Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Ok. I am SO sorry. There is no way I am going to get this year’s NaNo done. I’ve come down with that circulating cold, and shamelessly using it as an excuse to fail on this whole project. I’m quite disappointed in myself.

But I’m doing my best to put _something_ down so as not to completely embarrass myself… although, I’m beginning to worry that that is precisely what I’m doing by putting words down on paper.

At this point I’m just freewriting this whole story as it comes. No spellcheck, no plot, not even stopping to look behind me. Take it for what it’s worth:

PICASSO, THE STORY, installment #2:
It is always a woman who moves to great lengths and heights as a tree is coaxed to touch the sun, as well breaks in two with twig-like snap — a man in love.
Sometimes a man is not yet whole until he is born to a woman twice. “Maybe you couldn’t grow up and be a man because you never had a woman to make you one! You better hurry up and find one, or you’ll be a sad shell of an old man!” Picasso’s father once told him. Picasso had been 13 at the time. This was his father’s only sensitivity: that it was a woman’s job to grow a man, and a man’s job to let her.

Picasso never had any “trouble with the ladies” – God Almighty, it was quite the opposite: he was ravishing, sensual, and with the fast-step moves he’d incorporated into his marrow there was no way of his existing without catching the glance of a female whether it be from love, lust, affection, curiosity, or fear.

And although he might have the countenance of what someone in this part of the world might describe as a “rico suave” – he was hardly of the sort. The main difference was need. He didn’t need women, and only took notice in them as a passing interest, kind of like peppermint tea (“sure, I enjoy the taste, the smell, the body, but who ever raved about peppermint tea? And furthermore, who needs peppermint tea?! Don’t you understand there is more to life?” he casually threw over his should while gliding down Avenida de Rey, the tips of his words smacking of insanity to his understandably perplexed hermanos — who, at 18, certainly did not understand that there is more to life than women. “I mean, sure –- but there is dancing, and music, and otros cosas que son bonitas.”

Aurtor, who was 3 paces ahead of the whole bunch, swung around and mimed shooting his brains out with invisible gun. “There goes our little Pica-so again with the high and mighty ha ha ha,” and swiveled back around, letting his voice wrap round his own head.

*    *    *

Oh, how many men I have held my breathe for, how many men had sat idle on my kitchen stool, legs up, arms folded in anticipationof dinner and wine and love. Oh, how many times I have cooked some kind of half-ass Italian dish, standing over a hot drain with sex steaming out of a colander I wished was metal instead of plastic. How many men I’ve loved, and let love me (just as, if not more so, dangerous). How varied they have been: expensive, bronzy men all aflutter with turncoats and pinwheels and fast things that make them look like black olives against dim four-star restaurant lighting, all round and shiny; naked, undaunted men, clean with God and ideals; bespecled rabbits that sniffed and sniffed but never approached; men with all kinds of complicated mazes; men with nothing to their name, men with everything to lose; men with scars, both visible and cloaked, men with birthmarks that ran down the length of their back, and when I fingered the scar tissue –the younger of the two skins arching like a catepillar — I felt like I was being let in on a secret only his mother could have whispered. How I loved men who held me as I came, or whom I held as they cried, or how we held each other against the ferocious jaws of the world. The moon usually plays a big role in all of this – where was the apex of its frost when all this lovemaking and twisting was going down? Was it new? Could there be light slipping in through window cracks, or was it a feral night, all lost and free?

I have loved men who were tall and dramatic, who liked pickled fish and had less meat on their thighs than I; I loved men who ended up loving men more, and ones who sat down to pee, and ones who secretly were addicted to pornography; I’ve loved men who’s father’s disappeared, and who’s mother’s disappeared, and who’s birthplace never existed at all. I’ve loved men who set couches to fire, and shoved me when I’d baked the beans too long, and others who wrote poetry and read poetry, and wanted to be poetry. What about the men who collected dolls, and dreamed of being superheros, and burned me CDs of old disentigrating cassette tapes, such that the entire 2 hours was nothing but the slow unraveling of a songs last cry – like watching a pet die. I’ve loved men who were alcoholics, men who were recovering alcoholics, and men who were not yet but some day would be an alcoholic. I’ve loved men who whispered to me in Portuguese “I think of you, and I lose all footing,” and men who have shouted from across the street that they want to waltz me around the city block one more time, please! I’ve loved men who have spoken to me across an eternity (I get less of the shouters.) I’ve loved men who sat patiently while I tried every wing and others whose claws were meticulously sharpened. I’ve loved many men who leave at least a 3 foot wall of Styrofoam around them. I usually love men who cannot love me back. Most of us cannot love most of us back.

I have loved all these men unequally – but all of them fit into a metal carrying case as large as a makeup bag that stand as blocks and stands upon which rest each other. I need them to built height to me, where I will one day watch some strange beast climb this oddly constructed ladder and find me small inside myself. He will say “thank you for loving so many others, so I could find out where not to go.” Then I will let him love me without ceiling, and he will happy to do so, having climbed such a long way and wouldn’t it be a shame to just turn around and go home. I will let him stay as long as he likes. Oh Picasso, hurry up, damn you.

*    *    *

Picasso woke with a start. He leg still smarted and the sheets halo-ed a syrup smell, sticky as port. He knew it was over then.

-1958 words total

§730 · November 10, 2009 · This Modern Life · Tags: , · [Print]

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