Bondage And Birthday Cake In The Garden

Prompt: Write a Love Letter To Someone Who Is Undeserving Of Your Attention

Prompt: Write a Love Letter To Someone Who Is Undeserving Of Your Attention

 

 

Tonight I am sleeping in the living room and giving Johnny the privacy of the guest bedroom. It was three a.m. and he was sleepy and I was not so it seemed like the kind and logical choice.

 

Yesterday was your birthday. I have an image of you, sitting at your Formica kitchen table in that cold grey apartment, wearing a paper birthday hat. I’ve always thought those cone paper hats were particularly humiliating; especially the elastic chin strap. In the image,  you are seated before a chocolate cupcake. The cupcake is  decorated with pink icing and has a maraschino cherry on top. You’re salivating and holding his knife and fork upright like a cartoon wolf. Only you are prissy and so you hold the knife and fork in that prissy way that you do. I can just imagine you closing your eyes and blowing out the birthday candle.

I have an image of you, sitting at your Formica kitchen table in that cold grey apartment, wearing a paper birthday hat. I’ve always thought those cone paper hats were particularly humiliating; especially the elastic chin strap. In the image,  you are seated before a chocolate cupcake. The cupcake is decorated with pink icing and has a maraschino cherry on top. You’re salivating and holding his knife and fork upright like a cartoon wolf. Only you are prissy and so you hold the knife and fork in that prissy way that you do. I can just imagine you closing your eyes and blowing out the birthday candle.

Can you remember a time in your life when you were happy? Do you think that happiness is a silly modern Western concept? Of course there is pain and shame and struggle but I remember all the brightest times in my life I was falling in love. It’s like looking through a bunch of index cards in my brain. So many of the images are so dark and then there are places where the sunlight cuts through the shadows and here and there there are flashes of light and I was happy.

A friend of mine asked me if I was happy in Los Angeles and I said I didn’t know because I don’t think I had ever been happy and they only looked sad for me and I wish that they didn’t.

The first time I was happy was when I went on antidepressants for the first time in my early twenties. It was before the house fire when dad was still alive. Back then I was swimming every day and I was strong and tan and my garden was always a good barometer for knowing how sick or well I was and I was in the sun and the dirt and the water all day and about four p.m. I’d get cleaned up and go to work at the mall where I sold expensive French beauty products to other poor people. The products were toxic and probably made us all sick but buying the products made us feel expensive, beautiful, valuable, and rich.

The lights in the house flicker often, just about every time the train comes by and Gina says she hopes the dam bursts someday and I asked if she knew why the river was more valuable when it was bound and forced into submission and she clacked her tongue and said she didn’t know the answer to that. I clacked my tongue back.

“Bondage,” I said.

“It has something to do with the way they harness the river’s energy.” she said. I think she also said some fancy word for bridle and it sounded like “hydro-electric.”

So it’s no surprise that we’re all happier and healthier when we go unbridled. No surprise at all that I am the most happy when my hands and face and feet and skin and hair are out in the sun, water, and earth.

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