Ten years since the last kiss. Not that I haven’t been kissed since then, it’s that I haven’t kiss him back (not in a way that he would know it). He is tall and tanned, with turquoise stare, square jaws, and a daring nose that can smell my lack of wifely skills one mile before he parks his Peugeot 205 in my driveway. It’s not our driveway anymore. He has half of mine and half of hers. I don’t know her. She may be tall and tanned, with turquoise stare for all I care. One day I blew a kiss on the window’s glass and in that blur I drew her jaws. But it turned out more like my dog’s jaws, abused, malfunctioning (he cannot bark or doesn’t know or I don’t want to teach him yet or he ran away already). Or he took it during our split. Now, wait a minute, I don’t want you to think that we split for good yet. No. He still keeps his half of his driveway shoulder by shoulder to my half of the driveway. I live in a shack some call it mansion or in a mansion with a split driveway, therefore it may as well be a shack.

I don’t know her name anymore.

I don’t remember my name anymore; he used to invoke me as his “kitty pout”, I guess what I am doing right now is to sit on the sofa and purr and inhale the pillow, which is a scarlet satin in a stripped finish with a Black Orchid odor. Or maybe I am the pillow and the furred thing on top of me is our dog panting it in an ebrietately / intoxicated attempt to fuck me.

What’s her name, anyway?

What’s in a name, anyway?

I wish I could know her so I wouldn’t know her anymore. For what he knows and tells me sometime (tell is not right; he doesn’t tell me anything; he implies or he looks aside or he sighs; or he can go to hell for all I care!) she is not I. I mean, why would a man even bother to choose The Other in the same time with me if she is to be like me or I to be like her. One has to be the cat, the other has to be the dog. I mean, that’s still chauvinistic, isn’t it? Why can’t we both be the cat?

I wish I would know only five words, the minimum survival kit that can spare me from myself sometimes. Just so you know, I am an educated woman…what? I am not mumbling! What do you mean my lips are moving? Oh, sorry, ok. The five words all right: gas. If it’s gonna blow and you don’t have calamities insurance, you need to know not to swi/light your cigarette. Use my heart instead.

Chapter 1. Gas

 

If you bought this at the grocery store, paperback for $7.99, keep reading. We bought our little cottage in one of the schmanciest Chicago’s suburbs in the late ’90. If you paid more than $23.49 at Barnes & Nobles, think big, a three-story Valencia villa on the southeastern Great Lakes. If you are I and you are not, we still live in a project, think dream, think a drawing with a purple crayon on a yellowish, musty, used napkin. I mean, how could we buy something together while he was always on the run, me following puppy-like in his size 13 footsteps, she closing in on us all the time? He met her before we met. Officially speaking, she was his fiancée, and then I was the fiancée. Her dog became my dog – kind of an emasculated dog if you think about it -, then it became his dog, then my half of a dog, then their third of a dog. Fuck the dog.

One day, with my 2 carats proposal ring (I am not calling it an engagement jewel, nota bene) dangling in between my breasts because I was scrubbing the bathtub walls with Kaboom and didn’t want the ring to poke through my blue surgical gloves and make the acquaintance of the chemical, therefore implying that I didn’t care enough about the symbol it wears, I stopped half way or hey, maybe after a quarter of the sweating was sweated, and thought: why is my neighbor Cecilia flushing lobster-orangey every time the UPS mailman stops his 274.32 lbs in front of her residence and why is she so eager to burst off her door and ran barely breathing (boobs wiggly and all) to my house, prop herself on one of my patio’s American flagpole, disintegrating with anxiety? Cecilia is disintegrating, that is, but the flagpole is not too far from that evanescent state of being either. That’s either because she developed some type of mail idiosyncrasy or more of an easy to accept form of horniness for the brown bag dude. I imagine that if we are talking about the first possibility, Cecilia might have been an innocent kid when an imposing monster dressed in a poo poo-like official attire handed her mother a blue envelope containing bad news, actually mortal notice, about her estranged father who left the frivolous world for a supposedly meaningful one that can only be acquired by enrolling the Foreign Legion. (When did this Legion become anything other than an incognito suicide act for money anyway? I only know the heroism of The Terminator). Or maybe her father ran with the UPS guy. Or her uncle, the UPS uncle, ran his high wheels truck over her dog. There it goes again, I cannot tell a story without a dog popping in it as if there is no humanity worth telling without mixing in a scoop of bestiality and bitchiness, and don’t forget the Resolve on your way out of that shopping mall called literature! That is, if the dog is a female. Mine and my ex’s and his former ex’s and present fiancée’s dog is an androgen. Kiddin’. Who do you think I am, some Kafka copier of a writer? The thing is – if I say it was a female, you will incline more toward a Sandra Brownish sort of feeling about my story. If I make it a male dog, a very big one of course, the significance of it would be too Freudian to be considered as a valuable clue from a literary critic’s point of view. Fuck the dog. Did I say that already?

Ok, now, listen. I am scrubbing, yes? This epiphany about Cecilia hits me neurotically in the upper left side of my hypothalamus and what do I do about it? Keep scrubbing? Any reader of this story who, for some obscured pitiful reasons doesn’t feel like a PG-rated intermezzo at this point, then please turn to the page number 591. Then go back to page 393, take a piss, chew on some chocolate nuts fudge a week old, close the book, turn the TV back on, open the book again, listen to Coco, the late night freak host, and fall asleep on this exact page, half dreaming (half terrifying over it) of you and some cuckoo’s nuts on your face while desperately trying to turn the suddenly stoned page again with your sleazy greasy of a 274.32 lbs UPfuckingS guy’s sausage-y fingers. This page was not intended for you.

Now you know who Cecilia is. I am she-bitch. The proposal ring is not there anymore. Botox took its place, along with some neck skin lifting. Change of minds. Minds that change themselves, like some sort of UFO kind of a cuckoo clock suddenly went banana and moving its arrows left and right, right and left, castrating the time, the air, my time and my breathing air. The UPS guy was the one who brought me one special delivery I don’t want to talk about right now. If you mind waiting for me to catch my breath and tell you what kind of special delivery was that, then go screw yourself, buy some cheap thrillers, and piss your pants with terror. I am writing this only for the special ones – Jay Leno USPS team! Fuck LetterUPSman and Conan O’FedExBrian!