There was an error in this gadget

28 March 2007

Gender Neutral

Mel swore off personal pronouns the day after the orgy. Sank into the couch beside Syd, and Syd noticed definitive jewelry – an indicator of possibility. Licked lips and sat together, locked eyes in the diner a day later and anticipated new beginnings; even ditched Significant Other for Adorable Blond. Something stewing inside Mel finally exploded and the truth blustered out. So long, pronouns! Shouting and dancing, fist pumping and grinning, Mel held Syd’s hand, walked together down the street.
But maybe Mel decided to abstain after the acid. Could’ve expanded Mel’s constricted horizons, broadened the expanse of possibilities, twisting Mel’s mind until pronouns turned cliché. Or maybe after the mushroom trip – a night of total dependence, the first night to realize any embrace would do. Or the ecstasy? The couple lines sniffed up on New Years. Felt desirous toward Chris, then, and then again with the alcohol.
Remember that time in Alex’s bathroom? Syd sets a hand on Mel’s knee and rubs up to high-thigh. Eyes narrow and hungry pupils glimmer. Feeling lusty, leans to lay the wet one, and Mel’s eyes glaze. Little green donuts.
A memory settled into moldy pillows and dirt-caked armchairs: a sweet mildew cavern. Mel and Syd leaned against the walls and sat in opposition. Busted out the beers and, of course, Mel sighs, so begin all love stories. A group of guests showed up, and in no time had checked out – thanks much, delightful drink. And soon, Mel and Syd had taken the mattress, and the onlookers kindly left the impromptu couple. All but the little mouse passed out in the chair beside. Will wake up and see, whispered Syd. To the bathroom?
Whether the two feasted fish or sausage in the sewage love-room remains a mystery, for Mel’s finished with pronouns. Wonders about the jokes made earlier in the year – laughs about the bathroom, and the two separate doors. Decides against settling on a skirt or boxers. Kisses Syd’s lips. Sweet androgyny.

27 March 2007

A case for more cautious driving

Poor Opal. Late at night she wrong-turned and drove her sleek new Subaru into the depths of an industrial waste-lake. She had plans to meet her mom the next morning at the yoga shelter for an hour of repose, but never showed. (Corpses cannot hold an asana – unless rigor mortis catches them in the Lotus or Downward Facing Dog). Their next reunion would take place in the morgue, where her mother rested twitchy eyes on the bloated cadaver. Fuck.
Mourners flocked to the funeral home. Opal glimmered, set in a poplar case on lavender satin. Their wide eyes lingered, hoping she might wake. Her father stood at the entrance, greeted the incoming bereaved. Focused his filmy stare toward the room where he’d set his dead daughter and pumped the clammy palms of passers-by. Flashed his sullen smile and thanked them for their condolences. Her sister stumbled across the parlor consoling family, friends and strangers. And her mom disappeared – ghosted off like her eldest daughter. Couldn’t bare her blotchy face to the well-intentioned crowd. Newcomers entered on unsteady feet; then tiptoed into Opal’s room while the elevator music played. Stewed there for half an hour, small-talked with long-lost acquaintances. Wept as the sight of Opal’s cold body marinated in their minds.
Grief overtook the tiny place again when the throng returned for services. They packed in tight. Some friends from high school boozed up before – stood in back, hidden by a shroud of whiskey. Wouldn’t confront the death with straight heads. So they blended into the bolts of black cotton, lace and satin. Watched the whirling precession and battled their unsteady eyes handicapped by cathartic gulps of ethanol. Opal’s stoic sister stood first at the podium. Read her eulogy to the hysterical audience and didn’t tremble once. Read the thing like she’d practiced it since the day she first understood what sister meant.
Then Lula Rose collapsed. She’d felt sick since she heard about her friend’s fatal accident. Came back home from school just to say goodbye. But soon started choking on the thick air and felt woozy from claustrophobia. Sweat greased her neck’s nape and white patches marred her sight. Breathed heavy as her body shook. Looked past the rows of heads to her departed friend and would’ve folded in half, if not for those living bodies cuddled in so close to her. Wobbled through the cluster and past the threshold of Opal’s room and dropped at the foot of the stairs in the room next door. Plunged her head between her knees and sobbed. Sat back up and listened to the two eulogies that followed. A poem by a friend, and an advertisement for the yoga shelter, where Opal’d been working. Last, the priest babbled on for an hour about things that Opal had never paid mind to like Jesus and the priest’s daily schedule. Sounded like he’d gone with those high school friends before the funeral for a couple swigs. Lula Rose clicked her tongue. Thought about who she might like to speak at her funeral – probably would want to hold auditions. Poor Opal, thought Lula Rose. If only she had known.

Lester learns the benefits of sobriety

Imagine the surprise.
Lester awakens, shocked to feel Geraldine’s sweaty ass sliding slowly up and down his back as her bulbous body oozes over the edge of his twin bed. She rolls over and swings a queen-sized arm around her trembling lover. He surveys the floor with his crusted eyes for the evidential prophylactic. And there it lies, and he inhales and gags on the burnt-rubber stink that hangs in the air. Tries to recall last night’s romance, but Geraldine murmurs into his ear, This is the start of something beautiful, breaking his concentration.
She purrs and licks earlobe. He winces. Snores and mumbles, hopes Geraldine won’t realize he’s up. Her loving caress persists; twirls the hair around his nipple ‘til it’s a taut little string and pulls the wound-up whorl between her chubby fingers. He jerks. Didn’t realize you were awake, darling, she coos. So he snores louder now, only rousing her to exert more forceful love.
Shoves Geraldine off of the bed. Thinks, poor floor; that must smart. Props the door open and rolls her out, leaves her in a heap on the welcome mat. Slams the door and sighs aloud. Good riddance, Geraldine! But she calls in falsetto through the thick mahogany, See you soon, sweet Lester!
Three weeks prior, his resolute gestures of unrelenting rejection were all for naught. Couldn’t make it stick in that lardy brain of hers. Seven grandmothers died in vain; Lester’s purity could not be protected. Against the odds, Geraldine had busted through his belt with an alcoholic jackhammer. Nothing could stop that hurricane! And Lester’d been devastated by the unnatural disaster.
The building shakes as an enamored Geraldine skips home. Gorges herself with pancakes and ice cream and bacon. Daydreams between chews and supposes it’d be sweet to sew a stuffed toy for her darling. Fashions a bear out of felt and stuffs the little guy with condoms and candy. Puts a mix tape in his pocket and decides to drive back to deliver him to Lester. He hears the knock, but she’s disappeared when he answers – playing ding-dong bitch. All that’s left is that damned bear, loaded with lubricated promises. He hits his head against the doorframe. Throws the thing like a hand-grenade about to blow. Goddamnit Geraldine! It explodes on the pavement, leaking licorice and latex.
He tries to break things off a couple times but the thick girl stays smitten, giggles, Look at that Lester, playing hard-to-get! Clasps her hands and pulls them to her heart as she swoons.
At last straw, Lester hops a plane to Havana and hides in-hut all winter. Hopes Geraldine’s forgotten their night of passion like he has and refuses the piña coladas offered by locals. Lesson learned, laments Lester.