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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Acid Fizz - 11

nodding off, i post another.
when it's up i'll twist the covers.

if you've been reading, you know it's the tits.
if not, you'll need preceding bits:

Acid Fizz - 1
Acid Fizz - 2
Acid Fizz - 3
Acid Fizz - 4
Acid Fizz - 5
Acid Fizz - 6
Acid Fizz - 7
Acid Fizz - 8

Acid Fizz - 9

Acid Fizz - 10

click picture & open link in a new tab for a song while you read


This is what she looks like: her eyes are little domes shut to the world and mascara crystals bind her lashes.   Her nose is like the entrance to a forest cavern.  Her lips are too glossy and too red even after I asked them to dull them and even after I dabbed them myself with my handkerchief.  They’ve never looked like that before.  Her mouth is closed to hide her mangled tongue.  Her cuts are caulked and plastered now.  She looks perfect.  Not perfectly her, just perfect.  Her face is a wax model.  I squeeze her hand.
I’d always thought she was happy.  She looked happy.  Did she come into the house singing like that so that I’d think she was happy?  Because she knew it would make me happy?  How many times has someone looked at me and said to themself, “she looks happy?”  Did I give it to her?  My mask?  Did I pass it down so that she could walk around like I do, looking alright so no one would ever ask if she really was?  Did I doom her?  Did I even know her?
What was so rotten in there?  What poison broached those gleaming sealed lips and sickened her?  She didn’t drink, didn’t do drugs, didn’t even smoke.  I’ve been looking at her and looking at her, just looking for one thing.  I want to know who she was and what was inside of her.  What did she want a week ago?
            The light changes as the rising sun breaks in, lighting her more evenly, less dramatically, and she looks even weirder.  I resent the sunlight coming into the room.  It’s been just me and her for hours now, alone and painted in this room by the night and now the light shines in and the birds are chirping and there’s some creaks from the foyer.  The world is trying to break in.  I’m supposed to burry her today.
            They’re whispering just outside the door.  I don’t care what they’re saying, probably who should check on me.  Am I alright, barely leaving her side for the last day, singing “Plaisir D’amour,” her favorite song as a girl, to her all night until my voice went hoarse and probably keeping up Clyde and the rest of the Matheson Funeral Home family awake?
            Someone’s coming down the steps, Helen probably.  I need more time.
            The door opens.  “Good morning, Ms. Holzkorn,” a man says.
            Who the hell is this now?  I peel my cheek off the edge of the casket where it’s been laying for hours now.  My tears glued it down.  I snort up some phlegm and turn to see this guy who I don’t know at all.  He’s about forty, nerdy with glasses and a short-sleeved button up.
            “I don’t know if you’ve ate, but I went by Alterra on my way here and got a breakfast sandwich and a coffee.”  He walks up to me and offers the white bag and paper cup to me.  I won’t let go of her so he sets them down next to me and rubs his jeans with his palms.  “There’s cream already in it, but the sugar’s on the side.  If you’re not hungry and the sandwich goes cold, there’s a cinnamon bun in the bag too you could have later.  I understand if you’re not hungry.”
            Why is this guy is here?  Why the Mathesons let him down here?  My brain is too exhausted to go farther with a question than just the asking.  I turn back to Ginny and study her neck, the good side.
            He sits down in one of the first row folding chairs.  She never lived to see her breasts sag.  I wish she had grown old enough to get ugly, old enough to know there were worse things than being young and sad.
            “My name is Andrew Chambers,” he says.  He’s probably lived long enough to have ruined his life once or twice, learned its value.  She should have been disillusioned with one life and stepped into another and been disillusioned again and cycled through it until she became unphasable, until she wore rhinoceros skin.  She deserved a decline, she deserved the wisdom that comes with it.  Why couldn’t she just have lived that long?
            “I’m the one who found Virginia,” he says.  “I’m sorry for your loss.”
            I open my mouth and squeak instead of talking.  I clear my throat and rasp,  “Thank you.”  I need this stranger’s consolation less than I need a hole in the head.
            “The real reason I’m here is about a dream I had.  Last night I fell asleep in the lab I work in  and in my dream I saw your daughter.  It was all black so I couldn’t see her but I knew she was there and I could tell that she didn’t know she was there.  Her soul was supposed to go somewhere but her mind kept thinking about where she’d already been so she was just wandering and getting more and more lost.”
            Her stomach is flat because she’s still a girl.  She never had a kid.  Kids rip your world apart and your body too.  I would have liked to see her world ripped into something bigger.  She lived the movie version of her life but I wish it had been a novel, messy and long and with subplots that go nowhere.
            “I woke up back in my lab and it was all dark and for a second I thought I was in that neverending blackness that Virginia was in and I was so terrified I couldn’t breath but after a few seconds I could smell the disinfectant and I felt the seat under me and I took a breath.”  I wish he would leave.  “I knew that something was keeping her here so I looked up the name of her funeral home and I came here and sure enough I find you, holding onto her tight like you’re going to pull her out of deep waters.  Have you been here all night?”
            She died pretty, never lived long enough to see men lose interest, never had to settle for old guys, fat bald old guys.  That Bobby is a hunk.  He came over to console us and ended up balling his eyes out so hard that Nick had to drive him home, poor kid.  Sweet as hell.  Even in the middle of sobbing he thought to congratulate Helen on her baby.  Ginny should have lived long enough for one of them to fuck up the relationship.  Everything ended so perfect with her.  How could she have killed herself?  Just to spare herself the sloppiness of a real life she had to die young and pretty?  Were the cuts some instant approximation of age?
            “I don’t want to come in here and tell you how to handle your pain, but I saw her in the blackness.  It was so cold and so frightening and I’m scared she’ll never find her way out if you don’t let her go.  Will you do that?  Just for a little while?”
            “You are crazy,” I tell him.
            “I just needed to do something.  Whether you let go or not is your business.  I probably wouldn’t listen to what a stranger told me to do right now.  I believe what I’m saying, but, whether you listen to me or not, I am sorry for your loss.  I know how excruciating this is.”
            My hand slides to her fingertips.  I feel along the stitches they sewed over the cuts.  Her head, her nose, her tongue, her fingertips.  Did she scar herself over every point the world could get in to block its entrance?  Or did it open herself to the world before she died?  I can’t think about this anymore.  But I will.
            I unclasp my purse and pull out my cigarette case, pluck one out and fasten it between my lips.
            “Do you have a light?” I ask the nerd.
            “You can smoke in here?”
            “Nevermind.  I found one.”  I pull a Bic out of my purse and start the cigarette.
            “Well, I’m glad to have met you.  I’ll come by the proper service later.”
            I turn and he’s already on his feet.  It’s lonelier in here with the daylight.  “You have someplace to be?” I ask.
            He stops on his way out.  “When I found Virginia there was the stale smoke from a snubbed cigarette in the room and I breathed it the whole time I waited for the cops.  Since then cigarette smoke makes me nauseas.”
            “She smoked?”
            “She smoked?  Ginny smoked?”
            “Well, there was smoke in the studio when I got there.”
            Then that’s one thing I know, one thing I can see inside that pink petite body of hers, a pair of blackened lungs just like mine.
            “It was the same brand, actually,” he says and backs away from the smoke I’m exhaling.
            The stairs creak and suddenly Clyde’s peaking in, wearing his robe, his eyes blinking from early morning re-orientation to the world.
            “Claire,” he says, “I’m sorry but could you please smoke that outside?  It’s a public space.  We can get fined for that.”
            I look back at Ginny, Ginny the pretty, Ginny the young, Ginny the sad, Ginny the happy, Ginny the faker, Ginny the smoker, Ginny the so-many-things.
            “Why don’t you come outside with me?”  Andrew says.
            I let Ginny’s hand go for the first time in six hours.  My knees pop when I stand up.
            Andrew goes out the door around Clyde.  As I pass Clyde I grumble, “Sorry,” and take another drag.
            We walk up the stairs and toward the up-angled golden sunlight coming in through the front door.

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