Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bring in the Mussels!

"You can do it easily," mom would say, at the playground device. What do they call it? Monkey bar? "Look," she would say, and she would lift herself by the hands.

I broke into tears. "I can't," I cried. "I'm not like you. I don't have the same muscle."

She would get so irritated, and go and call my father. There was an inner monologue inside me about "how now this will be *really* scary".

Father would come over, calmly as he always does. He would put his hands on the playground thingy, and raise himself, until his chin was over the bar.

I would begin crying, at that point. "Don't tease me!" I would yell at them. "I don't have the muscle," I would sob, "I just don't have it." My father would then let go of the device and go and stand next to my mother. The couple would look at me as though I was born in Hell itself.

"How could you not have the muscle?" they would say, looking at me like two penguins, with their beady parental eyes.

"I have .. different muscles," I would tell them, then, and I would begin to swing on the elaborate construction. This terrified my mother. "Stop it," she would say, but I would persist in my swinging. At this point my father would just shake his head and go fiddle with his awesome stereo system that he spent years buying through hard labour. But mom stayed there, making sure I did not let go, and periodically, at intervals of every fifteen minutes or so (in terms of space and time) would say very emphatically, "Stop it! Stop swinging like that!"

But I had to show them. I had to show them my different muscles. So then, at one point, in time and space, I smiled at my mom, and as my body swung forward in the elaboration, it disappeared.


I woke up miles away, in a desert. I looked upwards to recognize the time, but there were three suns instead of just one. I cursed at me, and rolled my own bloody eyes. Then I started out, into the desert, with nothing but a horizon that reflected some far away ocean. My father took us there, when we were kids. It was the first time I ever saw the ocean.

On my way, there was a girl, too. She kept bugging me about calling her transparent, and then finally one hot night I broke down and asked if she would rather be opaque?

She had a really nice laugh. "Why would you spend that much time talking to yourself, when you could be talking to me?" she told me, that balmy night.

"I'm not an egoist," I replied (I didn't have any other cache). "And I'm not a narcissist."

"Are you psychotic?" she teased. "A psycho?" She had these very nice, very teasing lips through which she said them. One time she even teased that I had bitten them a little to amateurly.

This made me very angry, on a September the Thirteenth, when one of the three suns in the sky eclipsed another. "I'm not psychotic," I had said to myself, quietly that night, then went ahead and stared directly at them all, like I always have done.

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