Today I am not here.
I am not here sitting on the rumpled unmade bed which I abandoned at 2 am, tormented by the ceaseless rasping sounds of my husbands snoring, whereby I left to occupy the sanctity of the couch for the remainder of the night.
No, I am not here, with my hair all tangled and knotted, no bra, shapeless sloppy joe and loose pants tucked into my ugg boots, with my laptop on my thighs, listening to the occasional hammering/building sounds echoing somewhere outside in suburbia.
I’m not really sitting here sipping on a lukewarm cup of tea, enjoying the occasional puff of my E cig with the wind intermittently howling through the tiny gap in the sliding door next to my bed.
I am in a timber cabin somewhere nestled in the woods.
Outside it is snowing, a blizzard is on its way in fact.
A fire is crackling in the centre of the open plan room and sitting atop the slow combustion fireplace is a stove top with a large cast iron pot where an aromatic stew simmers, gently filling the room with the promise of something hearty and filling.
There is no sound, save for the muted crackling of the fire and the slow bubbling of the pot.
A tabby cat yawns and stretches, noiselessly, nestled in the folds of fleeced red blanket carelessly flung over an old comfortable, yet somewhat threadbare sofa which sits facing the fireplace.
I am perched on a wooden chair in front of a clumsy desk, strewn with stacks of paper and pencils, paints, photographs and books.
There is a typewriter on the desk and I am looking at it with expectation as the blank sheet of white paper stares accusingly back at me.
I am a carelessly attractive woman, with hair pulled casually back in a messy knot at the nape of my neck. My fine chiseled jaw juts from my face, in a determined manner. The light falling gently from the window illuminates my features which are slightly exotic and dark, green eyes , pale skin, flushed now from the rising heat inside the cabin.
I am naked, save for a white bed sheet wrapped haphazardly around my waist.
Outside the wind begins to moan, whistling through the cracks in the windows and the snow is falling thicker and faster now.
Then, the light inside the cabin suddenly dims, as though a shadow has passed across the sky outside, and everything in the world turns blue, shading the walls, my face, the haphazard sheet, the blank white paper with a strange blue wash.
Looking up startled, my eyes meet the blue that has suddenly enveloped everything outside my window.
The cat leaps from the sofa, darting away into the safety of shadows and in that instant everything changes.
First it is just one which appears, perched on the wooden railings flanking the steps of the small porch outside.
It sits silent and almost motionless, it’s feathers ruffling, and wings slightly jittering as it struggles against the unrelenting wind .
Huge glittered eyes are locked, on me, causing the hair on the back of my neck to tingle erect.
A beautiful thing, this creature, hauntingly beautiful, but it radiates an aura of intensity which I have never felt before.
Moments later it is joined by another, and unbelievably yet another and soon the wooden railing is impossibly crowded with the madness of at least twenty or perhaps more of these wide eyed creatures.
It is so very wrong, to see these usually secretive lone birds of the night, gathering in some kind of bizarre and unnatural flock that it unnerves me to the point where I have backed away from the window in alarm.
The calmness in which they fix their silent stares, inside my window, with seemingly intent focus leashed solely upon me, is strangely shocking, yet intriguing.
And the blue snow….
I notice for the first time, that the flakes fluttering in onto the porch, onto the railing and indeed landing upon the wings and the backs of these creatures, is quite blue. Not a true blue, but the dusky purplish blue of a twilight sky.
“What is happening” …
“What is this?”….
One owl, the largest, suddenly flutters to the window pane, it’s wings crashing against the glass before it finds its footing and settles there.
And then it begins to hoot.
A plaintive sound that echoes through the night sending chills through my entire body.
It seems to be saying something, but what I don’t know.
Clutching the sheet around my body I suddenly feel exposed and vulnerable, and very, very cold, yet I cannot take my eyes away from this odd spectacle of otherworldliness.
Indeed it is, an otherworldliness.
A sense of not belonging in, or to this world.
It is then that I see the man.
He is walking through the snow from beyond the crest in the hill between the copse of tree’s that I see from my desk every day.
That trail that I walk every afternoon, the icy wind turning my nose bright red, my lips numb, gathering kindling for the fire.
He has on a long silver robe, dusted by the bruised blue snow.
Walking with a determined gait he approaches the house
The owls hear his footfalls, the crunch of snow underfoot, and begin to part clearing a path where he finally ascends the stairs to the porch.
I am terrified, yet entranced by this man for he is gentle, yet stern, wise, yet there is a twinkle of playfulness in his eyes that I can see beneath the mop of grey hair falling across his forehead.
I do not sense any threat from him, although, one should, standing naked, wrapped only in a sheet, inside a lonely cabin set far away tucked in these remote woods.
I should reach for the shotgun, propped in the corner.
I should, at least, cover my naked shoulders.
But instead, I just observe him, as he stands there, motionless looking in through the slightly fogged glass, observing me.
The world has crumbled into some kind of bizarre dimension, where strange things are inexplicably acceptable, and expected…. where owls flock and snow is simply blue.
Then, he steps forward and takes one pale ungloved finger to the glass and begins to move it across the surface.
He is making the shapes of letters, it seems.
How? I don’t know, because the laws of all that is normal and “right” say that the condensation slightly fogging the window pane is on my side of the glass.
I cannot quite see, until he steps back, a small smile twisting the corner of his mouth, what his finger has traced.
And then I see.
One simple thing.
One meaningful thing.
JUST WRITE IT
I sit down on my wooden chair, in front of the clumsy desk…place my fingers on the familiar worn keys of the typewriter.
Today I am not here….