Bounce on the floor. Suckle me his absurd Hubba Bubba chew by chew chewing will I? No.
Rather dance on an ant’s nest. Thank Christ for Brad’s short attention span.
Let’s nip upstairs.
We are upstairs.
Touchy touchy breast. Nipple poke. Blood rises in my murmur neck. Shirtless Brad smacks his husband lips. Gum snaps from his tongue to the roof of his open mouth.
How come we can’t taste our tongues?
He blows a sheer bubble. Flatulent pink mess sticks to his stubble. Condoms unnecessary. Sugar breath.
Brace yourself Emmy.
Persistent worm noses in.
Turn off that damn heater.
But it’s an automatic system.
They tinkle tinkle tinkle in the icy air. Keeping time, time, time. I close my eyes
every movie I see you play the leading man oh man.
Whatever happened to licking, blindfolds, deep-throat, an occasional foot massage, heat? All
shrunken into prick and hump and screw.
Lovesmelovesmenotlovesme. Love me. Love my trivial dreadful. Scuffy stains, muss hair,
slumping and sweat pants, torn pullover, frumpy slippers exposed.
Brad workaholic, rage-a-holic, hotwired, handsome and hyperactive he wears power ties tells
Sweetheart this is a major career opportunity. A cutting-edge company. I.T.
You go you go you go. I can take care of Everything.
He hugs my listless naked. Packs his briefcase.
It’s only a few days, weeks, months.
Pushing his envelope past the eight ball. Bucking the current ahead of the curve for.
Big kiss baby. You’ll make new friends.
Put on the lights. See the empty house echoes without carpet. A gigantic scary refrigerator. And kitchen window rattle spook. Too quiet this. Of outside this whiteout blanket Vast and Vast and Vast covering yards, streets, town, end of the world beautiful silent. Wild storming season here. I call Hannah, Hannah. She patters, appears, thumb in her mouth, sapphire child. Just the one.
Don’t be afraid. Sit with me. Let’s stick together.
Hold her sticky hand. And the trees bend and stretch, bend and stretch.
Where you from.
They speak slowly. Think I’m a half-wit from woop woop island of relentless sun beats me hot those heatwaves dancing the forever squawk cockatoos fly backwards. I come from Australia. I come from a state of things, towns towning the wind, the double names. Willy Willy blows red dust. Across deserts. Bong Bong picnic races. Wagga Wagga. Bindi Bindi. Iced Vo Vo’s a biscuit. Woy Woy.
I am inside the Starry Land of Liberty. Why Why. The husband’s job lands me renting a colonial on neat suburban Boulder Brook Road, a hop, skip and a plunge from sleepy town. Lines of silver birch branches point twigs at white clapboard. Or grey with porticos impressive. And brassy lamps. Chinks of kitschy comfort. Low fences. Large backyards half buried in snow.
The Trap of Me wife-life woop woop woman resentful cocooning a dead-silent emptiness. Press my knuckles to my mouth.
Wheels skid outside in the road slush.
This urgent knock RAP RAP RAP on the back door. An enormous face flattens against ripple glass distorted features peer into kitchen spies me in the corner. Under fluorescent whiteness. I grab weapon straw broom shall I barricade chair wedge under the handle Run. Think pressure thought eyeballs bulge dread what if robber, murderer, demon. What if it mugs me, stabs me, voids my bits.
The knocking polite yet firmer. Tentative opens the door and a giant lady stamps slush from her boots like a determined beetle in a black padded jacket. Furry hood obscures her massive face thrusting concern into the kitchen.
HI there! Lollie May’s the name. Pleased to meetcha.
Jumpy gurgles surprise, drops the broom, swallows anxiety, a quick Smile. Hunching awkward deeper in knee tremors.
HELLO. I’m Emmy it’s. Sokindofyoutostopby. Please come in Mrs. May.
Lollie May lowers her head. Odd lolloping this that way, bulk, stoops filling the little kitchen almost. Earthy woman. Dank lavender scent. This whopping belly of her. Bigger than a basketball, a dome, globe. WOMAN as solar system. Immeasurable. Breathless eyeing everywhere but me.
It’s just Lollie. We don’t stand on no formalities round These Parts.
Toothy and too much cherry lipstick just missing her smiling. She leaves the coat on, unzipped. Removes her mittens. I hear the tiniest sound like a suppressed fart. Me. Or her. Maybe the friction of her nylon gloves. Tiny buttons strain. Chins rest on chest. Her eyes sinking in masses of timeworn flesh and acne scars on. A face hidden behind youthful black curls. She avoids my gaze of wondering. Her age. She appears to be. No. Too old.
We moved in last Thursday this weather is very very scary on my own you see my husband Brad has gone to Brazil, working, for a couple of weeks but well, if he were here, oh cripes, he’s about as useful as tits on a bull.
Fast talking a rushing waterfall. She beams.
Thought I should warn you we’re gettin’ a mighty snowstorm tonight. Some folks say this storm will be as fierce as White Juan from ten years ago. You got plenty of matches, torches, candles, food?
I am perfectly fine really truly.
I Am Not Any Sort Of Fine. All I own. A saucepan, several utensils, two cups, chipped plates, television, cot, bed, sofa, bare floorboards, quiet desperation. And Hannah with lower lip pouting.
This is Hannah she’s almost two she’s adopted I can’t it isn’t possible anyway.
Lollie May crouches.
Awww Hannah sweetie-pie. So priddy. Adorable them big baby blues and gorgeous strawberry hair just like your cool Mommy.
Lollie slips Hannah a packet of Wizz Fizz. Hannah claps delighted hands. Lollie there. Friend yeti of innocent rubble cheeks shining dramatic flourish,
I’ll Be Back.
She lumbers off. Leaving a trail of massive indentations in the snow-covered path.
And she returns hi hi laden with a torch, candles, a can of soup, two bagels, a box of Cheerios, a carton of cream cheese.
Here ya go, take these.
You don’t have too, I couldn’t possibly.
She waves me away dumps the supplies in the sink and her heavy hands on my shoulders and looks into me. Her striking eyes unfathomable pinpricks. Black crystals shoot sparks some. This hugeness declares absolute beginnings. Of trickle secrets. Unexpected life-forms. The immense voltage of her gentleness. Assuring.
We is right next door. If you need anything else holler.
And she is gone.
Yes holler holler holler. I close my eyes you’re all I see. Relief bursts into tears falls in lace flakes. Snow much heavier now. A car slides by swishing, thank you thank you thank you.
And the sky above busts open. Louding dark skies as if firing canons boom thunder roaring, get ready for an onslaught. Heavens to freaking Betsy. Holy crap. This frighting shit. Pinch myself. I have never ever been in a blizzard.
Watch TV. Gibberish weather forecaster gives Boston a cheery warning. Prepare for minus twelve degrees, whiteouts, road closures, power outages, severe drifting and hurricane-force gusts. How can a gust be. Help cannot be helped.
Another. Channel perky newsreader blondie type chirping hiya folks! No gentle flurries. No sirree. We gonna get some real bitin’ whinin’ winds for Boston baked-bean-town. Yessiree.
The blizzarding whips dense soup atmosphere and such coldness be fucked winds howling like a man kicked to death.
My icy fingers pull beanie low, wear every piece of clothing over pajamas. Glue nose to the windowpane, breathe a waiting. Circle of warm breath misting glass hoping for Lollie to visit.
Her grey bungalow. Next to mine.
See silhouettes behind the bedroom blinds. A shadowed man, a shadowed woman figures close together. The man moves around the large of her unmoving immoveable feast. His arms rhythmic. Hands massaging mountain of flesh under breasts, her buttocks. He kneels tackles a thigh. I cover my eyes. Guilt the me. Nosy spider spy. Maybe her muscles ache.
Doze. But stupidest terroring worry. What if the roof blows off. What if the trees uproots crush my house of flimsy. What if lightening sparks electric, the whole enchilada electrocution burning flesh frying my goose bumps. Okay power lines intact.
Horror nightmare of marbles stuck in my throat. And outside. White water peas change to marble. That a hail plummet hard on desolation. Please somebody come.
Admit it. I hardly come. Hardy hah hah. Lukewarm housewife of never never. A single frigid leaf clings to a naked limb damn and blast by whistling chills. Awful this. Melodrama. The daze wanting. Brad often cranky.
Pacing I am. I am. I am these barren rooms. Compare bare its contents. Me am I. Am I. That. And the oven. Electric. No escape there. Will not, will not, anyway, too afraid. Chickenshit. Hey just fanciful. Ghosted by a few suicide rhymesters. I have miles to go before I sleep. My label ‘wife’ pecking the uneventful wifely life in a living town of dead poets in The Dead Of Winter have to laugh have to cry.
The morning clears skies. Amaze snow wonderland reaches windowsills. Water skeletons glisten stalactites hang from window frames. And Hannah’s peachy cheeks and nose running LOOK LOOK.
A triumphant weather channel reports ninth worst storm in Boston eighteen point seven inches of snow. Eighteen hopes distant my age being of thirty-two. Always looking through Glass.
The snow revealing. Get the drift. Unfinished puzzles of cars, shrubs, fences, roofs. The ploughed road like a strip of scraped charcoal. And footprints dot to a nowhere. Then the footprints cease to be. As if a passing eagle snatches the.
Bundled neighbors clear their driveways with wide spades. In my basement, I find a similar curvy shovel. Moon dust scooper. To dig the frozen ocean. Do it tomorrow, leave it to Beaver. My ignorance of menace snowflakes transforming into an impenetrable block of ice.
Midday. Brings another visitor. A short man raps the knocker. Catches me at the window. I crawl behind the sofa. Shit shuddering. What the. Hannah swift in bunny slippers. Cannot catch her before. Hurl myself into the kitchen. A whisper frantic.
Pssst. Hannah. Don’t open the door, child. It could be an axman.
On tippy toes, Hannah opens the back door to. The mailman bristling. Fractious. Hands on hips. Balanced on solid ice, a meter high. Glares.
Lady you gotta problem with yer driveway.
Um. Well. I am just waiting for the ice to melt.
He gets himself a bigger shrug.
Ma’am I’m guessin’ you don’t come from round here.
Mister Mailman explains to Ma’am. Throw salt on the ice. Or this. He refuses to negotiate the slippery surface to my mailbox. Now speechless my bewilderment. Remember the creed snow rain heat gloom of night. I pick up the saltshaker. Rattle it. Hours it will take. The entire front drive. Of futility.
Can I hose the ice?
Mailman shakes his head sighing.
Nope. Get yourself a Snow Blower. Electric powered light duty works best.
Okay, Snow Blower lady me not daring to ask. What the fuck is that. Blower thing sounds dangerous terrifying. But the urgency. Hannah and me race to Stop’n’Shop.
No Snow Blowers Ma’am, says. Try Home Depot.
Hannah and I back at the house, Lollie thunders in with an elderly man, devastating blue eyes and thinning hair hangs from a blotchy scalp. Lollie wanting to impress.
Lemme introduce Dave, my old man. Say howdy Dave. He’s kinda antsy, but real deaf, so he don’t talk much.
She flings an arm around Dave’s shoulder. I notice. Cut marks on her wrists. He buckles at the knees and offers a trembling hand. Her mysterious winking.
I gotta take Dave home for his dinner, but I’ll see ya later. I needs to tell you somethin’ Very Important.
I think Great. I think What. I think But. Nervous unsure.
Six. Six thirty. Seven. Seven thirty. Hannah bathed and in bed. Dusk loneliness bleak. The worst time. Ah Lollie.
Come inside. You must be freezing.
Lollie crashes onto the brand-new sofa. I hear an alarming crack. The timber frame.
I bite my fingernails. Stifle my anxiety.
Give her a mug of hot chocolate.
Mmmm, dats so good.
Her milk moustache.
Do you wanna hear my story?
I stall, I twiddle, not really wanting too. Not at all. Still this unaccustomed bravery emerges. I mutter.
I gotta tell you, cause we is neighbors and so you realize why I is kinda bloated.
She pats her belly.
For years, I bin pregnant. Its rotten hard on the bones and my figure is a shocker.
I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. But this pregnancy impossible to comprehend. Lollie squirms. My sofa screams as the webbing snaps. The springs twang my cringe. Wrecked. Brad will kill me.
Oh Lollie, that’s so exciting! Here put your feet up. When are you due? What do you mean for years?
Well Emmy. Theys takes nine months to grow same as a normal human baby.
Aren’t they human?
Noooo. Not really. They is wittle god-babies begat from Dave and growed inside me. Theys get born, coming out of my privates.
It don’t hurt. Not one bit.
Unfuckingbelievable. But I start to succumb. I want it to be true. The wishing. Willing this. To be real. God-babies. Pure unquestionable. Wanting to be a part of it by a thread.
I begin folding the washing. Surreptitious. Pillowcases, towels, underwear, tiny dresses. Envious. My cloak-and-dagger pretend to believe her. Refuse to think of deranged.
How do you get pregnant? Sorry I don’t mean to pry.
Lollie’s biggest giggle. Cupping her hands coy round her mouth, she whispers.
Hey I ain’t no Madonna. Dave ain’t blind. We don’t have…intercourse. You know what that means? Sex. We couldn’t be doin’ that stuff no more.
She slaps my knee.
Sorreee don’t know me own strength.
Check for bruises just a red mark and a red face.
Well I has thin skin. Dave’s sperms enter by di-fusion. Them littlest tadpoles swims into my pores somehow. Some years now I so full up and I need a break. So I wear long sleeves and Dave rubs Crisco over my body. As protection.
From? My mortified, Lord help me. Now.
Oh. Right. I understand.
But I don’t. I let a pair of Brad’s boxer shorts slide through my hands. This enthralling satin ooze. Purple. Mesmerizing her. Oooh gee whiz them shorts is real cute. The desire for distraction. Astound tosses purpling into the wash basket. Confusion. Boxers, blizzards, babies. Raw. I will ask her every simple question.
Where. Are. They. Who takes care of the god-babies?
No-one. Uh Uh. My darlin’ cherubs track faulty lines in the raptures. Parting the spaces with their teeny hands. They slips through bringing all de-vine things, a trillion million specks of goodness rains down on the human race. Niceness for us here on earth.
I nod. A lot. I am taking this in. I am taking this in. I am ready to. I am ready to.
Well that is just. FANTASTIC. But, but, how many god-babies do you have? What do they look like?
Ohhh I has lots. It’s easy to catch sight of them tiny babies before they disappears. Or sometimes they selects someone special and they goes into. You know the woman bits.
That must be nice.
Yeah but mostly they play for a while. You gotta look close at dewdrops, tears, snowflakes, bubbles. In springtime, shoots poke through and my cherubs sits on the tips. Is why we get the daffydills and chulips.
Nod. Nod. Nod. Daffodils tulips stunning stay calm everything fine fine fine pretend go along with it.
That’s so lovely.
Yeah. And my god-babies can be a mite naughty riding on the backs of butterflies. I wish they don’t disappear but they gotta make the faults better. I misses them.
Sad, she seems. The cuts. These. Lightness bubble dew tear snowflake bright a butterfly. The incumbent light of her kindness, her radiance. A load of babies. I crave those god-babies. I long to Make Her Happy. My determine flings irrational arms. A whoop.
Lollie. Listen. We need to celebrate.
Yep. You’re having babies! Are you hungry? Let’s treat ourselves. I can order us a pizza and we’ll drink lots of wine. What do you fancy. Cab Sav or Sav Blanc? Pinot?
Lollie’s enchanted face lights wow at this new possibility.
Ah never drank no wine before.
Supersize pizza slab riot of mozzarella. Lollie joyful, tipsy confesses.
No one ever believed me ‘cept you Emmy. I spent months in an institution. Dave got me released and now we is content fetching out little god-babies. Think of all those billions of goodness.
She whacks me on the back. I hurtle forward spitting a mouthful of peperoni. She yells.
Yippee. Ya know who we is? Two of the damnedest weirdest maddest gals.
Lollie rolls off the sofa. Crash whump foundations shake. Her the earthquake makes hairline cracks in the plaster. I remember how to repair. Apply careful dabs of toothpaste.
Her fist punches the air.
And we got our this happy. That’s what we GOT.
Late night sleep lost to the incredible restless. Twelve o’clock scrapes me from the bedsheets. A quiver puts on a bathrobe. Behind the bedroom curtain. Microscopic peeks through binoculars. This easy view of Lollie’s yard unveils soft misty at the edges. A blur of the glass on glass. Faint pattern fingerprints of my splayed hands. The staring intrusion. I sense. Peculiar creations. Weighty sensation same as the day her hands weigh on my shoulders. And I do not tell people/anybody/Brad. What I See. In the middle of the midnight garden. Here she comes.
Lollie tiptoeing clicks the gate. Lollie wearing a long heavy overcoat. Her back to me. She stretches both arms straight above her head. Sleeves drop in folds. Past elbows and ashen scars against the black sky. Is it moon worship has to be a full moon. She lowers slow herself immense to the ground and squats. Her body the genii’s bottle whimpering. Sinks and swells. Bells bells bells trill the quaver chill air. Her groans,
Gurrhr ur ur grrr.
Gasps piercing breathes,
Eeh eeh ah ah.
Face to the sky, mouth open wide drinks the sky. Aah AAH (it doesn’t hurt not one bit) AAAAHHH. Seismic quakes her epic roar sound of canons fired heavens to fucking heavens above heaven forbid moaning and roaring her blizzard.
I know then. The witness no clue what to do. Should I should I should I run to her. Find Dave. Always sleeps through it, she told me. I think, Typical.
A light flashes out from between her thighs. Blinker. Five eight no ten glimmer flying newborns. For a gossamer second. Drifting gems. Star-fetus. Frilled jellyfish spinning angel pollen the way dust collects and cobwebs twirl. Wisps link forming networks. Tentacles loose threads cells veins. Be rational. Are they. Some sort reflected reflecting of reflection. Like fragments. Broken mirrors. Handfuls of petals thrown in the air exuberant about this. Or torn paper but why. Or zooplankton rising from invisible waves. There now, behold them. Are they. Transparent. God-babies floating free break the wisplinks and grow defining heads with finger gills bent to chests bottoms rubbery curves of a peanut with four stunted protrusions. I squint. Visible through crystal skin-type surface a teeny pulsate. Heart the size of a poppy seed and tiny serrated wheels oscillating a constant rotation. Keeping time time time. And waving.
It makes sense. All around her bigness greatness lies flat spreading spent in the snow. Her long hair winging out. This unfurling. Black wings. Shadow angel. Something magnificent isolates her beauty rising. She moves. Like a ship passing herself in the night does not look back. At the shape of her body in the snow. At the crimson heat. As every particle of air melts.
And the tweak of a curtain. My certainty believes. The dissolve of babies. Fast. Except. A single creature remains hovering. Slivers of a second the last god-baby bounces rocketing across the yard. Quicker than quick over the fence. To my window. Oh Christ. I dive into the closet. Fear behind his starched shirts familiar smell of Fabulon, shoe polish, damp. Both hands flatten my breasts incredulous for the devour god-baby wants my. And it finds in the darkness cupboard. In my thin skin. That shimmering caress. Slinks over my flesh. Shrouds a woman smoother than trickles of oil. I part myself. Star, wisp, frill, flame shimmies up the birth canal ready for deep plants my womb. A garden. In there and I scrambling to look. I can see through myself. My belly reflecting a spark. Moment keen of courage vanishes my frights. The awe of. A curling darkness wraps me. But what happens when. The time comes. How to explain this grand momentous to Brad and. Well try prove the Event. With a ranting. I picture his smear smirk at delusional housewife egg stains on her apron. I picture his sympathy.
Oh babydoll, are you pissed hallucinating seeing. Things.
I wake to scatter days of a dug into. Vast and Vast and Vast. The freedom country. Paradise, I learn. Limitless continent. Dumbed down, rat race, soft sell, the whaddyacallits. A zillion mysteries this consumerist source of marvel. Of puzzled. Out, I buy popcorn, pretzels, pickles, pink Pepto Bismol. Watch TV, I buy Brad a golf club he can pee in. I discovering wunder boner, snazzy napper, robo stir, booty pops. You’ll make new friends. Brad scratching his head at the state of the sofa. The constant trips, his work flits for weeks. I create worlds. Small chunk fits in the belonging to me. Excites. Entrancing. Of Lollie. Out there in the seasons. Her tummy bursting with god-babies. Then springtime. Those warblers. And hummingbirds. And plovers. Nest in Longfellow Pond. At daybreak. Sprinklers spinning on front lawns. My woop woop belly fatter er er er not monster. I blame sugar in the water. Onion bagels. Blueberry muffins. Waffles oh I waffling. In greasy fries.
And every week pizza night here.
Hannah fed and bedtime storied. My cheek cooling against a wine glass. Lollie taps on the windowpane. Massive face, her squeaks watch me dashing to let her in.
Hey Lollie I got the super large with extra the lot.
Her roar wobbles the universe. Shakes the world. Some cracks in the surface. I take hold of her arm, difficult drag mass of her into the house. She sharp looking sideways at me.
What you bin doin? You is glowing like a forest fire.
I close my eyes. Hum a little tune. I close my eyes, so many things, don’t say want you to know, when I close my eyes you’re all I see in the dark of night. Lollie, the remarkable. The tinkle tinkle tinkle. The bells bells bells. Hug half her. Arms not long enough to circle her whole. She must know. What I mean is could be one two three. I mean fat cells live forever. What I mean is lullaby bunting Brad goes a hunting. What I mean is the sun will come out tomorrow.
You’ll never predict. We’re having we’re having guess this blatant. I mean expect the unexpected Alright don’t. Hey. Lollie May. Guess what I am doing. I’m waiting for Brad to come home. Then I’ll tell him my news. I have bought him five bottles of beer. For the shock.