Winged Creature on Trike by Ana Consuelo Matiella

This is the way the story goes…
You can’t sleep anymore this morning.  You can’t tell the difference between the dog snores and the snores of the guy next to you.  You are in Portland and the feeble January sun has not even made an attempt to rise.  You sit up in bed and look up at the purple streetlight and through the sheer curtain, it looks like a winged creature has perched itself there.  And you look again. You tell yourself it is just the glare of the light through the fabric of the transparent curtain combined with your blurred early morning vision. 
This is your vision now, at your age, before coffee. 
And all the time you stare at the streetlight you think of your life, not here in Portland where you are now, but in your other home, in Santa Fe, where by this time you could hear the coyotes howling and the wind whispering through the cottonwood’s dry leaves, the ones that stubbornly hold on and never fall to the ground. You now imagine how the Sangres would look if you got up and looked north from the kitchen window as you wait for your coffee to make that sound it makes when it’s ready, or how the Ortiz mountains would look if you looked south from the den.
Like in a fast dream you realize that only seconds have passed since you have been staring at the streetlight, and you see the winged creature glide down. 
As you get out of bed, you know it’s not your bad vision. Now you know there really was some winged creature thing sitting on top of the light pole like a bored angel.  And when you rush to the window to move the curtain and get a better look at where the thing landed, you see an old Asian lady rummaging through your recycling can.  She is wearing a Coolie hat over her knit cap and baggy, oversized gloves.  She looks up holding an empty diet Coke can and she shakes it at you like a rattle. 
You wave back, embarrassed as if you have her caught her doing something private.  She hurries down your driveway, mounts her giant tricycle and peddles away. 
Now the purple dawn turns into a wet silver morning, and you see her canvas coat flapping in the wind as she rides down the shiny street.
And you tell yourself, “What is a phantasm, anyway, if not a figment of your imagination?”
But you are not convinced.

2 thoughts on “Winged Creature on Trike by Ana Consuelo Matiella

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s