My husband has packed up our small tribe and headed over the Kaimais to give me time to write. It only took an hour for the neighborhood to lift up its head, wipe the drool from its long slumber, and look around, realizing that he was gone. The neighborhood stretched, extended its claws, and then roared. The first roar needed some work. It has been awhile since I’ve been left alone in the house for a few days. But it quickly got the hang of its familiar wild self.
I don’t know what it is, but whenever Dan leaves with the kids the street grows fangs and fur. For two days straight there has been teeth gnashing, chest beating, screams, cars hitting dogs, women calling their small children wankers, a few domestics, and this was all during the daylight hours. Now that the sun is down, I’ve locked all the doors, turned off every light in the house but the bedroom, and I’ve been extra nice to our big dog. I don’t think she’s noticed that usually I’m not quite so attentive. Enough good things can’t be said about the loyalty of dogs.
Outside, I’m convinced people are crouched on the rooftops and swinging from the street lamps. Music pounds from several different directions clashing somewhere mid-air. Glass breaks, a woman shrieks, a man howls, and laughter is trampled underfoot.
The thing is, I don’t mind admitting that instead of feeling threatened, I am tempted by all of it. While I open a new chapter to write, one ear is tuned to the beasts roaming the streets.
I haven’t surfed in months. I haven’t gone dancing in even longer. I miss having Dan grab my hand and lead me through the noise, the mass of bodies, the blurred faces, the glazed eyes, trying to find a corner for us to dance in. I miss having salt on my skin and the ache in my muscles as I paddle, head down, waiting for that moment – that pause – right before a wave rears up beneath me. I have a need to gnash my teeth and roar my terrible roars. I think maybe we all do. But I could be wrong.
I miss all of this, but even as I sit on the bed, my laptop open, and write for hours, I am full of wildness. Every sentence, every page, every chapter written leads me further into a night that makes my neighborhood appear suburban and tame. And it is more than just the adventure of writing the novel itself – I have the sense that every day I am moving towards something. What that thing is, I don’t have the words for but I can feel Dan and I carrying our family towards it.
Soon, the waves will be breaking again and I will feel the sun weathering my skin. The music will be coming from our house. The wild things will roar and take us by the hand and we will dance with our children laughing and tangling in our feet.