Buddy's Body
Kyle Beachy

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 wounded.

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 same circle 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.

w i g · l e a F               01-04-01                                [home]