like the wistful wind that breezed up Marilyn's dress from the subway below, it started innocently enough.
[mind the gap.]
she steps back from cinema's most iconic moment, mindful of the pandemonium that sucked norma jean through the filthy, subway grate, ripping the satiny billow into shreds; painting it black.
The Marilyn Moment. second only to her body, wilted, a drugged diva found dead in the nude.
she can barely see them. over cherubed cheeks, swollen from a flash flood of fears, she peers. like the dry, desert lakes, her eyes, cracked with dehydration, sting under the florescent lights.
exhausted, she leans on her shopping cart.
they are beautiful. she's warmed by the tanning-bed glow radiating through their hot-couture. still fabulous in their unseasonably cold winter wear, they work the aisle like a Paris runway, but, down this catwalk they primp and preen for an audience of sparkling flasks; fastidious fashionistas safely tucked away and dimmed, far across the ocean, in the City of Lights.
yes. absolutely fabulous. pin-stripe suited for each other. perfection. with the graze of a leather finger, an elegant clutch on its neck, he lifts it. the one turns to the other and they giggle softly, musing over a label of scrawls.
writing on the wall that never made any difference to her.
small, tall, fat, thin.
full. full. full. full.
kaleidoscopic soldiers stand at attention reflecting courage, fear, courage, fear, under the fake sky, blinding her. they stand, perfectly lined, ready to shoot her with liquid bullets.
[ready, aim, fire...]
there are no empties lined in a proud display of a conquered night. they lie smashed in a dumpster down a dark alley; dishonorable discharge.
with a sandbagged lean, her cart inches forward. the wheel squeals in dismay.
she had not been thinking about drinking. she was just trying to salvage another shredded date with a trip to the supermarket; the good wife, desperate housewife. December 31st. 7 days. but, this date's pitted. the stone as mortar shoots out, and the walls of her heart begin to drain, drain with death's brightness, like the melting walls of the Overlook Hotel.
every blink of her eye, every heave of a sigh...
she aches at the bottle's casual fondling - as they take it or leave it. she squints suspicious at their final selection - as if it doesn't take you all to the same place.
"are their hearts beating like mine?", she wonders, rubbing hard at a slitted slat.
"are their brains buzzing like mine?", noise not strangely soothing, as the roll of the freeway canyoned below her cabin in the hills, but an anarchic roar of a bees' hive smashed with childhood rage.
no, their pulses flutter with the knowing arch of a brow, an accidental touch, not anticipation of that first syrupy sip that carpets you up, up and away from it all.
her carpet's rolled up, back in storage, theirs lies unfurled; uncharted like The Park's new coaster. peering down from the summit, she knows the ride is already over, for the spaghetti-ed track below is never as delicious a ride as that first dip.
in a feral fury, their christmas tree was dismantled. Christmas morning, there came no Whoville chorus loud enough; no Ecstastically-panting Max, perched atop a racing resurrection; no swollen green heart explosion, to Save Us All.
through a crack in a distressed desk drawer, she glimpsed it. the red of an envelope bright, like the heart she has pummeled raw; keeps pummeling. red, like her unarrested fists that keep slipping out of his handcuffs.
and the card,
"to my Beautiful Wife at Christmas..."
undeliverable. address unknown.
she wants to pop their bubble, join their muted conversation. oh, she could wax on about the fruity bouquets and various pear notes she'd hit over the years. Paris, New York, London, oh! the places she'd gone!, damned, then drunk. and. the year of the dragon.
yes, she could've waxed on.
and so, she waxed off.
to see her, you'd never know.
like a movie star, under the bright lights she always shines. waxy, gleaming goodness, poised in a grocery store aisle.
but underneath, the pesticides spritz on a timer, daily, soaking her bloodstream with poison. yes, underneath You welcome the frantic, friendly ants to Your rotting core; fallen fruit, fermenting your own sod.
six feet under.
you and Marilyn.
heavy, so heavy now. she feels almost nothing.
but, she sees it.
she sees herself falling like Seconal crystals into Marilyn's champagne, and will not toast them tonight.
tonight, she leans on her cart, and with pursed, iconoclast lips,
breathes them a kiss goodnight.