A mere wrinkling in time

I went looking for a vintage paperback copy of a book I’d never read, but always meant to – Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time”


I never even read its jacket
– not wanting to spoil it until I was ready to imbibe in one sitting
I may have never read it
or, I may have sat down, a glorious crone in black leggings and a long-sleeved, black top, sitting in white club chair, with a magnifying glass – and a gin&tonic with extra lime,

dog at my feet
– one day, I’d’ve actually gotten to it

I’d say I had the book for decades –
where I got it – in an alley, from a thrift store or yard sale or flea market, I’m not certain anymore

and that’s saying something for someone who was once known for her photographic memory – every passing day more like a cracked Polaroid picture

A need to read the book before the new film trailers imprint and my imagination loses its chance to create and visualize the characters’ faces and the places, if not their essences. Oprah. Reese. Mindy.

I came upon vintage paperback editions of C.S. Lewis’s “The Magician’s Nephew” and L’Engle’s “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” in my library, but I could not find “A Wrinkle in Time”

Looking through still-unpacked boxes
of books
and things,
I quickly ran out of options, so few boxes, drawers and shelves

And then, it struck me:

how little I had actually kept in the move from Portage Park, Chicago, Illinois

to rural Michigan

yes, I had wanted to
downsize, declutter, minimalist[m]ystify my life

for years

and yes, there are still several cubic yards of tools, equipment, linens, books, appliances, decor, clothes, furniture, implements, electronics, dishware, cookware, bicycles, art, garden supplies, documents, photos and momentos here

but, I purged so much of my own personal possessions
that there are very few boxes and places for me to look to find that book, and I’m running out of options for finding what I seek

which leads me to this:


I did not flee my home

in a fire

or in the dark of night

or as a battered woman

an indigent elder

a fixed income senior or widow

as a victim of natural disaster
or famine, conflict or war
or of settler colonialism
or imperialism, eminent domain

as a refugee
or evicted by a county sheriff
or by city order tossed from a viaduct|

but in my mind and heart
I still very much fled
I evicted myself [and them, along with me]

I might’ve stayed in the city for at least a few more years, another decade even;
but where my feet were once slowly shuffling and comfortably walking in apathy

and though I stepped on tacks I’d dropped and in the syrup I’d spilled
and on glass I didn’t break and in bleach I didn’t spill
I pressed my feet in for a while
a little blood, stinging and sticky annoyance, discomfort and pain felt like
a necessary acupuncture of life – for a while

social media moleskin and strategically placed rugs conceal
the pain and imperfections

lies, sighs and smiles

slowly simmering coals became red hot and smoldering white ash underfoot

when it was more than I could tolerate
I ran through it as fast as I could
blistering rage and pain and shame
and emotional evacuation and escape

I left so much behind
but, at least I had a place to run to

my Michigan salvation.

the house was sold and emptied
– in sorrow and anger –
there was no last, sweet summer in the garden
or last holiday memories to hold
no last supper
no collective reminiscing
no long goodbyes
my son grew
my dad got sick
my mom got sick
my dad died
my mom got sick again
he lied, creeped, lied, snuck
my son graduated and graduated and graduated

there was no sacrament of goodbye

no ceremony, at all

hell, there wasn’t even a sign that said, “for sale” [by owner]

I didn’t say goodbye or ‘til we meet again to many whom I respected or loved
escapes, facades and shame don’t permit proper goodbyes and “I love you’s”

or, do they?

I ran into some by chance

I cannot tell a lie

most know this, so they query carefully

but I confess, too.

I was so disrupted and disoriented
that I then also disrupted
and disoriented them

I was guilty of disruption myself over the years, no doubt, but
in a different way, though

there is always a reckoning

of betrayal, revenge and abuses of advantage
– always

imperatively, facing my own demons
to rewrite a truer history
of myself
and of my experience of my life

I had disrupted
and so had he
and so had I
so had he
so had he
so had he
and so had I
and so had he
and so had he, first

and so had she
so had he
so had he
so had he
so had she
so had he
so had she
and so had he
so had they
and so had they

And here I am at the end of a long lineage of disruption, eviction and destruction

betrayal, dysfunction, mistrust, revenge, distrust, abuse of advantage or outright abuse

I’m ready to calm and nest
for the first time in my life

I think the book may be in the last place I look
my realest love may be there too
in the last place I look, by definition

or maybe I thought I had that book in my library, but I never really did
and maybe I thought we really loved, but we never really did
maybe love and truth and the lost book – may have never even existed

except in my mind

we read fiction
and write it
it’s blurry now
it’s clear now

it’s muddled now

it’s fading now

“In the end, you will find yourself at the beginning”

wrinkling time


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