there are things that could be moved here,
but not without some force
The bar of soap near the kitchen sink reminds me of you. I don't
know why. It doesn't even smell like you. My boss brought it back
with her from a trip to France or Canada or somewhere. It's misshapen
now from heat and irregular jets of water when I get hasty with
the juice glasses.
As much as I hate to admit it, some things
just are ambiguous. Like it's not simply the difference
between a soda machine and a slot machine, because sometimes, as
you know, the soda machine can eat your quarters, and sometimes
the slot machine can make you rich, or at least give you some more
change with which to ply the soda machine. Do you see where this
is heading? And no, I don't like it either. Like I wouldn't be happier
per se if the human heart were as placid as pink construction-paper
wings, but I would definitely be relieved.
"What is it with girls and squash?"
you asked. I don't know. Sweetness, softness, solitude? Before you
cook a cow's heart, you have to soak it in buttermilk to soften
it. This should tell you something not entirely obvious. But squash?
Bake as for potatoes, page 292.
a girl's best friend
"Here. I'm clearing out." She passed over a gold heart-shaped
pendant, encrusted with tiny stones. "I mean it. It's your
birthstone and everything."
"Thanks. It's very nice." The
girl didn't wear jewelry—not much, anyway. Decrepit silver, for
sentimental reasons mostly: a medal of her patron saint, an old
scouting ring, some cheap earrings from a fancy jewelry store on
the Quai des Orfevres in Paris (Gold Fevers).
"You can wear it under your shirt,
if you're worried."
"OK," she said, and wondered
what it was she was supposed to worry about.
the opposite of i love you
I keep having urges to send you these strange pairs of found things
I keep meaning to send to my father. The stout Fire-King coffee
cups in their pristine jadeite splendor. The thirty-year-old Hercules-brand
batteries, made by Union Carbide. You might think this is sweet,
but let me tell you, it's a niche you don't want to be put in.
My father is a great guy, don't get me
wrong. It's just that he didn't start acting fatherly until I was
twenty-six and by then it was too late and I just resented it.
Around that time I gave him a Father's
Day card in which I wrote that, of all the dads in the world, he
was the best one for me. This was not fiction. I really did prefer
to be left alone.
We hate our parents most when we most fear
we are becoming them. The secret reason I will not pick you is because
my mother would. In college, my favorite professor would have put
you in the "man on the motorcycle" category: he first
mentioned it when I was doing independent study involving Aphra
Behn, The Duchess of Malfi, all that stuff.
We who are afraid to feel have to make
ourselves feel more intensely if we are to feel anything at all.
I am just now thinking that that should be overcome. The opposite
of "I love you" is not "I hate you," but "I'm
seeing someone." Well guess what?