Smiling with Devilish Eyes
I like when you expect me to smile when I take a picture. Even if my eyes look devilish with despair, you say I look handsome. Maybe depression enhances my features. Maybe it makes my hair blacker.
When it is time for us to go inside, I begin to shudder. Though the celebration is for you, you only want photos of me. Before the guests come in to splurge on cake, you tell me to lean against the wall, stretch out my arms and pucker my lips. "Look sexy for me." Though I try my best to be alluring, I know I am ugly and that later, I will cry over this. I am always humiliated when my sadness shows no matter what pose I make.
The insatiable cough had left my throat sore and rugged, still burning at every breath that streamed through. I got out of the car and stumbled onto the pavement. My head was spinning.
There was noise, music maybe, coming from inside the house. I wanted to walk inside, but my motor skills were compromised. I tripped on the first step and lay sprawled out on the bricks.
Was this a dream? No. It was too real. Maybe it was somewhere in-between.
I could see people’s feet pattering past my face. My eyes were open, but they weren’t processing.
“Jimmy,” I heard someone say. “Jimmy,” the same voice rang through my ears again. My arm was being pulled and yanked. Then a slap, then another. Where am I?
I was being picked up and thrown onto a shoulder. My head bobbed and bounced. My legs dangled freely. The music had stopped. There was only the murmur of whispering voices, sharp in my ear, as if they were yelling directly at me.
The burning continued. “Water, water,” I tried to say. I was laid on the couch. The muscles in my face formed a smile, a half-deranged smile like this was something funny. Maybe it was.
The water was poured on my face. It felt good. My mouth opened and it slipped down my throat, calming the incessant heat. Then a hand was stroking my face, lightly, gently. It was soft and cool. I could no longer open my eyes; the weight on them was too heavy.
Another slap. I was being put back on a shoulder. Lifted out.
An anxiety was returning, a thought pervading in my head: she had broken her promise. She had left me without anything to show. But then it was gone and my mind grew blank.
I was in a car and it was moving. It was dark, pitch black, and I think I was in the trunk. I rolled forward as the car slowed to stops and backward when it accelerated. My eyes were closed, or maybe the blackness just made it seem that way. Something was pulling the back of my mind again. It was the only nagging in this otherwise blissful obsolescence. She appeared. She brought the feeling that it shouldn’t be over. There was more, I thought. There had to have been.
The trunk was opened and I was carried out. Through another doorway and onto a bed. I felt blankets being thrown over me. They were comforting and silky on my skin.
When we first met she told me “nothing is forever,” but I guess a part of me didn’t believe her.
She flipped me the bird from her car window. Flipping the bird, such an odd term for such an odd gesture. Who decided that when you put your middle finger up in the air, it constitutes something vulgar? Why not the pinky finger, or the flying fickle finger of fate?
This woman that flipped me the bird seemed enthusiastic based on the way she shook her hand when she did it. She spewed ugly slang I could not hear and attempted to spit at me. It landed on her window inside of the car because the windows were up. Did she not realize this? Was she just completely gone in the head? Maybe she was drunk?
I climbed over to the passenger seat and opened the door. Walking over to the woman’s car I assessed the damage to my Honda. The snow whipped across my face snapping and pinching my skin along the way. The click-clack, click-clack, click-clack of my high heel boots rattled off the ashy ground. When I got to her car I looked in the window. She was still inside eyes blazing, screaming and yelling, and flipping me the bird.
I knocked on the window and paused for a moment thinking to myself, you should have grabbed your mace. She rolled down the window, and yelled mouthfuls of obscenities at me. In an ostensibly authoritative tone I asked her why she had hit my car and flipped me the bird? She responded saying, "Because you're that slut from apartment 3B. The one with the black Honda, who has been fucking my husband."
I felt the blood rush to my ears and I knew they looked like red hots. "The parking spot for apartment 3B is at the building behind us,” I yelled. “This parking spot is for apartment 5A."