The New Government announce that all categories of love now need to be evidence-based in order to guarantee full citizen rights. Parental love is top of the list.
My daughter chooses blue, but the balloon man talks her into pink. A helium-filled latex teardrop bouncing at the end of a long string at the end of a long afternoon brining in the smells of the county fair.
It’s quiet in the laboratory today, so I do some paperwork. The office has made a code for thingy-maternal hemorrhage kits, so I can order one without typing the f-word. Without appropriate testing and treatment, pregnant women might develop antibodies.
Remember, no one uses the term “fetuses” anymore. Call them “man-babies.” It makes people think of themselves, remembrance of times past and all that.
I’m sitting with my mother this morning at the rehab hospital. She is learning how not to be so vulnerable, using a walker, working at not dragging her leg after her like a heavy sack, lifting small weights over her head.
Since Brexit, they’ve opened a tanning studio where the Polish deli used to be. I’m inside, curled up on a sun-bed like a fetus. Going to make my skin invulnerable.
Neighbor-Bill’s a pill! we joke—at first. New in the neighbourhood, we begin on friendly enough footings. Bill offers endless help. To hear him pontificate, you’d swear he’s President of The Entire Fucking Universe—but he’s a retired mailman.
He asked her if he could try something. Her lips were wrapped around him, so she looked up to meet his eyes. She nodded. In one swift motion he grabbed her head and pushed it down once, twice, three times—harder each.
It was a bright morning, when they came. Blue-skied and yellow, and so beautiful it left you feeling vulnerable, and wondering how it was a sky could fill you like that, with so much joy. A blue so bright, it hurt your heart.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.