Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2014 - Page 35

Rae Bryant | 35

She will stare at you like she wants to kill you or understand you and she can’t do either so she’ll scream something about four whole fried chickens being a waste of good food. Then she will ask you to drop it. And you will drop it. It is better to drop it.

Years later you will fight over the merits of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. And you will be angry because she knows you prefer Lennon over McCartney and Lennon wrote the lyrics. Lennon was a genius. You’ve fought over the merits of Lennon versus McCartney many times. If she could just once confirm your preference for Lennon, one goddamn-fucking once.

You will be thankful for masturbation. It will make you forget the chickens and Paul McCartney and the belt and the toll booth. You will be thankful for the neighbor boy who teaches you how to masturbate. Masturbation / quiet reflection. You will lie in the dark in your grandmother’s house, wrapped in a green, yellow, brown afghan and listen to the clock on the wood-paneled wall: tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick … You will fantasize about the boy who rides horses at the county fair. He looks a little bit like James Spader. Hair and mouth. You will wish the boy with James Spader hair and mouth taught you how to masturbate. You will dream about the boy’s tall, brown leather riding boots.

This is a common fantasy: John Belushi and Derrida sit on a dark mahogany bed covered in a fleur-de-lis duvet. White canopy. They are combing each others’ sideburns. On the wall are crossed swords. In the corner stands the Marquis de Sade dressed as a Musketeer. He is holding a thick leather belt. You lie naked at the foot of the bed. Belushi turns to snort lines of cocaine from your legs. Derrida whispers French in your ear. De Sade watches, holding and cracking the belt with his hands. You blame your mother for this.

Sit on the bed with Aretha and her bottle of leftover champagne. Listen as she asks if you are masturbating, because she hears this is something kids do and she really needs to know if you are masturbating. She has a pleading, fearful, concerned, loathing face. Say, No, of course not. But I am having sex with the Marquis de Sade and John Belushi and Jacques Derrida. Add John Lennon for effect. Tell her you are snorting smack and cocaine. Tell her John Lennon really gets you off. Something about the glasses. I.e. Sarcasm / stupid fucking questions.