Punishment for what? I took her to the vet and had her put to sleep. My beautiful dress—the color of blood. It looks much better now, silly girl. What an idea! Look—it happened right here outside church on Sunday.
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Mary held her up, thinking fast. Maybe a nice sky blue, a calming color. Angie came to with a shriek. Like the sky. I told a lie!
Ooooh, little sister. I told her the cat got run over. First I kill, then such a fib. I never lied to her before. She hates blue, my little sister, always wants pink like some dumb Barbie doll. She cried for an hour and tried to make me a pink smoothie. And all the guys I had a crush on teased me for three weeks. Going to fly up to the sky.
Angie, Angie, Angie, nobody dies for fibbing to her sister. Anyway, that was really quite imaginative—that Sky Slurper thing. Many sisters could use something like that when a little brat reads their diary. She seemed to be trying to wipe the color off her dress with desperate sweeps of her arm. Oh well, it should have been apricot originally. Yes, apricot.
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Here goes. And once more Mary wished. And once more Angie screamed. They make me itch all over.
Where They Strike
My beautiful dress looks like apricot rash. Oh no no no! The sobbing stopped and Mary felt Angie take her arm. Thanks for helping me up. Just hope nothing happened to my dress. This color. It just makes me happy. Have a nice day. Her makeup was a mucky mess from all the tears, but her smile lit up the space where they had stood.
It was insulting, this internal intrusion after her good deed. She continued in her mind. I get the point—got it already this morning in the kitchen. Resolutions are meant to keep. And unnatural. Classic Love Refugee—still—although with her second Danish man, she has 4 children and 4 grandchildren. She has worked at many different jobs over the years, including teaching English to Danes and Danish to immigrants.
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She hopes it will help explain Americans to Danes and Danes to Americans. It is in English, because she will not feel like a real writer until she has published in her native land and native language.
Story of the Week: February 26, Morning by Sandra McGarry. Marlboro by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. As a teenager, in his bedroom retreat, my buddy Eric built model airplanes, got lightheaded on the glue, listened to Odetta as he built, listened to Ledbelly, Muddy Waters. His schizophrenic sister skulked in the hall. Her complexion was pitted and she wore thick glasses, but I found her attractive, an older woman with secret knowledge I would never have.
I wanted to be misled. I wanted to be detoured by someone whose life was a detour. I wanted to get high on airplane glue without ever building an airplane. The woman with the cruel face and large breasts rests on the couch under the jaguar, her legs folded under her, and talks on a cell phone, the universal currency of disengagement and contempt.
The doors into the room are ten feet tall, but she is only five, the same height as her ancestors, who died before they were forty and whose foreheads were flat and their eyes crossed. Her cell phone and blouse are lurid pink, her toenails are orange. She is a minor character in a detective novel, who hides a shiv in her ratted hair. I take Allopurinol to prevent gout or painful kidney stones. They are sandwiched in the layers of my dermis, interlarded through my deposits of fat, crosshatched on the surfaces of my organs like lichen on a limestone boulder in a Southern forest.
I expel as many of those words as I can into my laptop. But catastrophe—I was hacked. When I turned on my laptop, the tides had been reversed.
I staggered away from the machine, dropped to the floor, crawled under my library table and yanked the plug from the wall. I lay panting like a woman in labor, working hard to deliver, never expecting that the baby could jump back in, requiring her to endure the birth process all over again. Jaguar Woman studies the screen of her cell phone like a Sephardic rabbi studying the Torah. She goes back to the couch, back to uninterrupted staring into her cell phone, like a Sicilian studying the face of a pizza for signs of crime or the dark, mottled face of his lover for signs of betrayal.
I put Bay Rum in an empty eye drop container, half an ounce, enough for the two-week trip I was taking with my wife. I showed it to my wife. It was among the jumble of my stuff on the hotel sink. She has many physical afflictions and likes to wallow in them, likes to wring all the sympathy she can from them. She gets me to do things for her out of consideration for her suffering. Her cornea turned from brown to blue.
No harm there, said the ophthalmologist, but my wife disagreed.
He quit after one of his lungs shriveled up and fell out on the road, looking like a charred marshmallow. His cow dog stopped to sniff it, then moved on, gave it less attention than a dried turd. He rides down into the wash looking for a lost calf or a good place to kill himself.
He lives in Denver, Colorado. Welcome to the Wilderness by Frank Possemato. This is what it feels like to not be in love?
I remember: the night sky and the highway are a two-way mirror, with blackness and headlights and the shining eyes of a deer in the woods. This is nowhere, this is Maine, this is magnificent desolation. She drives during the day and I take the night.
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When we were together it felt like we were the only two people in the world and now we are. I need to stop that. Earlier today I saw a girl in the aspirin aisle at Walmart who might have been perfect for me. She was wearing scrubs and we know all nurses are kinky, and goodhearted, and will be there to look after family when they get older, and are patient.
Nurses are up for it. Plus she was wearing a cross around her neck so you can go to church with her.
I know this is not how it works and I am trying too hard. I said to my friend John Pitrof, the only person I know who might actually own a haystack, that we should do a challenge. He called me back in a half hour and said he found the needle; he used a magnet.