We have a poltergeist in our house who randomly shuts lights on and off, hides batteries and undeveloped film, and changes stations on the clock radio. On any given day, I wake up listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers or The Five Tops. This morning Kate Bush is weaving her way in and out of my dreams, singing about Cathy and Heathcliff.
I’m supposed to be working on a website, but a friend of mine drops by with a joint, a bowl full of homemade hummus and a CD of Klezmer music that he found at the thrift shop. We spend the afternoon arguing about politics and Bill Murray and playing darts.
Apparently three o’clock in the morning is not the best time to complete an overdue work assignment, even if you’ve had six cups of coffee since dinner time. The fluorescent light in the kitchen buzzes like an insect. The Pogues sound great on headphones, though.
We’ve been running behind all day. Burnt toast, overheated radiator, tuna straight from the can for lunch. Somebody was humming Moon River in the doctor’s office, and it’s stuck inside my head, like chewing stale gum for hours on end.
Moroccan lamb stew simmering slowly on the stove. Janice is picking up a bottle of wine on her way home. The cat is weaving between my legs, and I’m dancing in the kitchen to No Woman No Cry with my daughter sitting on my shoulders. Okay.
The girl playing the guitar on the six a.m. ferry has long blonde hair and a pork pie hat. She sings Morning Has Broken and Solsbury Hill. A heron lands on the railing. A voice on the intercom announces that there’s a whale off the starboard side, but by the time we get there it’s disappeared.
The weekend at the cottage hasn’t turned out as planned. Rain is hissing off the metal roof with the sound of a thousand snakes frying in a wok; canoes have upturned just above the high tide line. There are four of us gathered around the kitchen table drinking Alexander Keith’s and playing Trivial Pursuit (Barney Miller. Sea of Tranquility. Babe Ruth.). Our friends’ marriage is in trouble, and they’ve been fighting all afternoon. The boom box has a kitchen knife stuck in it to hold down the play button. Janice found a copy of Talking Head’s Fear of Music on top of the fridge. Heaven…heaven is a place…a place where nothing…nothing ever happens.