Last night she looked me in the eye and told me she’d do anything I wanted, go anywhere I wanted. Before sunrise she tried to stab herself in the belly with a little knife. Not the sharpest knife in the place – but still. I had to hold her down for a while.
“Honeybee, we can’t keep doing this,” I say. “We have to stop.”
We are sitting on the floor at the miniature table in Charlie’s room. We are too big for the white chairs. We don’t want to break them, even now. You might not think we’d be in that room, but it is the most comfortable place to sit. It has the softest carpet, anyway.
“We’re no good, babe,” she says. “I feel like we should just die.”
She is telling the truth, as far I can see.
We sleep a little, right there on the green carpet.
The sun is up when I open my eyes. She is awake too, but she hasn’t moved.
“Do you want me to fix us a drink?” she says. “So we can figure this out.” “Sure, honeybee,” I say. “If that’s what you want.”
She gets up and takes the two empty glasses from the table and opens the door and walks out of the room.…
It’s twilight, and you’re walking with a dog. Your dog. Perhaps the dog, the combination of all the dogs you’ve loved in your life: the golden retriever who destroyed your Barbie dolls when you were a child, the wild wire-haired terrier you adopted as soon as you graduated from college, the beagle you got after your divorce.
The dog runs free, loping ahead of you, returning without hesitation when you call. This is the kind of park that allows dogs to run free, making easy circles under the trees.
It’s twilight, and it’s one of the shoulder seasons, perhaps early fall or perhaps late spring. The air is warm, humid enough to feel soft. Somewhere there’s the scent of flowers. Somewhere there’s a hint of music.
There are other people in the park. You realize slowly, unmistakably, you know them all. There, walking towards you on the path, tall in a light blue jacket, is the boy you loved so desperately in college. There’s your grandmother, sitting on a park bench, holding a coffee cup with a lid and talking to your aunt. They wave. Your first boss from your first real job is here with his dog, bending to let it off the leash.…
She threw a lamp at my head. I ducked and it hit her cat.
“What did I do!?”
“You called me OLD!”
She threw her shoe at my head. I ducked and it hit her other cat.
“Will you stop! You just killed TWO cats!”
“Fuck you! I’m NOT OLD you FAT FUCK!”
I catch a glance of my belly in the mirror she cracked last week. She’s right I got fat.
She throws a cat at my head. I duck and it hits her cactus. Cat blood splatters on my lip. It tastes like metal. I yell,
“That’s THREE FUCKING CATS!”
I have to throw something back. I pick up the brick she keeps under her pillow and chuck it at her head. It hits her mouth and
she swallows all her teeth.
She charges at me with the machete she keeps in her purse. She’s so beautiful when she loses her mind.
She tries to say, “I’m going to cut your dick off!” but with no teeth it sounds more like,
“Dim do-in doh cuhg dyoo deg dovv.” Or something like that.
I tell her I love her,
“I love you.”
She swings the machete at my head. I duck and it hits her mother.…