Monthly Archives: June 2013

Rachel: June 19

A good wife will not forget her mise en place. My last session cancels for the day, so I decide the effort for dinner will be paramount tonight. Purchases at the Longington Organicist included radicchio and swiss chard that I will grill, and two fresh red snappers I will filet and paint with olive oil and capers. Ian will smell the house filling with good things, the best things, as he walks through the door.

It is the first absolutely perfect night of the summer.

I don a mustard-colored apron, one I remember asking for on our wedding registry, and start gathering what I’ll need to cook tonight. The house’s kitchen is one of the things that sold us on the property, which we moved into right after we got married, its white marble countertops and stainless steel appliances still looking just as new two years down the line as it did the day we moved in. I never feel more adult then when I am standing here, prepping dinner for Ian and me, in this kitchen, in this house, in this school district, in this zip code.

I go to the bathroom, muscle memory flicking off the light switch, my gaze instead watching my feet trace the lines of the hardwood floorboards as I’m tightrope-walking a seam.

“Boo,” I hear in whisper, and subsequently jump ten feet in the air. Ian’s standing in the middle of the kitchen with a bouquet of white Gerber daisies.

“You weren’t supposed to be here yet,” I say when I return back to Earth.

“You weren’t supposed to be here yet,” he replies.

I can just laugh. I can just smile. I can just fall into him, apron and all.

I don’t know if it’s the summer sun that’s breaking through the French doors I’ve propped open onto the back patio, or that Ian has by some force of god stepped away from his desk at the firm in Stamford, or that I am here, in his Connecticut kitchen, as his wife, like out of a beach bestseller and not counseling a couple on their deteriorating marriage at five P.M. on a Wednesday, but it is something. Ian puts down the flowers—dangerously close to the fish—and picks me up, all five feet of me, and carries me to our bedroom. And although there is every bit of soft romance to Ian literally whisking me off my feet, there is nothing coy about what he does when he has me against our sheets. He reaches up into my dress to remove what is underneath, shimmies down his own pants to his ankles, and pushes me down onto him. He pulls me in against his chest, his teeth against my neck, and as he comes, I wrap my hands around his necktie. I am still in the apron.

Check, please

It’s tedious, this business of finding diners
“romantic.”
Of squealing at vinyl and chrome, stools
at the counter, heavy plates with cracked,
webbed glaze, coffee mugs
that could easily cause blunt force trauma.
And the food:
vegetables boiled into an olive drab paste alongside
friesmashedorpilaf.

I used to love diners until I got dumped in one.

french class.

when i was in high school and college, i had an irrational fear of french class. basically, it went like this: i would get very, very nervous for the hour or so leading up to french class. there was a ball of dread curled up in my stomach like a puppy in front of a fire on christmas eve. i would twitch a little bit, my bladder would become impatient, and my voice would shake.

why?

because i was 100% certain that some woman was going to ask me things in french and then expect me to answer her. and i wasn’t going to be able to do that, because i don’t speak french. then, i assumed she would get mad at me and i’d look like an idiot in front of lots of people who, supposedly, spoke french.

but then i’d get to french class and it wouldn’t be so bad. yes, a woman might ask me something in french, but if i couldn’t understand and thus respond, she wouldn’t get mad at me; most of the time, she would help me out and give me clues as to how to respond correctly. so during french class, the dread would go away and i would feel relief and life would continue on as normal.

most things are like french class.

Belt

I have taken off my pants before, drunk,
less than advisable circumstances,
parties, people’s house, but never in
public, arguing to myself, screaming
“hypocrite” and “fucking liar” to the
boardwalk breeze. I’ve never used heroin
or cocaine, or anything that would make
me look like I crawled out of a burning
train compartment, very clearly derailed,
ready to put out the flames with any
part of my body, temporarily,
and believe I can put the whole thing back
on track, because in this moment I’m God,
and these are not burns, they are evidence.

The Good People

“They took my kid and they replaced him with a fuckin’ stick!”

“A stick.”

“A fuckin’ stick!”

“Who did?”

“The Good People.”

“The Good People kidnapped your son and replaced him with a stick.”

“That’s what I’m sayin’!”

“Okay.” Mike Fionn rubbed his left hand through the ashen fuzz of his head, following the curve of the back of his skull and and brought his fingers around to feel the gauge on his ear. He’d been trying to ease himself off coffee for the last six weeks, and the motion helped to ease the headaches. Still Margie’s nasal voice only amplified the pain as it echoed through his head. He needed whiskey. But he knew he shouldn’t drink before 10am so he poured himself a finger’s worth of Tully anyway. He could feel the eyes of his receptionist Ari boring through him from the other side of the office window, but he figured if he didn’t turn around to face her then they couldn’t hurt him too much.

“Well? Ahe ya gunna help?” Margie intoned as Mike drew the glass to his lips. He wished for once he’d get a normal case but then of course he’d never work. Most PIs these days made their bank from security work or internet snooping, and he’d  already hired The Creep to handle that side of the business. A job like this at least meant that he’d get out into the field. Over the last year or so, Mike had managed to make himself the go-to for these kinds of gigs. Sometimes he’d get a trophy wife from Chestnut Hill saying that her husband Senator McIrishfuck was sleeping with a siryn, but mostly it was folks like Margie from the old hood whose kids got turned into sticks or replaced with sticks or whatever the fuck she was talking about.

Marvel

Poems of the past
Have the freedom to capture
The never seen

The audience tethered to the land
Learning rhymes the way they live
Every thing by hand

Words typed in ink contrast
With the bold pride
Of a man who knew the land

Travel was extending the range
Of a cooling pie
Paper brought continents, adventure

Now in rows of carved silicone
Stacked an ocean away
Data hold my likeness inside

A box the size of baby’s feet
I can find it in a blink
A plastic click unfurls latitudes

In the swirls imprinted
On my pointer finger
I speak commands

And the very stretch of land
Hidden from my lens
One worked by farmers of the past 

With bone-worn fingers
And herded with a seasoned rasp
Appears at once

Like magic
Like the freedom poets captured
In the cool metal box upon my hand.

12A

don’t cough don’t sneeze don’t breathe.

those aren’t instructions for me they’re for you because you are a pile of disease clothed in sickness wrapped in bacteria and wearing sandals. i will curl myself away from you as tight as possible as compact as can be done with this lumpy flesh of mine and i will turn away and treat every movement you make as an affront as an attack on my humanity because i can sense that you are very, very terrible.

now i’m leaning my forehead against the — what the hell is this made from anyway? — and it’s probably a thousand times germier than you but i’m not thinking rationally since you just — oh god did you you did i think you did — blew your nose in an attempt to be discreet but it wasn’t discreet it was anything but discreet it was loud and terrifying and announcement to the entire cabin HELLO BEINGS I AM VIRUS and now my eyes are shut tight and my forearm is clamped over my mouth and nose and i am leaning against the filthy and scratched — what the hell IS this made from? glass? plexiglass? omniglass? — and i am praying even though i don’t believe in god i am praying hoping pleading that we all go down in flames —

no i’m just hoping i don’t get sick from you you awful horrible miserable human you disgusting inconsiderate conflagration of grease and hair and skin and phlegm and broken.

don’t cough don’t sneeze don’t breathe.

but i can already feel the scratch in my throat.