X says he will re-release his record by the end of summer, which he intends to convey as a joke to me and a serious announcement to Connie, who never saw it the first time, when it was packaged in a blue jewel case with an Avery label bearing(more) his block lettering and no track names. He is in a real band now, and Connie is sleeping with him, and X is not sure whether he wants to keep going with that or get serious or move to LA, so he is talking about the album, which will be on iTunes, and maybe he will promote it through Channels.
I feel my chest, sweat down between my breasts, and I remember what X smelled like in his futon days, when neither of us showered so much and bikes weren't a thing and we each had an extra 5 pounds and fewer years and less money and more time for not making decisions. He owns a condo now. His last girlfriend got nice sheets. I don't know what he smells like now, but Connie leans into him after dragging a cold Pacifico across his neck, and she's had a couple so she's looking pretty serious about it all, asking about the track order and art, and I get up.
At the bar a guy is making a list to the barback of what he would have in his liquor cabinet, and he believes in a certain shape of glass. He doesn't believe in Mason jars. He wants to muddle things. He has a name, but no one cares.
My skirt is wrinkled, which is suddenly embarrassing, and I sit quickly, pressing my cold beer on my neck, which X sees. No one leans into me, no one knows how I smell.(less)
I had heard of you like one hears of a disease
thinking it’ll never hit me
but it’s so stupefying
and what if it did?
You crept up on me so slyly
(more) so slowly
I’d seen some wilt because of you
and I grew to fear you
but, the adrenaline of maybe
turned that fear into curiosity
and the curiosity killed me, too.
I’d heard of plagues, plagues that obliterated millions
Plagues that wiped out nations
But I’d never heard of someone killing like you.
So when everyone warned me
with silent stares and squirming hands,
foolishly, I took you in
with open arms
and no vaccine
and no antibiotics,
And, like a slow virus, you consumed me slowly
(yet all at once)
not one quick stab
but a slowly, sharply
Like some spiders do, you numbed me
until it was too late to notice how
I’d been caught in your web all along.
You should have killed me on the spot,
perhaps like a cardiac arrest might,
instead you left teeth marks and a gaping hole in my heart
so that my ventricles tangled and the blood rushed out
all at once
and my lungs filled up
and I gasped
not just for air but for
(you were gone by then, of course)
So how dare they call you
but a scratch
when we know so well
you could wipe out a village.
I wear you like a screaming scar;
if—no when—I accidentally brush it
how it howls. (less)
Jose used to be a happy-go-lucky fifteen year old and only wanted to play soccer all day, but his family was always telling him what to do. Feeling the pressure from his parents and in-laws to make babies, Jose caved in a couple of years ago and made a(more) decision that he was sure to regret later.
He soon found himself a modest looking young wife who longed to have a man shoot the seeds of life into her birth canal while buying skittles at a local convenience store. For months they had the most boring and dispassionate sex possible as mandated by the Holy Bible, always in the missionary position to maximize her chances of conception and minimize her feeling of enjoyment.
Eventually, his little wife grew larger in girth and demanded that he get a job. Finding no jobs in their home town, they then decided to hitch a ride in the back of a semi truck with several other families from all over the province to ride to the country called America where there was rumored to be many jobs and opportunities for the taking.
Soon after arriving in the States, they moved to a town in the Midwest and decided to share a small apartment with two other Mexican families because none of them knew how to sign a lease. She gave birth to all seven children within a few hours of moving in. Jose would never be sexually satisfied again.
A few years later, Jose's new family enjoys eating at McDonald's every night around midnight. As soon as the family enters the small restaurant, all the staff and customers are well aware from all seven hellions screaming and crying in unison. (less)
"--thought we bloody had some," she practically shouted storming out of the freezer. I nodded sympathetically, hoping she hadn't asked a question.
"Mmmm," I said, ambiguously. She looked expectant, so I continued. "Yes, well. I hate to inconvenience you, but it has to be done, and you're the only(more) employee experienced enough to handle them, and--"
"So? Use something else, we have like three scoundrels left in the freezer."
"The customers would notice."
She groaned and jutted her hip out, reminding me of the rebellious fifteen year old who had come to work for me all those years ago.
"They don't notice. Anyways, it's not like they know--"
"But we'd know. And that's the point. That we know what they don't."
She sighed. "I just-- hellions? Where the fuck am I going to find one of those this late?"
I shrugged. "Isn't hanging about places at odd hours part of the description?"
"Yeah, but not...I dunno. They're in packs at night."
I consciously unwrinkled my brow as I thought. (You know, to help prevent aging.) "You said we have some scoundrels in the freezer?"
"Yeah. Just from last week too, I caught them vandalizing."
"Vandalizing? That hardly makes them scound--"
"It was really profane," she assured. "I didn't even know what all the words meant."
I wanted to trust her judgement. Maybe she was right. The customer's probably wouldn't notice. Hellion meat is only slightly smoother, hardly perceptible at all...but I would know.
"How about I come help you?" I finally suggested. "It's been a while since I've done the butchering, and I suppose I should be involved in all aspects of food production."
Though far from silenced, she was mollified, and I had to admit, it felt good to have a knife in my hand.(less)