a cumbersome load, not too heavy, but oddly shaped and uncomfortable. It laced around her vertabrae delicately, almost flower-like, before twisting up wildly and madly and poking her heart like a stick.

She thought about binoculars. This is the second time this week she had read about people looking through them backwards. To some, the devil was in the details. Others had to have distance to see the pitchfork. She wondered which she was.

She decided to run a bath to try to wash away this feeling, loosen it’s hold. She poured lavender oil into the steaming water and opened a window. She wished she had a pair of binoculars now. Then she could put her devil to the test.

She disrobed and immediately took to chain-smoking in her soak. The overwhelming smell of nicotine floral reminded her of her grandmother’s house. “Strange little angel,” her grandma would say as she stroked her hair. Fifteen years, a few state lines, and six feet were all that separated her from those memories now.

“Strange little angel,” she mummered into the bathwater between drags.

Her grandmother would have looked through binoculars the proper way. She was a collector of nails and screws. She walked everywhere. And on her walks she would pick the sharp little treasures off of the road, idle with uselessness and wanting to stab something. Strange, a woman who never once drove cared so much for other people’s tires popping or becoming flat. Or maybe she didn’t care for them at all? Maybe she really only cared for the jagged metal idle darlings she kept in old Altoid tins around her nicotine floral house. This seemed like something a devil in the details kind of person would do.

She settled back in the water. She felt crazy lately. Mad as a loon– however mad a loon gets; she never really understood the turn-of-phrase. A hollow sort of detachment attached itself to her and she couldn’t shake it. She didn’t care about anything. Work was excruciating. She looked at every man and saw a seven year old little boy playing for marbles. And even worse, they were all so goddamn boring. The smart ones were the worst; their dogmatic conversations just feed into their own narcissism. Sitting across a table from one was like watching them look into a mirror– them hoping you’ll reflect what they are saying and thinking. Sorry bastards. Their mothers taught them to love themselves too much and their isn’t much love left to go around after self-infatuation. Maybe if she brought a pair of binoculars on a date and turned them the wrong way and she saw the man-boy from a further distance, it would be more tolerable (like they were at dinner, but also twenty miles apart)? Maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t see him reach into his pocket to finger his marbles from that distance.

“Strange little angel, ” she mused again.

And amidst the nicotine floral fumes and nostalgia and the random mental mutterings it hit her, knocked the feeling loose. She didn’t need binoculars, proper or inproper. She had her head in the clouds.


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