prompt: something or someone “out of control”
i’ve heard of biological clocks, but Maisie evidently had a timer to armageddon. we’d gone from fuck buddies, to a relationship, maybe thinking of marriage…
and the buzzer in her womb had gone off.
i’m not averse to the idea of kids, or a family – i just wasn’t planning on a schedule.
“i’ll be pregnant in a month, after that i want to have a kid a year.”
“okay, every year-and-a-half, until we get to five, then i want to start spacing them out a little…”
“do you want children or a goddamned sports team?”
“there’s no need to be so hostile!”
“Maisie, i want a wife, not a brood mare!”
“but what about what i want?”
i remembered my father, and his wisdom.
“whatever you want.”
i thought her plans would die with the first pregnancy. she glowed.
i was wrong.
Jennifer was a happy baby, and Maisie was ecstatic.
second pregnancy, a little less glow, a little more exhaustion.
Carl was a joy – a colicky joy, but a joy nonetheless.
surely her mania would subside.
ten kids so far, i’m married to a crazy woman… but the kids are good at soccer. we can start our own team.
a ‘found object’ exercise, where items were in the center of the table, to use as inspiration as we saw fit. i used a domino and a wine cork
Southern Baptist upbringing, cards were frowned upon.
we played dominoes.
so, even after the denomination and i parted ways, i kept my love of dominoes.
Ed had never played the game in his life, so when we got together, and past the ‘sex is all we do’ stage, i taught him to play.
“Sara,” he said, one evening at a party with our friends, “let’s play dominoes.”
everyone agreed, and away we went. after another bottle of wine, or two, that cow Maisie, who’s always had a thing for Ed, suggested ‘strip dominoes’.
not exactly something i ever considered, a bunch of couples playing strip anything.
but i was feeling no pain, and agreed – vowing to myself that if Maisie laid a hand on Ed, i’d bitchslap her all the way to the hospital, and not the maternity ward this time.
buncha marks at that table, lemme tell ya.
now, everyone’s naked, except me – trust me, not something i ever wanted to see – and i have a lot of clothes by my chair.
and Maisie’s staring at Ed.
prompt – ‘loss of innocence’
when you’re a kid, parental figures are on pedestals – well, if you’re lucky enough to have ones that aren’t complete shitheads – and there’s a purity, a sanctity to that. for better or worse, they’re the gods of your world, and it’s a blessed time, seeing only their shine, not the clay feet, the stumbling steps, their plain wrongheadedness.
i was raised by my maternal grandparents, and my mom, when she wasn’t working, and i remember the day my grandfather fell off his pedestal, as he told me, in all seriousness, that the only reason any black person ever amounted to anything was because they had white blood in them.
i knew better.
and i also knew this was an argument i couldn’t win. in our family, there was the Holy Trinity, and right below that, my grandfather.
it took over two decades for the echoes of that fall to fade to silence.
i learned to see him as just another person, trying to make it through life, and came to love him as a human rather than a god.
but that fall…
i view it as my first step toward maturity, toward rationality, and the death of automatic reverence.
prompt: “it was a dark and stormy night”
more rain. it’s falling faster than before, and we’re running out of sand bags. Tommy’s putting our files and records in the attic.
what good they’ll be, if the monsters get us, i’ll never know, but they’re his thing, so we don’t say anything.
gunfire from the south wall. the damn things scream whether they’re hit or not, makes nails on a chalkboard sound like Mozart. Pat punctured her ear drums with an ice pick rather than listen to them.
in the inescapable dampness, everything squelches, so i don’t notice when part of Calvin plops down in the mud.
pretty sure the south wall’s been breached.
fucking rain. i can’t see shit… well, except for Calvin chunks, no sign of what did it. i clean my glasses, talk about futility, and go back to peering through the downpour.
Maisie, that cow, lights up her flamethrower. must be nice to have a handy spouse. Tommy’s a clerk by nature, and i have yet to see how the apocalypse needs records kept.
have to wonder why we’re even bothering. more of them than there are of us, and that ratio keeps getting worse.
who knows, maybe Maisie will outbreed the end of the world.
i’m looking at the rest of Calvin.
how’d i get here, across the yard?
where are my arms?
prompt: ‘unexpected justice’
growing up as a juvenile-delinquent-in-training – i didn’t go pro until i was 16 – i hated Robert Blake’s short, cockatiel-loving ass.
‘if you do the crime, you do the time.’
stick that bird up your ass, Baretta!
i think my father’s love of that fucking show directly contributed to my criminal career. i had to get out of the house before i put my foot through our ancient RCA.
out on the streets… well, fuck. (that, of course, was the one thing we weren’t doing… yet.) our options were limited. too old to play? it was be bored, or get into trouble.
i never handled ‘boring’ well.
that was my apprenticeship – broken windows, graffiti, stolen hubcaps, shaking little kids down for money.
it was when my fuck-up of a father brought home the goddamn cockatiel that i went pro.
and shortly thereafter, i shit a way to live elsewhere.
i saw Dad a couple of times over the years, but no more than i had to.
i guess you could say he died of senile dementia.
thought the cockatiel was a chicken, tried to cook it. pissed the bird off something fierce. it took out his right eye, the old man fell, hit his head. two weeks before they found him.
the bird fucking starved.
i laughed my ass off.
listening to: “The Galapagos”, Christopher Gordon, “Master and Commander” soundtrack
mood: pretty good