Cookie didn’t want to sleep but every part of her being was utterly drained, even her buzzing head. When her body finally slumped into exhaustion she was filled with fitful dreams. Dreams that could have been buried memories. Childhood memories became fragamented and teenaged memories were broken into before she had breasts and during. Every part of her became confined, bound. Her mother constantly went up and pulled up her tops and threw sweaters at her. She just couldn’t lean over and play in her Barbie van anymore. She learned quickly to be self-conscious and most of all to be ashamed. As soon as accepted these facts adults began commenting on how mature she was suddenly becoming.
When the light poured into the room Cookie tried to blink it away. She was tired enough to sleep through it but she knew her thoughts would provide no soothing balm. And she didn’t want to sleep. Cookie wanted to think rationally about all that had transpired and more importantly what would happen know. Not what should.
The shuffling of feet had Cookie sitting up. She pulled her short skirt down and pulled her tank top up. Claire looked at the couch puzzled.
“ Mommy?” Claire asked the back of Cookie’s head.
Cookie slowly turned around. Claire’s face suddenly looked pinched. Cookie felt the over-welming urge to pick Claire up and hold her. Cradle her until the pinched look went away. Until all the cruelty went away. But she didn’t. She just sat there still even as she knew in Claire’s world the only thing that happened yesterday was her mom got made at her in the inexplicable way adults get mad. So much for being cool…Cookie grumbled to herself.
Cooke yawned and slowly got up. She straightened her clothes again and walked bow legged into the kitchen.
She called out, “You’re probably hungry.”
Claire padded into the kitchen and nodded. She walked past Cookie took out the milk and kneels down as she opened a cupboard door. Cookie watched curiously as Claire weighted to mini cearal boxes in her hand. She saw that Claire had eaten all of the “good” cereals. Claire now had a choice between rice Krispy’s and Corn pops.
Only in this neighbourhood was in normal for a two year old to be able to fend for herself. Cookie watched as, Claire turned the box into a bowl. She snapped the middle and used a stake knife to puncture the bag. She brought the cereal and the milk to the floor and stood up and slowly poured the milk into the box and the floor. She used the drying towel hanging from the oven and stepped over it and the puddle of milk. When the floor wasn’t sopping but just glistened with milk Claire hung the towel back up. She carried the cereal into the living room and turned the tv on. Cookie watched as Claire typed in the numbers of a children’s network and then sat and absorbed the images unflinchingly. Cookie slowly sat in an arm chair angled toward the tv. She sat as if she too were watching tv.
Cookie felt goose bumps and realized the room was unseasonably cold. Cookie watched as a single vertical blind wavered like a pendulum. Someone was on the deck.
Cookie slowly rose and made her way to the deck. Claire ignored the shadows flickering across the tv set and then the glare as the blinds were pushed aside.
Cookie took in the sparse tableau. Moon sat cross legged on a vintage orange lawn chair. Cookie wondered if she really was as relaxed as she seemed. Or was her spine simply resting? Cookie muttered something about hot pavement as she stepped out on to the deck. She quickly noticed that Moon was down a chair. There were lines on the deck where it use to sit. Cookie made her way to that vacant space. She leaned against the wall and let her toes trace the imprints. She looked at Moon and then at a tiny “Dora” lawn chair in the corner. The silences were beginning to make her fidgety. Maybe it wasn’t so much the silence but Moon’s composed reaction to it. She sat impassively in the wind, but not like she didn’t notice it more like it didn’t affect her. Cookie watched as Moon’s tunic ruffled in the breeze and probably blew up her shirt. Cookie could feel the wind clawing up her legs. It would have been a warm summer day if not for the wind.
Cookie wanted to break the silence. She debated on bluntness or leading into the subject at hand. But the internal debate wascut short as Moon whispered.
She said, “ I left the chair so he would know it was me.”
Cookie’s eyes slowly drifted down towards the black marks in the deck. Not many people stikk had chairs like these. Infact she had only see chairs like these in road side motels. Maybe these once sat on a motel’s balcony. Now on stood on guard on a pervert;s lawn.
Cookie cleared her throat, “ Just what did you do?”
Moon looked at the lines on the deck, and then glanced at Cookie’s soiled feet.
“ Carl wanted to get into tagging. He always liked graffiti but it didn’t come natural to him. So he gave up and I ended up with spray cans to dispose of. I never did. Now I know why…”
Cookie muttered, “ Jesus.” Then she ran her fingers through her hair.
Moon looked questionly at Cookie. Cookie shrugged and then paced away.
“ I don’t think you were wrong. The world needs to know what he is. I just hope he won’t bring youmore trouble.”
Moon nodded, “ I won’t stop.”
Cookie laughed meekly she couldn’t bring herself to say she wished she was the one with spray paint can. Using it until it stopped hissing and start rattling. She felt cheated. There were just so many things left unsaid… Words that couldn’t only be printed in crimson red.