SHE GOT UP EARLY THIS MORNING


         Someone had chalked a pink cock and balls somewhere on every storefront on the block.  Both sides of the street.  One cock for each shop.  On signs, on the bricks around the door frames.  On the ground, the sidewalk, pointing at the front door. Cocks were everywhere and that pink chalk, that same pink powder was brushed across the bakery countertop and still lingering on Alicia’s fingers. 

She stood on the merchant side of that counter wearing this adolescent smirk.  A giant arrow of guilt pointing down, floating in chalk for anybody with half-decent vision see.  Her near-sighted husband was furious and she loved it.  He had seen as far as his feet. The big pink penis in between his wing tips, colored in nicely.  The artist touch. The culprit having had to get on their hands and knees and turn the chalk on its side to get that proper look. 

But, completely aloof Antoni trampled back and forth in the shop blaming everyone in this tiny town starting with that man jogger who dressed like a jogger, head to toe in his space outfit, but damn well didn’t run like one.  Trotting, arms all out of sync.  My grandfather disgusted at this man’s form, having been a decathlete himself. 

…And you could see it all over her.  That same delight in mischief she had had often during the course of their near sixty years of marriage.  Giggling in at tone apparently out of his hearing range.  He was on to the fat kid now.  Saying yes, it was probably him.  For sure it was.  Definitely.  A fine description of the fat kid’s daily passing now spun from the old guy's lips into a story told about as if was fit for a villain far too menacing to be acknowledged as a human being.  A killer among us, this fat kid. Six or seven but still, a clever bastard with enough gall to do just this.  That cock artist ran by masking as a mischievous child, everyday firing an invisible machine gun at every person old enough to actually remember the war. 

They were all old though.  

The entire block.

My grandparents having moved back just over a year ago when my grandfather’s brother died of a heart attack one Greek summer day.  The heart attack not exactly what killed him but definitely the beginning of the task.  It was how he fell.  Banging his head on the lower oven, snapping it clean off as it flipped back down and sliced him on the back of the neck.  My grandma laughing then when she heard it, that story, saying that everyone in her ring-bound lover’s family died like that.  Strange ways.  Never tidy.

Trains, balloons, backing up off of a cliff while trying to take the perfect photograph.

Ridiculous she said in Greek. Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Ridiculous.

Now she was ridiculous.  Eyes no longer on the tirade as she smeared, purposefully, those chalky fingers all over the place.  The cash register keys.  The handle to the cupcake display case.  Just loving it, the bitch.

It was then that the Rabbi from two store fronts walked in carrying his chalk sign that he meticulously wrote out the night before and hung as the sun set just so his loyal patrons passing by in the night would know what he was serving for breakfast the next morning and the homemade special for the day.

Today it was borsch.

I think.

Maybe.

But he was definitely serving engorged penis from the looks of it.  That definitely was on the morning menu.  Large and thick, half as wide as it was long.

Grandma Poppy covered her face leaving a pink dot on her nose.

“Nuni Poppy,” I said in broken Greek. “How was your morning?”

She laughed loud. Open mouth to the sky. Hands to her belly then quickly sucking in all the joy with one giant breath like a vacuum reverse. 

She straightened up.  

Too straight. 

Moved around the counter. Her dress at the knees, still pink and dusty.

She closed and opened her eyes softly.

Dramatically.  This same thing having happened already almost once a day on my visit.

...And in accented English she replied, “Uneventful…Can Nuni get you some tea?”

 

 

-J. ANDERTON

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