December 31, 2009 Comments Off
I did not know some facts until after I wrote this. The CIA had blamed my grandmother for some mistakes they wanted to hide. During the 1950′s they had let English agents spy on the H bomb, steal the plans and give them to Russia. CIA pretended my grandmother had done it. They harassed my father, planted agents, tinkered with his car and tried to kill him. Two years after this novel ended, I moved from a hotel to a one bedroom apartment. The Dutch and US cut off my television cable. I had a friend, Jan Derek (Dirk) Pasterkamp, a Dutch folksinger with an apartment but no identity card. We smoked cannabis every afternoon, played the guitar and sang. He went out on my bike and bought grass. We had a friend, Walter the German, we met on Leidseplein where we talked twice a week. Walter only talked about marijuana. One night I insisted that Walter and I rent a hotel room to watch television. We found one above Rookie’s cafe, and went downstairs to have coffee. The only ones at the next cafe were an older man and an adolescent girl. Fluffy haired with spectacles, he wore a beige check jacket and tie. The girl, four inches shorter and thinner, sat part way around the table. As he spoke, now and then she shifted her glance. He pushed his face toward something down the street, hers partly moved. Later, upstairs, I lay on the bed. Walter on the floor rolled joints. I heard thumps like someone banged on the wall, and smaller bumps; then a door shut which made Walter look up. Words came through the wall. With a blush and a grin, Walter translated:
“Dirty little bitch. You’re an evil girl, you mean, filthy slut.”
The attempt to cut an egg increased the charge in all my muscles. Pieces sped off the plate. My numb hand could not fork them up. Girls shook their heads No or didn’t answer. The perfect, vanilla kewpie doll, a level blue eyed blond with a round forehead and globe breasts, never saw me through the glass pane. The effort to cut conflicted with the muscular overcharge. I sawed on. The struggle united with the increased effort and doubled. I was enraged over an egg. I cursed, trembled and sneered. I stabbed at the fatty bacon, l pinned and shredded. A piece flew off the table. Tall Rita with the spear head cheekbones looked back from between her legs.
After breakfast, ease of walking provoked the CIA treatment to clench my lower back. Two days later, Rita left her bra on. The gluteal muscle followed the tendon and shuddered to return twenty times. She said she might know of an apartment; drop by tomorrow. The next day I felt a scratched anger. Black whips hung on the wall. Rita cell phoned in German. The apartment was no longer free. I thanked her and left.
In my small hotel room, I added details to old notes of interrogation by hidden CIA officers. I had been experimented on. The federal spies had done ten thousand conditioning trials on me with humans and electricity. Now I told secrets I had promised to keep: the officers’ names and hints of their personalities. They’d repeated their recognizable voices. If I concentrated, the letters wavered. In a light sweat, I trembled and felt I was losing my balance.
Upside down, Rita’s breasts had flown and swelled close. Her buttocks, a semi soft bubble, followed the cord in cream. I had glimpsed an extra spasm in her back.
Two canals East and five blocks South lay Nieuwmarket, a large square where at one end stood a brick fort with conical roofs. Down a side street halfway to a canal, a slim blond admitted me. Four days later, she said: “No.” I walked back to the hotel. On the bed, relaxation brought images of men who rushed with weapons. I cursed the government. The swearing erased the attackers, but not the nervousness created with frequent electric current. I went out again. I told Rita I yelled on the phone at my first hotel. The maid thought I meant her and they asked me to leave. How was the weather in New York? “Snowing.”
In a stationary store I saw a German dictionary and thought of Rita but it was too small. Her question about the weather suggested a trip unfairly fast. Two days later, I tried a full chested blond. Upstairs she said, “I can’t. That’s it.”
Up at 2AM, tired, my thighs and biceps flexed. The main avenue was outside my window. A tunnel of air mourned from the left. “Breasts.” The plump brunette took her bra off. They faced away from me. “Now what?” “Just stand.” I held her. Outside the hotel window, a beggar played a plastic pipe. The Tv was too low to hear. If I looked too hard at the subtitles, the words switched places.
Rita called me: “Bugs Bunny.” How did my stomach get like that? The bicycle in Copenhagen. I couldn’t tell her the conditioned anxiety didn’t let me rest. A new, thick Langenscheidt’s dictionary lay on her sink edge. In Oudekerk Square, Old Church loomed, nine cement walls with nine orange tiled roofs, some conical. The bells rained a slow hymn, deep and high gongs; the melody rang like fallen cans scattered over clanged chords.
In May in the Broodje, a sandwich shop on Old Church Square, Rita came in for a sandwich, her face white above a navy coat. Her eyes looked higher than in make up. That night, the tunnel with air walls worried listened at 2:20 AM. The Church bell player, never married, wondered where the despair in the music came from. Never broken up, she hadn’t discovered grief.
Rita waved at the stars on the rear wall. I couldn’t think. Five minutes later, I said we could live in New Paltz a college town thirty miles North of New York, if she just wanted to get away. How to explain a college town. The students didn’t speak to strangers. We’d have no friends. The tension could build into an argument about what? She’d have to go back to Holland. A man spoke. Rita seemed to shrink backwards, like a scared deer.
I knocked on the glass beside the vanilla kewpie’s turned away face. She let me in. “____ me, ____ me, ____ me, ____ me.”
I had finished twenty poems since I left New York. An empty envelope from Mother; female modern dance; the word vergeven. Kopy Kwik copied and bound them. Under the plastic sheet, the front looked like snow with typewritten titles at different angles. Rita was probably not a lit major, but her x curtains were closed. The next day, walking up her street, I seemed to glide on light blue wings, but her curtains were closed, closed for a week. I worked on events from 1989. Hot water from the shower could make coffee in a glass container.
“Poetry; they came out well and I thought of you.” She flipped through it. Thanked me without looking up and put it on a package. The kewpie spanked my ass cheek with a leather fly swatter. Rita’s curtains were closed for another week. When I saw her, I asked her if she had a chance to read the poems. Yes. She brushed her waist length hair. Too complicated? Maybe.
Rita was with Ann sitting in a booth. One day with a shadowy look, Ann said, “Ulrika’s on vacation.” Her name was Ulrika; she’d discussed me. I put my hand on the kewpie’s shoulder. In two minutes, she said, “Yes, yes, yes, yes. How are you, Dracula?” Rita Ulrika joked.
Beside Kewpie’s armoire stood a pair of tan suede cowboy boots. Above them hung a fleece lined leather jacket. She said she will love others and I will love others. I asked if she was six feet tall. Only five eight, her wide dark eyes denied. How often did she go to the tanning booth?
“Twice a week, you seem tense,” Kewpie said.
I said: “I have strange problems. The government gave me this treatment. Electromagnetic rays.”
“Who is using these rays on you?”
CIA sounded crazy so I said FBI. Rita stopped on the way to her chair, hand half raised.
I knew I shouldn’t bring police attention to her or talk about surveillance…
To be continued
Barry Titus is a 71 year old poet and writer born in New York City. His publications include: the novel, Masks and non fiction,The Dalai Lama Caper. Barry has spent the last seven years in Holland.
December 29, 2009 § 1 Comment
Words are colour true hidden between if and maybe ” David you know what the power of the message will do, you know the price of finding me”
“Maybe this is not the way of it “
Maybe you should try to find me”
The truth or my truth is nothing without you. If that the chose then I choose this path”
The greatest fear certaint, the marked paragraph where in lyes unquestioning meaning. “The power of the message the certainty of the destruction that it will cause just to find me”
certaint unquestioning, what good are these when all fact conspire against.
Words tone and pitch to strike a lye or hit a truth “David I choose for you to forget this, forget me this is not you world”
“I would lye to keep him safe ,the lye within a truth I would keep him from me knowing that it would better that the truth I require “
“becouse of you Edward I know there are world times were I am never just an on looking”
“David remember to live on till all the little that left
Your faded words mean little as your cold heart beat no compassion “Edward the power of the message I will use it to keep you safe stop the flame of memory
“Tom I can not save you, what you have done the path you walk you are lost so am I “
But lyes and tainted truth
“I see a world of perfection even in the smallest detail, I see no mark from the passage of time or dent were age has been unkind “
The black fog the reflection of your own self the monster the action you choose David
Just like Tom ,like all who tried to find me that what this refection show”
wear the eye it see all but know nothing
“I dont see or rather I choose not to see why destroy this world why question , look the crake faded truths.
This world of perfection was never yours to find
The lonely child who navigate a world by an alferbet which she has yet to learn, the lost child to the howling wind
“What I face,what I know?
What can I see, I can not tell”
Wear the teacher who knows all. the lyer and keeper of realy truths
“This is my mind ,my world, this creation but that note dose not make sence the word Edward left but word not for me
Final wear the mind that stop or the heart which fail ,danger as the game is lost , as the water of the mind turn cold,icely and unkind these word are gone the game stop.
December 21, 2009 Comments Off
It started. I’m not sure exactly when, but it did. First it was fantasy, then pictures, movies. Finally…well, I still have that choice. Ah, Sophie.
Before I get into this battle with myself…the hardest kind, and after all, who wins?…I need to ask a question. Not for you, for me. Why does sex have to be interesting? In nature we see a lot of rape, and my darker side inclines me to not have a huge problem with that. There’s something about force, about the exercise of power. It’s delicious. The next fundamentalist nut job who tells me we have no animal ancestry needs to set up a mirror above their own bed. If there’s one thing scientists and preachers agree on it’s that the main function of the sex act is for reproductive purposes.
Sophie is looking at me now, somewhat warily. She’s done a lot of work for me already. I can’t think that crossing this line will mean as much to her as it would for me. After all, I can’t expect her to understand the difference between filming something (fiction), and just doing it for shits and giggles (non-fiction). Her professionalism is superior to mine in that aspect. It’s all real to her. She’s what we in the porn business call a “real amateur”. Dogs don’t act. They can be taught to perform, but they don’t act. The cries of pain and pleasure are one hundred percent real.
I don’t know why I’m so afraid of this final act. I’ve been felated by Sophie and countless other dogs before, that’s how it started being more than just a thought. The thing was I didn’t start it. I had to finish myself off that first time, but I soon learned how to use food both as lubricant and enticement. Sophie is the best of them so far. I really love her. I really do. That’s the problem. I know I will cause her pain if I go forward with this. Not that she’ll remember it, or be traumatized, like…say… a little kid would be. But while I’m doing it… (Doing it? Am I really that serious?)…there will be physical pain.
Before I made Dog flicks I was into rape flicks. The problem was the raping was never real. The most clever one was a sci-fi piece about how there’s only one woman left on the planet after a big nuclear war, and she doesn’t want to put out. That was a big seller. I am an artist first, a pervert second.
A fairly famous artist, actually. If it ever came out that Douglas Miller and Dr. Strange Love are the same person, I’d be in some real shit.
Part of me, I think, as I am not the most in touch with myself person around, would like that. I’d like to go down like a radical, an extremist… to hell with everyone else. I wanted to do it, so I did. Go down screaming; the most famous dog fucker of all time…. as fascinating as I was revolting.
I like to be revolting. But I will not tolerate any half measures…no no no. I need to be revolting either in total secrecy, or completely openly. I am leading up to something, perhaps.
Or perhaps not. I suppose it’s just that I am sitting down and thinking about it. Most days I go about my business and turn a blind eye to my darkest sides. Then I make myself drunk, or take drugs…and they come out of the shadows. Take last night for instance. I was drunk when I wrote that, trying to give myself courage. I went into her room. I looked her right in the eye. I wanted to do it, but somehow I couldn’t disconnect my conscience. Yet the craving remains.
I am a forty two year old man. For all intents and purposes, I have stopped having normal relations with women. My contact with women, in any real sense, stopped when I was married. That was when I was 33.
I have re-read yesterday’s entry many times. I am surprised at its honesty. That is what I set out to do here, though, but I am surprised that it is happening. I have never written anything before, so if I am gone and you are reading this, please excuse my bad writing.
What I wrote yesterday seems significant. I’m not sure how. Maybe I’m afraid of women. That’s a theory that’s out there, about my kind of extreme pervert that seems to make some sense. The more I think about it though, the more I think that maybe I’m afraid of myself. I’ve never had any real trouble giving pleasure to women, not that they’ve seen fit to complain about. I’ve often been told that I was a good lover. Maybe it was getting married that did it. My wife and I never have sex anymore. We are bored of the same old thing. Maybe we are afraid to admit that. Not maybe, we are afraid. I can sense it in the room at all times. We hardly ever even speak anymore. Our sex life, or lack of it, has taken over everything.
Did a shoot today. Lesbian Dog Porn. Sophie was marvelous, as was the actress. What was her name? I considered paying her a little extra to go to one of my empty studios and turn fiction into fact, but I chickened out at the last minute and went and masturbated in my office instead. Not so much chickened out, as I was actually emboldened. Is that the word? It sounds right anyways.
No doubt she would have done it. She is an addict of just about everything and has no principles to speak of. Not only has she acted out so many diversely perverse scenarios of mine, but it has been whispered in my ear on many occasions that she does not limit her self to screen work if the price is right. It would be easier with someone else involved. I would feel less responsible. Maybe I will call her.
No way. Man, what was I thinking? This girl is money hungry, and she could expose me. I was working on one of my films today. Not one of the dirty ones, but one designed for people with less evil imaginations. As I was watching the actress play out a scene I had written, I began to leave the set. In my mind, I mean. I began to picture her in the same role the other actress had played in the other film. I could just see little Sophie licking her cunt, loving the salts and the juiciness of it. Lesbian dog porn is an invention of mine. Imitators have sprung up, but they are few. It’s not essentially different than woman on male dog type flicks, except that the woman is never penetrated by the dog. That is what your average dog porn lover is looking for; the canine equivalent of the Tijuana donkey show. I have built my niche market by pushing that anonymous manila envelope. So far I have not found any actors willing to film with male dogs. Even hard core stars have their standards I suppose. But I will some day. Maybe then I will turn one way or the other. When I picture it in my head, it is always easy to do…and it is never like you picture it, is it?
I suppose the normal thing to do at this point would be to kill us all. I mean her, myself, the children. That seems shocking in too average a way. Maybe tonight I will do it. Also, you always hear of loving fathers faithfully executing themselves and their family out of love or poverty or both. None of this applies. I could do it, I suppose, just to act it out. I’m fond of such things. But no, I fear that I am totally alone….that this involves only me.
Not true, of course. With my death, many things would come out. My trauma will be theirs. Good. If people would share each other’s trauma more, less of us would go out on our own limbs.
I thought the point of this was to get better. To try and work it all through and see if there’s any hope for redemption. But sickness, and I am sick, I admit it now, breeds sickness. It is hard to think of the thing you are not supposed to do without being tempted to do it. And yet you must think of it in order to learn to stop doing it.
I could just let her go, but every time I try, something stops me at the last second. I have got as far as the front gate. Once I even opened it, but she just stood there staring at me, innocent to all that was in my mind. It seemed like it would be as cruel as it was kind to let her go. No, the problem is mine.
It all comes down to rape. I want to rape a woman badly, and I cannot tell you why. Some of us are just made in different ways than the rest of you, and yet we still have the instinct to preserve ourselves.
I do not want you to think that I am talking about some billboard slut. Some blonde with lipstick and high heels. This would give me no satisfaction. If I use such women in my films, it is only because they are commercially viable. But not my type. Such women are always being raped by the eyes; I would like to rape someone who would never expect to be raped. Of course, I do not have the courage to carry it out on humans. And…still no penetration of the other…of Sophie.
It is a question of loyalty. A dog is loyal once it has been made so, and it is very difficult- though not impossible- even to beat this out of it. That is the kind of woman I would want. The one who protests to the rape at first, but then ends up liking it. This persona exists in legend, for those of you who think that I am only referencing smut. I think that in this day and age, this would only be possible with a woman who was unattractive by modern standards. Such a woman would be the only one capable of responding to such a thing. Of course, I know the chances would be very low- but I am trying to get this out, to end my denial of the fact that I think these things.
Previously, especially during the dark ages, you can almost understand an attractive woman wanting to be raped. Sex was taboo, and yet we must imagine that people’s carnal urges were not much less developed. The evidence would certainly seem to indicate so. But I digress. Once upon a time, the only virtuous way to get laid was to “allow” yourself to be “raped”. All sex, as in the animal world, was, virtually, thought of as rape. It was a way of protecting one’s reputation in those chivalric times. “He abused me”, such women would say to their girlfriends, smiling knowingly. “But I tell you, after a while, it wasn’t bad…”
Now, of course, attractive women are raped by the eyes of all men. They know this, and this makes them unattractive to me. I love to pass some slut on the street, and make her notice that I seem to ignore her. I have grown the discipline of keeping them out of my vision, of looking towards, but never at them. This includes my wife.
I tell you, for those of you who are interested, as I am surely not: that is the way to get them. Don’t look at them. All their lives they will complain about the eyes which pry under their tops, their skirts, their pants. But just let a man pass who doesn’t give them the time of day and they ask themselves: “Why? What’s wrong with me?”, and straight away they make it their mission to seduce him. These are generalizations, of course. But things become generalizations by first being generally true. Obviously, I am not talking about Lesbians. Or dog fuckers, for that matter.
I have done it. Not really…only in a dream. But this is different from closing my eyes and touching myself in a number of ways.
…First and most of all, because of total suspension of disbelief. Some level of this is necessary to reach climax during masturbation, and of course during sub par intercourse, but there is- sadly, must be- some level of awareness that disbelief has been suspended. Not so in dreams. They only continue, typically, as long as we believe them to be real. It is amazing how much we are actually willing to believe, if you think about it. We can accept phantoms, all kinds of creatures, drastically altered buildings and sometimes entire cities. Sometimes even our own house has changed in some inexplicable way, or we walk into another room and find ourselves in another place; yet we do not question it. Dreams are proof that the only thing we question, on an instinctive level, is our own death. This seems to be the only possibility which begs the question: is this real? Of course, most of us are not ready to accept death, and that’s as it ought to be. It has probably helped us to stick around while so many other species have faded away. And yet, death is a very common thing, whereas many of the other things we dream about are highly improbable, if not impossible.
(The fish would seem to contradict much of what I have just written, now that I think of it. Perhaps sex, reproduction is the key. Of course it somehow had to come back to that.)
I am always myself in my dreams. I mean that I never have the oft reported experience of watching myself. I am always me, in my own head, seeing with my own eyes. I could only see the back of her head, unless I bent my neck to get a better view of her face.
Strangely, she did not seem to react at all. There were no shrieks of pain, no thrashing around trying to get away. The look on her face was…almost worried. The same kind of look she gets when she is watching me eat. Except…how can I put this?…her eyes were not intent. It was as if she were lobotomized, they were so dead and empty of feeling. It would not be this way in real life, I know. I must have cum several times; at least three, judging by the evidence.
The best and the worst in us are borne in secrecy.
I am turning into a poet. I did want to be a writer when I was younger. I guess I just never had much to say until recently. Now it is coming out, all of it. It is no longer secret. From myself, I mean. My motivations have gone unexamined for so long that it seems like I must have finally become aware of them through inertia. Then they just poured out onto these pages by their own will. I had no thought to write this all down. One day I just had to. Writing hard core scripts is not really writing. There’s not much dialogue, mostly instructions. I don’t write the scripts for my “normal” films.
I’m not such a great writer yet, though. I was trying to talk about secrecy…about taboo, and how it makes us go astray, perhaps even further than we might have. In secrecy there is no reference. No one there to say to you: you’re fucking up. That is why I have always loved confessions. However heinous the thing confessed, once published it is harder to get away with again.
I read confessions. That is just about all I read, these days. It started with Rousseau in college… although that was barely a confession. That just made it all the more delicious in its own way though. Because of the morals of the time, the man had to write a book almost as long as the bible just to get it off his chest that he was a masochist. Still, I imagine de Sade must have read certain portions of the confessions over and over again. They must have given him the courage to expose himself. By exposing himself, he built a dam against the flood of his passions. He could only go so far. Had he not published, and continued having his little, um, “sessions”, he would most likely have gone down in history as a shocking item in the French or Czech newspapers. “Nobleman rapes and murders woman on country road!” Instead, we have his plays…which, whatever you think of the subject matter…are well written.
I have read them in the French. Did I tell you I speak French? You who will read this when I publish my confession? I don’t want you all to think I am without education. Then you would chalk it all up to that one factor.
I have made a decision. I will kill myself in three days, on my birthday, and leave these notes out where my wife can find them. She has known that I am doing something secret and nasty for some time, I imagine.
The thing is, to expose myself, to talk about all the things that I have done, would almost certainly mean imprisonment. It is too late to seek help. There are no real specialists who understand my problem. The science and the data are all behind the times. People chose to ignore Kinsey’s warnings, not to deal with the darker side of sexuality, and now we are paying the price. If I had not been born in such a puritanical country…but who knows. Enough ifs. I do not have long to live, and I intend to carry out every sick plan I have hatched in the meantime. Starting tonight.
Why am I doing this? To stop myself? To give myself courage? How much courage does it take to fuck a dog?
I chickened out again. After last night’s entry, I drank myself into a stupor and cried intermittently all night. My wife came up to me and asked me what was wrong, and I ran away from her into the basement; forgetting Sophie was there…where I had left her. She did not follow. Amazing how I have convinced myself on some level that she does not exist, or at least does not matter. My wife, I mean. Not Sophie, obviously…she is ever present. Her existence blots out all others.
Writing it, I felt so sure of it. But if words only deceive me, of what use are they one way or the other? But then I went down there, I looked in her eyes. She saves herself, somehow. Though in all things she is an abiding and loyal little thing, she knows somehow. She fears me only when I am ready to cross this one line. She can sense it –at least on some very basic level- her hair stands up on end, and she freezes on the spot. The thing is, she becomes afraid. Perhaps if she would resist…or better, somehow seem to want it.
Each day brings me closer, yet further away from a decision. I am no longer a whole person. I do not so much live as vacillate. I go to work in the day, and everything passes by me. Thankfully we are wrapped for a month or two while my starlet finishes up another project which she is under a more pressing contract for. Whether I shall be here or not all comes down to Sophie. I will try once more tonight.
This is it. Odd, but since early in the morning, the phone keeps ringing. I have dispatched Sophie’s violated body. She went quietly, drifting off in a pleasant opium cloud. Damn, there it is again. It’s my wife; she keeps calling over and over again. Well, let her. I am going to take the shot now.
J. de Salvo is the editor of the Bicycle Review. http://www.thebicyclereview.net/current-issue.html His fiction, poetry, and articles have been published in numerous online and print publications, including Art/Life, New Angeles Monthly, and the Poetry Super Highway.
December 18, 2009 Comments Off
Mr. Fedlister, combs my hair and parts it down the middle. He pulls each side of my locks behind my ears.
“You need a haircut,” Mr. Fedlister spits on the comb and strokes my hair strands again with the comb.
I’m ready for my close up. I stand on the stage. My hands rest on a textbook. The book sits on a classroom desk. A nature scene and earth globe behind me complete the picture scene.
“Smile. Say cheese,” the photographer looks through the lens. I hear a click.
Lights flash. I smile and hold the pose.
“One more time please” the photographer presses the button. The lights flash again. I blink. See dots. The dots blink and don’t stop. Off and on someone plays with a light switch in my brain. My head starts to hurt and my brain can’t keep up with these lights. I try to chase them away and close my eyes. The lights come back. Watching them swim I see neon-colored tetra fish. My stomach feels pain. I receive a message from the burrito I brought from home and ate today at lunch.
“Out. Let me out. I can’t stand it in here! I can’t breathe, Beatie,”
“Mr. Fedlister, I think I need to get to a bathroom fast.” My hand rubs my belly.
“First, Comb your hair again. Your hair is so messy, Beatie doesn’t your dad ever take you to get your hair cut?” He hands me a small black comb. I run the comb quick against my ears.
“I’ma comin’ out, Beatie, ya better let me. I ain’t stayin’here no more,”
“I gotta go,” I hand the comb back to the teacher and run out of the room. There is not much time-Burrito wants out. Once at the bathroom. Latch a door behind me. Hug the latrine. Stick my finger down my throat. Hang my head inside the bowl. I gag.
“Please Beatie, get me out fast!”
Try again. Put my finger inside. Tickle my throat.
“I’ma comin’ Here I come!”
something comes up my stomach. I release broken Burrito into the potty.
“You saved my life.” he moans. I stare at broken Burrito and flush the toilet.
Dressed and ready to walk to school. An unwrapped burrito sits on the counter of the kitchen. I throw it in my brown lunch bag along with an apple.
I eat my burrito and take two bites from my apple.
Neon fish swim in my head again. My brain gets a message from Burrito.
“You gotta let me out fast. I can’t take it no more.”
I let Burrito free into the latrine.
“Thank you Beatie, I love you”
“Beatie, your dad’s on his way from work to pick you up,” I lie on a cot, covered with a brown blanket inside the nurse’s station. Mrs. Reid pats my head.
Father arrives, his eyes soft.
“Mrs. Reid, I think I’m gonna throw up again.”
“You betcha, Beatie, I wanna be free your brother Jeffrey isa’ comin too,”
Mrs. Reid grabs a plastic dish off the table near the cot. My body shoots up and I hurl Burrito onto a dish.
“Good girl, get it out.” She pats my back. I hold the plate close and concentrate.
“This is the third time in the last two weeks your daughter has thrown up at
school,” Mrs. Reid says.
“She also looks like she’s losing weight. She’s getting too thin. Maybe you should have her looked by her doctor. Does Beatie have a pediatrician?” Father pauses for a moment, his feet uncrossed.
“I’ll take her to dat doctor soon.”
Father stares at the wall. Father’s legs cross.
A few days after school I see Mr. Fedlister. He walks toward the teacher’s
“Mr. Fedlister, watch me. Watch me.”
I run through the grass, both my arms raised at the elbows. My Hands flop straight ahead. I run, dive and roll. I am a gold medal gymnast, a swan.
“Good job,” Mr. Fedlister glances in my direction.
I stand proud. My arms reach for the sky. This is the moment. I wait for my medal. My arms held high. The star spangle banner plays God bless America. Father and the rest of America watches me from inside the Olympic stadium. Father stands from his seat first.
“Look at dat” his gorilla hands clap with a strong muffle sound for me.
The world follows Father. People rise from their chairs. The world gives me a standing ovation. It’s the proudest moment in the American history of women’s gymnastics. The camera on Father. He wipes tears with a clean handkerchief. The camera on me. I smile valiant. The medal placed upon my neck with a bouquet of purple lilies handed to me by “Bella” the famous gymnastic coach.
Beatie brings home the Gold. Nadia, the silver medalist gives me a hard look. I smile at her. I don’t care, too bad for her. I won.
Mr. Fedlister walks away.
I WALK HOME ALONE
My mind thinks about food. I am hungry. I hope Father left the back sliding door unlocked and I can steal some cheese and bread out of the refrigerator.
Father told me: “Do not eat dat food when I’m not home. “You can eat an apple if you’re hungry.”
I open the wooden gate to the backyard of the bright yellow house. I make sure I put my foot on each of the round concrete stepping stones. (Someone told me that if you step on a crack you break your mother’s back.) I skip on each stone leading towards the sliding glass door to the dining room. My stomach growls. The sliding door is locked. I peer into the window and see the time on the clock near the thin bar table. The time reads 3:15. I hit the glass with my fist. I cup my hands and make circles around my eyes and press my face against the window. I see a bag of red apples on top of the refrigerator. I turn and pretend to eat a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in chocolate.
I hear a noise, a slight cry. I walk toward the sound. Lift my leg to take a step.
See greasy, gray fur. Red eyes open, a bright red mouth. A long thin tongue. A belly in the dirt. I lose my balance. The face of death. My behind foot grazes the spine. My lead foot smashes the ribs. Hear the crack then a high-pitched baby squeal.
My heart rushes and I run. My mind follows. I am scared and sick to my
stomach, but think your here with me and I know I’m not alone. We will make
it, won’t we? We just gotta wait till Father gets home, right? Wish we could leave but where would we go? Next door? Lorena’s house? No… Father will have a fit if we leave. We better stay here.
Now can you see the cat’s ear? A pink bit of flesh poking out of the ground. It’s sick isn’t it? All these dead cats in our lives, but your here with me and you won’t let me down. Thank God. Were gonna make it. We sit on the steps and wait. Thank God your here with me. I don’t know what I would do without you. A few hours pass. The cat is silent now. Let’s stay far away from it.
THE DEAD ARRIVAL
Father arrives! He opens the sliding glass door quick.
“Sorry I’m late, I had to present an offer for a house” he says.
“Daa-Dad, there’s a dead cat out here. I had to sit here alone while it died. It was horrible.”
“Yeah, Dad… dead” Father walks out to the backyard.
“Where’s dat kitty?”
“Over here Dad” Father follows us to the dirt. Father squats and examines the cat. Father’s knuckles bend with one knuckle stuck on his chin.
Father grabs a garden hoe near the peach tree. He taps the dead animal with the small shovel, a serious look to his face.
“Dat poison I put out must have worked.”
before i died i felt the wind rushing my face by Rad Wolf
December 15, 2009 Comments Off
December 11, 2009 § 1 Comment
My wife is asleep
The city is outside my window
I have nothing
Just this last piece
Every road out there
Leads to trouble right now
To go anywhere, better
To go to sleep
But there’s something
Inside me, crawling
Wants to shoot out the windows
Wants to make a mess
And clean it up later
Hope no one finds out, then
Stick my face into the night
And maybe die
J. de Salvo is the editor of the Bicycle Review. His fiction, poetry, and articles have been published in numerous online and print publications, including Art/Life, New Angeles Monthly, and the Poetry Super Highway.