this is not a hotel: the second day
January 26, 2009 § Leave a comment
the second day:
natasha gets up and dresses up in a red coat with a cute flair at the hips and slicks her sons hair with water. they go to the prison guards and talks to the guards in russian. she comes back to the room. lays on the bed and cries some more. refuses to make eye contact with me or aza. looks guilty. i dont know exactly what she said to them but i know that she just sold me out. soon after the guard invites she and her son to hang out with her husband in the hall smoking cigarettes in between Maxime’s coughs for a couple of hours. she returns to the room. takes a nap. her soft head is aching.
while she is sleeping, her son starts flipping aza off. pervert. she squeals and walks over to him and grins and then walks a little closer and grins and the whole time he is inching back in the little plastic lawn chair and she just grins and suddenly i see that this is a slow attack punctuated with her giggles and his coughs of fear. i swoop down and grab aza. she is going to hex him. a jail baby patching wings together out of his pale skin. watch out boy-she loves to fly.
after Natasha’s nap the guards offer her another room if she would like it. they dont bother to say goodbye. just hustle and crouch out of the room.
they only let us out of the room to show us how locked in we really are. so baby girl spins in circles between the bunk beds singing the alphabet to herself: a.b.r.q.s.z…sounds like she is sight reading alphabet soup
i pass the austrian-nigerians room quickly as i am being escorted to my luggage in the basement. i give them a quick wave. i find only a couple of diapers in my bags so i grab some of my panties and maxipads. the guards say that they did not have diapers and i cant ask el compa if he has any and the guards cant ask el compa if he has any. i tie the panties tight to aza’s pelvic bone and then slip in a pad. aza looks at me and says ‘diaper’. i move her onto the blankets or at least off my lap and onto the floor. the pad only holds about a third of the urine. the rest slips down her leg and puddles on the floor and blankets. i press a dirty towel on the puddle to soak it up. and hang the towel on the rail of the bunk bed to dry. i change her pants and panties and sanitary pad. hang them on the bed to dry too. i assure her that bathing in urine is good for the skin.
dear natasha: do not complain about my daughter crying when you cried more than she did. and she is 20 months old. still wearing huggies and jabbing her fingers to her lips when she is hungry. these guards are sadist and you play the masochist to the hilt of a sword. the lady in the lake with a blond wig.
after they leave i turn the television to mtv. aza claps and dances. i spread out blankets onto the floor. i dont know how often these blankets are washed. and i pray that they dont have flears or worse because she eats and pisses on the blankets. i hope the urine neutralizes any invisible vermine
it is just the two of us now in the room. aza and i stand in front of the locked door and watch everyone else flitter in the hallway, talk, smoke.
aza runs around the room naked.
i dont see the austrian couple in the hallway.
they havent opened the door for hours and the floor is covered in crumbs with more crumbs on their way down and urine. and the ideas are getting lost in translation. i’ve buried all of hte dying in the living ants and flies . a mosquito bit my baby and i smiled because the guards think we have nothing left. she is screaming for food, for papa, for outside, trees, apple juice, music, dance, neanderthals, for an opening, a pin prick that creates a hole that connects her heart to someone on the other side of the metal locked door.
a couple of times while el compa is out for a cigarette he sneaks to my window to say a sentence or two. but always the guards yell at him to not talk to me. i look at el compa jealous that he gets to have a conversation with people that he gets to stand outside of his room.
natasha and her son and husband spend most of the day together in the hallway.
aza and i spend our day in the cell.
my daughter is fumbling trying to open a bag. shit, she says. as it slips from her fingers once again.
a blond female guard knocks on my door in the evening and asks if im okay.
–you can come out.
el compa and i sit together for the first time all day.
el compa had to listen to aza’s screams without being able to do anything. but sit in a seperate room on a bunk bed and listen above the televioson drone and beyond the stumbling conversation held in a tiny tower of babel. and she screams. for heat and muscle, for a right to live and evolve out of this netherworld. evolve out of this black home of lost luggage with no destination. the owners have been locked away and the druggie prison guards lost the keys.
that night they turn off the lights in all the rooms except mine. i hang mattress covers from the bunk bed like thick mosquito netting and we both sleep well.