I wake to see Buddy's hand pull back from the car's radio, caught and
shamed, and in the hotel room later, sure enough, his eyes fall shut
and his lips start moving like he's reading something from off the
inside of their lids, and I imagine that black interior tainted by what
fallacious technique of mind over body the radio shared while I slept.
Meanwhile I'm lying on my back, unfilled. I reach up and slap Buddy
hard across his cheek and when his body reels I roll out from under him
then roll a half more off the bed and my body's moving into the
bathroom. No more radio, I say, then lock the door and stand at the
sink looking at the pale circle where once hung a mirror. Then I start
the bath, sputter sputter brown that soon turns clear and I reach to
pull the stopper.
We're driving to a place Buddy doesn't know where, because last I need
is a man distracted by what's to come. Each day we drive until Buddy's
body gives out and at night we intercourse, or did,
and now we try.
I straddle the tub and point a finger at the water and it obliges,
rising and filling. We're driving to the house where I was raised by
three women, three mothers, and where they still live all three.
Submerged in bath I am lighter. Sleep comes like a different tide's
rise and in the morning I wake in the dry tub, my flesh with a new
layer foggy and wrinkled white, my personal self puckered and creased.
Buddy pumps gas while inside the Amoco I read a magazine's cover—
a story about the Hollywood actor caught in affair with his
housekeeper's daughter, who is also, I suppose, his housekeeper in
training. I buy one cassette single from the spinning rack. Buddy nods,
and for the whole day's drive "No Diggity" plays one side then flips
itself over to play again. The earth's edge comes in stutters,
unfolding like two generation ago's video game, and I'm reminded that
my body is not well. I see Buddy pinch himself then pluck some hairs
from his thigh, tired. When I wake next he's struggling so mightily
that I hand him the lighter and point to a place near his elbow. He
flicks and holds it there until we both smell damnation and I say,
Buddy, you be grateful for that thumb. He nods. My body sleeps as if
One mother mothered my body's top, waistline to hairline including tits
and fingers and mouth. The second mothered my body's bottom, waist to
toe and glorious nethers, and the third mothered my inside. They spoke
to my body and I listened hard.
In the next hotel it happens again, except this time Buddy tries to
joke through it. O-limp-ics,
he says, O-dick-limpics, O-limp-dickets, so I smack him harder than I
ever and take another bath. Then another day and another drive and the
sun drawing us onward before rising out of our way, then landing behind
us as if to push.
They know I am coming, my mothers, but are not, I promise, awaiting my
arrival. We bodies, mothers all. "Waiting" is a term of mind for a
state defined by nothing but this term itself, and thus bullshit of the
rankest order. What they are doing is walking about and sitting,
knitting their wares and taking turns cooking dinners for three. Or
they are feeling, which is an active process.
The next night my body aches more than ever, so I remind Buddy of his
thumb, our bodies' finest glory, and finally he does something right,
using that thumb as a kind of splint for his broken down cock, guiding
it there then thumbing himself into me like stuffing a sleeping bag, or
returning Play Doh to its case. I close my eyes and read the perfect
blackness, unsullied, reading actively where no words are written, nor
will be, staring but not waiting, pointing a blind but powerful finger
at Buddy and feeling his slow motion rise.
Kyle Beachy is the author of the novel The Slide (Dial Press).
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201101bb.htm
Detail of photo on main page courtesy
of Ricardo Wang.
Read more of KB's work in the archive.
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