Fragments Part One: Cicada
So, I was at the table, smokey room, back when cigarettes were cool, and there was Jane, all pouting, all happy (booze induced) with nothing much to say.
Oddly, I had just been declared a "person-of-interest" in a local bar killing, a charge of which I was one hundred percent guilty. I knew they would never get me though, and they never did.
When the waitress came around, with a sullen demeanour and depressive countenance, I thought, God would I like to spend an evening putting a reluctant smile on her face.
Would never happen...I am just too fucking ugly.
Jane leaned across the table, breath perfumed with Labatt 50 and she said....well I don't remember really. Frankly, she never gave a flying fuck about what I had to say, so I usually returned the favour.
But I remember one thing...I remember she looked at me, with those mesmerizing eyes of hers and....Think of the Cicada...all those years for such a short metamorphosis.
It is true, isn't it...all those years for such a short metamorphosis.
Fragments Part Two: Grass
What was the point then?
Growing up, prim-and-proper, always knowing where I was going because of where I came from.
The proudest moment of my father's life was when I came home with that new job in my new Hugo Boss suit.
His proudest moment was a suit.
But I was alone then. Before you. Before the kids.Out they came. First Samantha and then Zack. They grew and we grew...well we grew apart.
I would come home, home to the Rockwell family I had always wanted and you, the loyal housewife...always a smile, a nice word, a dinner ready.
And then Jeff Pluckett, twenty-five years old and fresh off a celebration of his graduation had a couple too many and killed you with his car as you crossed the street to go buy milk.
Fifty feet from home.
The strangest part, though, was finding the letters. The affair you had had all those years. The way he had loved you as I just could not...or would not...what difference in the end?
I guess that was why, years later, dizzy, alone, standing in that cold cemetery, rocks upon the markers, I finally understood why the grass grew greener and longer on your grave.
Fragments Part Three: David
I was forty-two, married fifteen years, when I walked in to find David in bed with a girl ten years younger and much skinnier than me.
I did what you would expect me to.
The fury. The courts. Fighting over the house, the car, the drapes....fuck I fought him over everything.
And when I was done fighting him, I went home one night and I thought you know what, I am not angry anymore, I just want to get laid....
How do you do this?
How does a forty-five year old woman go about getting laid?
The Internet, of course!
I went on to every dating site I knew.
I tried personal ads.
In the end, I went on Craig's List....Casual Encounters...and there was "Fit, lonely, forty-six year old male looking for good conversation, wine and a wild weekend".
Good conversation my ass.
Following the rules I sent an email, refused his photo request, and said to meet me in a public place.
"How about Balfour's on Jackson St. at 10 pm?"
There I was...nervous, feeling a bit silly, thinking I am too old for this, paying the cab driver....
Balfour's is busy, but he is the "one at the bar with the light blue sport's jacket and the latest copy of the New York Times Magazine."
And I saw him, at long last, my new escapade, sitting alone at the front, scanning nervously.
All I could think to say was "Hello, David."
Fragments Part Four: Mesopotamia
Looking back, it is not hard to see how I never went anywhere in life. Shiftless, lazy, born under a sad star...what can I say, I was doomed from day one.
The worst part is that I never really cared.
Didn't care about anything at all, actually.
Shit always just seemed to barely work out. I always made it by. It was pure mediocrity. Never much money. Never broke.
A state of blissful equilibrium.
Hey, I always managed to pay the rent.
Then, a July afternoon, I was out by High Park, walking the neighbour's dog (anything for a buck) and I saw this lovely young woman, alone, white shirt, short skirt, there across the street from me.
Turning, ever so slightly, she actually looked at me...looked at me...no women ever looked at me unless I had paid for the lap dance upfront.
It was like...well, I guess it was a special moment.
She even smiled.
Considering it all, I never can fully understand why every day I think of her. I think of her slightly pale and quirky, pretty face. I think of her battered knapsack......and I think of the book she was carrying, appearing well read.
The only part of the title I could see was Mesopotamia....
What is Mesopotamia?
Fragments Part Five: Imperium
I had this great backyard.
It was majestic.
Very, very green.
My husband was a drunk. A vicious, low-down nasty drunk. Sometimes he would hit me. Sometimes, when he lay there in his own puke, I would hit him.
Fuck, I would have killed him. I figured it would just make things even harder.
One day, in my backyard, with a double scotch, already soused, I thought why not go back to school?
So I did.
And six months later I had...Well I had done little.
But, I had enrolled in a Roman history course.
Fridays, 10 a.m. I never missed a class.
I always wanted to see Philippa Single who sat right across from me. For many weeks I longed for Philippa.
Slightly plump, very flirty, ever funny.
The day after we first made love I was in a flea market when I found him.
A $75, three-foot tall bust of Julius Caesar.
Proud. Imposing. Brutal.
When I got Julius into the back of the Volvo I knew where he had to go.
Friends...Romans...Countrymen...The sack of shit was sleeping.
There in the backyard lay the forum.
I made my proclamations.
Sometimes we rule an empire, yet my imperium remains a garden, a bust of Caesar and the spot where I finally buried him when the time came.
It is funny how pretty that part of the flowerbed looks.
Fragments Part Six: String Theory
After the car accident, I couldn't walk for thirteen months.
It was that bad.
I recall the car spinning, Sandra screaming and the white explosion inward to me...Then nothing.
For six months nothing.
When I awoke they had already had her funeral. Everyone said it was a lovely ceremony. They even played her song.
I lay, unable to move, as my mother told me my life was over.
The visitors. I had so many visitors. They would always smile and say to me, not to worry, you will walk again.
On Sunday I found that my father had left a magazine......and it tells me that according to String Theory there are an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of outcomes.
So you and I are still alive out there, somewhere, together.
And I am walking.