Six Perfections

New York is a crazy world, she thinks, handing the money to the man at the video counter. It’s another reasonless Friday night under unflattering sodium lights in windy concrete caverns.

The man at the video counter thinks she’s pathetic, but she doesn’t care. Summer’s nearly over and bees are buzzing round what passes for flowers. Old ladies are crossing slow against lights. People are. They just keep living like everyone else so why can’t she?

Someone tells her to try making happy lists. Compartmentalize is the only word forty years of experience can think of. How about denial? Disallowance?

How about it. Anything goes.

Masturbation. Panties on, forcing it with no lubrication. It’s scratchy, but kills ten fast-flying minutes.

Beer bread. Her hands are sticky because she has no spoon and must thrust her hands into the wet, frothy mound. Lots of dots appear where the tears fall in.

One phone call. Hello, how are you? I’m fine. I understand. We all have things to do. Love you, too, momma.

Chores. The farmer has hours of chores and she has nearly none. That’s called progress. She dusts an hourglass that’s part of a collection.

Ruminate. Possible names for children that will never be. Her uterus resembles a large dried apple, brown and wrinkled.

The movie. A celluloid romance starring plastic people with exteriors that indicate lush, fertile, inviting inner beauty. Like heroin, or nicotine.

Time moves too slowly and too quickly. The list gets longer and longer, falling off the edges of the paper and onto her hands and arms until she is paper then mulch then hardwood. She can’t move, but her vision rolls back catching the transition from sallow pink to a deep chocolate brown, finely textured before she’s blind. Wind rustles the branches. Bees buzz.