Thursday, January 22, 2009


Surrounded by mist, the air is thick with the smell of water. The vapor is all around this foreign place, where only ghosts inhabit now. A top the mountain, a precipice only reached by a breathtaking ride up on a tram.

I experienced it only once, up Bridal Veil Falls, what a gloriously romantic name for a place. I suppose we were in a cloud, I was disillusioned when told that it was a cloud. I thought clouds should be soft and fluffy, not wet. We didn't get to eat in the restaurant, my dad could scarcely afford the fare to bring us up in the first place, let alone the cost of the pricey meals that they served.

I remember the descent, like a long slow elevator, down drop down, and at last we reached the bottom where we shakily stepped out. A force of nature, a massive mud slide, took out the tram and the structure that used to sit besides Bridal Veil, it broke my heart to hear of it.

It created an achy feeling in me to see it, the mud changed the falls and filled up the little lake below it as well. Now it is different, more like a large indentation, like a river. The falls are not as majestic as they used to be either, maybe the water will cut them out again, with time.

Other mists, the thick stench of chlorine at the gym, the smell of sweat, the smell of the tea tree oil that they used to scent their locker room and dry sauna. I used to try and "sweat out" all my toxins, so I would go to sit in their dry cedar sauna. It was indeed dry, the heat licking away the moisture of the wood, the floor, my skin.

It smelled odd, the remnant of the pleasant scent of cedar now only faintly smelled. The wood felt scratchy and uncomfortable as I sat, dressed as it were for swimming. My hair felt damp close to my head, but also dry and stringy as the heat dried it. The smell the chlorine, was detectable from the pool outside the door.

I decided to try and relieve some of the dryness in the sauna by squeezing the moisture from my hair onto the stones in their heating element. Ahh, there is steam but only temporarily. So I left that uncomfortable place and immediately I felt the moisture return to me in the outside air, only the slight chill was uncomfortable so...

I decided to try a different sauna and entered one filled with steam, warm steam, hot steam, steam also scented with tea tree oil, it is overpowering. There people sat in the dark recesses, sitting with their eye's closed, seeming to meditate and "take it all in." I couldn't stand this for long either, the steam burned my face and lungs. So I left, thinking I had failed somehow my mission to detoxify.

On another night, I stand out in the cold. I am waiting, thinking and waiting. The mist is thick, the fog surrounds everything, swirling in the orange light cast from the street lamp. I close my eyes and focus, the mist feels right, like my mood. Brrr. will my dad never come to pick me up? I feel like I am the only one left in the world, I lean against a sign in the parking lot because I am tiered of standing.

The silence is so profound, every sound is muffled by the mist. When my dad comes, the tires of his car crunch, a foreign sound on such a quiet night. I open the door and the light from the overhead lamp in the car seems too harsh and alien in this world. Finally relief from the cold, I warm my fingers by rubbing them and holding them near the vents at the front.

Mists in my bathroom, clinging to me, familiar and thick. I will never get my hair dry if it doesn’t go away, so I open the window a crack and open the door. Then I regret the loss of warmth as the goose bumps jump out on my arms. I wrap the towel tighter and rush to dress. Then as I dry my hair, subtle amounts of steam rise away from the heat. My hair is so thick I have to pull it out with the brush and dry it near the roots. Even when I think it is dry it often feels damp near my scalp. I avoid the mists now or else my hair will curl again.

(My mind on gluten) Mists in my mind, dulling, grasping away my concentration. I furrow my brow and think very hard at the task before me. Sorting out taxes, cleaning my desk, it feels better when it is done.

Clean and clean, to make the confusion go away, to drive out what I don't want to think about. Working to exhaustion, until the wee hours of the morning. Finally I can sleep, finally I have done enough, though I can think of more to do.

I lay down in my bed though my mind still races, now thinking of everything that I have suppressed. I can't sleep, I make some hot cocoa and press the warm mug against my forehead, easing the tension. Finally, the effects of the warmth and the cocoa and slowing down allow me to sleep. But my rest is not deep enough and I am tired the next day.

Mists in the little forest behind my house. I walk out slowly smelling the fresh morning, the dew hangs near the ground like a shroud. The spring grasses are glad of it and perk up somehow. The dew is thick on the grass and I wish to taste it, but it is elusive and I only catch one drop on my tongue. The sun warms the air, brighter and brighter. The dew lifts as a brides veil, up off the grass, the mists leave.

The mist is outside right now, I can smell the familiar scent of rain and now it is raining. The night is cold, I wonder if it will snow...

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