Thursday, December 20, 2007

Barcadi Evening

Today’s dinner: Barcardi Gold, straight from the bottle, and Baked Tostidos, in fun “scoopable” shapes. Strapped in a furry red robe from Target, I ingraciously perch in my crumb-riddled office chair, scored off Craigslist for $20.

The cat paws at the door, pathetic little scratches, “they’re trying to kill me,” mews.

So I take off my hearing aid. It sleeps on a mountain of GRE study guides stacked at my elbow: curled, flesh-colored, tailed. It looks like a fetus.

In the middle of the night I felt JS stumble around the room, and opened my eyes to his nude, hulking frame wavering in the dark like a white dybbuk searching for its lost eyes. He leaves. In his absence, dark shapes grin: the stationary bike with its wide, handlebar mouth; the fallen towels with their bemused folds. In the far corner, a bench press stirs, little dumbbell children giggling at its teats. A square of striped light pans across the far wall, followed by bleating hip-hop and a dull engine roar. I am reminded of Georgina’s house: Georgina’s room, Georgina’s shadow, thudding and pixie-haired, Peter Pan on steroids; a distant cousin with the face of a horse and the wits of molasses. That was the only summer I knew her.

He returns, steadier now. In his hand is an envelope I confuse for a Kleenex. He seems relieved I am already awake. He sits down next to me. I adore his belly. Written on the envelope, in his spiky, sleepy hand:

“Your hearing aid is screeching.”

Only, he spells it “screaching,”

Embarrassed and guilty, I start mouthing “I’m sorry,” forgetting that he’s the one who can hear; I forget that. I forget that people hear. I mouth to them often when I am deaf.

Pen still in hand, he writes:
“I just wanted to know if that’s okay.”

Georgina married in the early 90’s and I imagined him to be what I, at the time, imagined all husbands to be: balding and skinny; thick glasses and collared shirts; newspapers and crossed legs; CNN and Law & Order. I imagined him to be much like the Dad from Calvin and Hobbes:

Who also kind of looks like the Web guy at my work, and Tom Hanks.


Blogger Billychic said...

God Damn.

I posted a comment on here but I guess it never made it...

I just love your writing, sweetheart.


11:06 AM  

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