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The Sounds of Honey

I have just arrived at a cabin on the edge of the river. I’ve come to find something.


I punch in the access code and slowly open the door. There is a tan leather couch with two green and golden chairs that look like quotation marks on each side of it. Directly through the main room are two small bedrooms and a bathroom. A kitchen sits to my right.


To the left is a wall of naked windows that frame the wild river. At the edge of the wall is a desk with a simple sign that reads “whatever floats your boat.”


The river tells a story of several days’ rain. I put down my things and walk down to the edge of it. I breathe in the fresh air and look around to take in the details - murky brown water flowing swiftly with debris, a lazy duck hitching a quick ride, random whiteness of something I can’t quite make out with my aging eyes.


Speaking of white – I watch two black geese flying about two feet above the water. In the distance, there is a white tree that stands out from all others. Still dead, but hopeful. I search the water for more life and come up empty, then return to the cabin.




The cabin smells oddly like manure, although there are no farm animals around. I light a candle. Twisted Peppermint – a scent to remind me that the holidays were only a short time ago. I feel warm inside despite the cold.


I unpack my food for several days: peppers, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, cherries, and the real treat – raw honeycomb.


I suddenly feel hungry. I arrange my plate like it’s an experiment in artistry as hues of red, orange, yellow and blue swirl in a circle. I place a dollop of honeycomb in the middle.


Still standing at the sink, I start to eat the peppers. One-by-one, I feel the crunch between my teeth, then move to the blueberries. They are unusually plump and juicy for this time of year. I slowly make my way around the plate, stopping in the center where the honeycomb awaits.


I dip my spoon in the center, right where the smooth stickiness feels briefly like resistance. I pull it to my mouth and close my eyes as the slow dissolution of nature’s candy melts into my body. I came for business, but this is certainly pleasure.


I finish this ritual and retire to the tan leather couch facing the wall of naked windows framing the wild river. My ears frantically search for sounds, but there are none. It feels both welcome and unsettling. I ignore the desk in the corner.


Nightfall is approaching and the naked windows are now doors to evil lurking in my mind. There are things of which I cannot see watching me. I’m trying to make sense of the way darkness is more a feeling than a color.

 

I venture back outside to build a fire. The logs are wet and defiant, sizzling as they fight their destiny. I watch them burn down, getting lost in the embers as they disappear into the blackness of night. Hours go by before I realize how things changed so slowly that I barely recognized the changing until it was all through. This happens often, doesn’t it?




I move back inside, my hair and clothes soaking in the scent of destruction. I remove my clothes and step into the shower. The water struggles to go beyond tepid as I hover somewhere between shivering and satisfied. I finish quickly then step out of the shower and into comfort.


The truth is that I came here to plot my future, armed with Crayola markers and sheets of 8.5x11 paper. It may be silly but I need to see it all sketched out in front of me in shades of green, yellow, purple, and blue. I need to feel the future in my hands, for it to permeate my mind in a way that cannot be erased.


I take up space in the center of the floor, begin choosing my colors as though choosing my fate. For the next hour, colors have new definitions. Green means we are golden; yellow means it’s so close to reality that I can taste it on my tongue; red has little place in this plan.


One-by-one, the stark white sheets gain character. They take on a shape of their own as I arrange them on the floor according to their place in my future business, then step back to admire the masterpiece.

I said I was here to find something, but I’m not sure if that’s true.


It feels wrong. The pieces don’t quite fit together. I can’t tell if something is missing or simply doesn’t belong.


With a stern focus on the floor, I frantically search for answers. For the next hour, I tell the sheets of paper where to go and what to do. You - move over there! You – get out of here! You – come back here!


I imagine I’m conducting an orchestra and my demands are creating a kind of music that can only sound like smooth wild honey. I get to a place where I can almost taste it, then take a pause.


The desk in the corner beside the wall of naked windows framing the wild river is mocking me.


Whatever floats your boat is such a shitty saying. It may as well be laughing at me: “Who is this business owner with her Crayola markers and sheets of paper all over the floor? She must be joking about planning her future.”


I sit down and close my eyes, try to tune out the mockery that’s right in front of me. The silence only feels like stillness which now feels like inaction. I feel anger building inside of me as I stand up and walk over to the desk.


I sit down and do what every real business owner does - pull out my computer.


I spend some time translating the character of my white sheets into a formal business strategy before my mind starts to wander.


I look to my left, but the wall of windows framing the wild river is now a wall of black. I can only see my own reflection. I said I was here for business, but now this is personal.

 

I pull out the blank white sheet on my computer, begin clicking away at the keys. It’s an oddly familiar feeling, like the return of an old friend you’d broken up with years ago but can’t remember why. She smells the same and her shoulder is soft, still comforting. She listens closely as I begin telling her my story.


I talk about how I arrived at this cabin in search of something, the smooth oasis of honey in my throat, the scent of destruction. I tell her all about how I have learned to make music.

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