anemoia (#words)

United States

WtW's resident "the cool cousin you see once a year, but the conversation you guys were having a long time ago picks up where it left off without missing a beat" (rosi)

Child of God
logophile
athletic nerd

Female
Soph.

Message to Readers

republishing cause i got nothing else! ;)
Amalia's meticulous and thoughtful peer review has encouraged me to come back to this piece and really delve into this world. I think I'm going to lean more on the magical realism that Amalia saw (which I hadn't intended at first). Honestly, I cobbled this together with little understanding of what I was writing, but I want to know more now.
But no, this version isn't edited at all. Just republished. But soon! Soon I shall come back to it!
I'm working on a sestina and my end words, in order, are sheep, rotten, code, exception, bother, and band.
yep. i used a random word generator.

the city; the elevator

May 7, 2021

There's nothing like a city where no one knows your name but the people who care enough to ask,
Where people never sleep and lights flash at all hours,
Where the hum of cars and voices and dogs and sirens never fades away.

They say people fall in love on that elevator in my building,
Steal messy kisses,
Purse lips in tense silence,
Expel floods of pent-up resentment.

But as for me,
I was in that elevator,
When good news rocked my world.

I lived in a city where the summer nights are hot and firefly-filled,
And looking down a back alley that wasn't yours led to disaster
Where heartbeats are as loud as motors,
And one word can shake up any day.
The building was one of many tall buildings,
Gray with windows aplenty and not a spark of life on the exterior.
But behind those lifeless walls, 
Step inside and you'd be greeted by Jeremy.
If you asked him how his kids were doing—you'd hardly be able to walk away.
The front desk was helmed by Susannah—believe me, her kindness was genuine,
When I skidded across the lobby at age six and barreled into her, 
Not a harsh word issued from her mouth.
The stain on the carpet was from the tenth floor's Yorkshire terrier, Duchess,
A terror of a canine who still haunts my dreams.

So there I was, in the
elevator. With only my older brother for company,
Standing in comfortable quiet when he
Caught my eye and said,
"We raised two hundred thousand dollars."
And the world slipped away from me,
And I was spiraling into joy,
And I could not see his face.

"Are you sure?" were the first words out of my mouth,
Stepped back from his embrace to see a nod,
And the tears flowed from both of us,
Two hundred thousand dollar was all we needed
To give our mother the chance of survival.

The elevator dinged 
Passing the sixth floor,
So we moved aside to make room for a woman with a face of a Renaissance painting,
And the clothing of a Bohemian runaway.
I looked at the closing elevator doors,
Wondering if my tears were obscuring the dent in the left hand door from my brother's roller skates,
Or maybe even the elevator doors had been repaired, renewed and reinvigorated.

We reached the lobby and smiled at Susannah (who did not question our shiny eyes and tear-stained cheeks)
I caught a blurred glimpse of the Renaissance-faced woman,
Hurrying onward looking as though nothing could be good in the world,
But I called out and grinned,
"Have a great day!" And as if by magic, her face glowed; the smile crept out; she looked young and fresh.
I flew out the doors and my brother,
Scooped me up and twirled me,
And set me down in the pothole by the fire hydrant that I always tripped on.
But what was a pothole to me, when
When hope had come at last?
And we laughed through the tears of joy like,
Like we hadn't laughed since the diagnosis.
And I imagine, on that day,
The sun peeked out of the clouds just for us.
honestly don't know what this is... tell me what you perceived from it. 

Print

See History
1

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

9 Comments
  • Anna WtW

    I read this a month ago, and I love it just as much now! I definitely see the magical realism element and I love that you leaned into that. There's so much I loved about this piece, but I especially enjoyed the anaphora in this part, which was like the "turn" of the piece:

    "And the world slipped away from me,
    And I was spiraling into joy,
    And I could not see his face."

    The repetition of "and" really makes the reader feel what the speaker is feeling. Great work!!!


    6 days ago
  • Avril

    This is beautiful!! I agree with what mirkat said, I feel like I was whisked into the story of these two siblings. I absolutely love how you set up the scene at the beginning and then brought us into the kind of story part of it.


    about 1 month ago
  • mirkat

    this is beautiful... the imagery is key and i feel like i was whisked into the story, an invisible onlooker in the elevator. i love it. and hey erin i know i've been absent for a long time but here i am and first off your bio and yeah what rosi said, that's exactly who you are!!! thanks for commenting on my piece ages ago.... um how are you doing?? same old for me i guess. oh and decided to donate the money yeah from the peer review thing to the irc, international refugee center, i think? they do good work and we're helping a lot of ppl, erin. uh yeah that's all i got.... lots o love mir
    <3<3<3


    about 1 month ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: I know right! My great-grampa wrote an autobiography in which he included quite a few stories. But honestly, he was kind of a terrible writer. He wrote in super-stiff Victorian English. She is much better:)


    about 1 month ago
  • Ava Marie

    Oh my goodness, I love this so much. It's so good!!! Zirong is right, it's filled with magic. The descriptions are perfect and it all flows so nicely!


    about 1 month ago
  • Zirong

    gosh I can picture the whole story in my mind. this piece is filled with magic.


    about 1 month ago
  • Yellow Sweater

    Re: Thank you so much! And yes, my grandma had a very very interesting life. She was born in London but moved to California to escape the war. She would always tell me the craziest stories. She dated James Dean, Free climbed the matterhorn, had tea with the queen of Greece, got shipwrecked, dated a lot of other famous people... haha. She is also a writer, I keep on trying to get her to write a memoir.


    about 1 month ago
  • anemoia (#words)

    also y'all i'm working on a strange sestina involving sheep
    sestinas are kind of cool


    about 1 month ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thanks! And ooh that's a great song.
    Re: Thank you, I really do love her.


    about 2 months ago