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  • So when I divorced the starter husband (charts TBD), the therapist I saw then was like the previous two - uncomfortable talking about a prior boyfriend who beat the crap outta me every day for two weeks straight in Novato, California. 1983. In a tract house. Not sure why that detail.

    But. Dr. Coleman wanted to talk about my early childhood, and I'm sure there woulda been some valid linkage but that required things I was unwilling to provide. Like say, attention. And respect. If Dr. Coleman wouldn't press flesh on the topic I brought to her -- a black & blue torso and neck -- fist-marks spanning me like maps of Pangea, neck collared with strangulation bruises and more -- in short, if she wanted to attempt a Cure by avoiding the broken elephant in the room --- then FINE. We'd do it her way. We'd tackle childhood. Esther's childhood.

    And when we did that, I'd try to remember all the things Dr. Coleman said as I rushed home, jogging from Alewife to Harvard Square. I'd stop somewhere in Fresh Pond to buy some black pottery of which I was overly fond (embarrassing how much I decorated apt. and self like Stevie Nicks. but I was 22. then 23. then 23 and married to a gay guy. then 23, married to a gay guy and volunteering with the AIDS Action Committee as an emotional support volunteer. The phone sex company was later.)

    Yeah. We'll get there. Spoiler alert. Much like a menage, moderating adult phone sex lines are tedious and boring. Worse, they lack wit. Changing into Iris Malone, Moderating Superhero, did nothing for the dialogue of my first novel, a typical 20yr old roamin'-a-cleft.

    What DID help the novel*

    were the sessions with Dr. Coleman when we talked about Esther and her mother. ...And Esther helped. And her mother helped, the very fact of the Fofinator. And Esther's 'Come As Your Mother' party/Happening/video-confessional/
    movie for her MFA.

    ****Inca Driving School.
    .......I'll send you the ms. Great characters. Hysterical dialogue. no plot. buncha folks wandering around in a PerformanceArt-1980s-20yr-old-Dibbs-In-Search-Of-Self-haze. My life. Esther's life. Our conjoined-twin life.

    "There is NO LOVE like the love of the MOTHER."

    Don't think Fofi said that around me. Esther did though, all the time. So, nu... Eventually Fofi said it. I'm a writer. I'm Latina. With a schtickle of Proximal Jew. So I fab-u-late.

    And I wander, like a cloud. As I wandered, in my mind, while seeing Dr. Coleman - chickenshit white lady - so I tossed bejeweled rubber rings of Estah at her nose. And guess what?
    She caught them, each one. On the tip of her nose.
    Then barked.

    Then I'd clap my flippers together. Then bark. Then write a check and leave. Sniggering. With all the Depth Perception of a 23yr-old.

    "Linda. Just when I thought you were the shallowest person I know --- you go and let out a few more inches from the pool."
    Gowa, 1998.

    I'm treading water as fast as I can.
    Hitting 50, planning on kicking it in my 90s.
    in love. shooting self in face repeatedly.
    you know, the usual.
    heart-broken like a Patsy Cline song and a lost dog.
    (The dog's not singing.
    Repeat: no singing dogs. ridiculous.)

    When it comes to me and love,
    the declension goes like this:
    Good, Better, Bested, Busted.

    Sex? Sex is easy. Like blogging.
    Love is hard. Like writing. And breathing.

    the cup doth overflow with snark as the freezer syrups Absolutly.
    in through the nose.
    out through the mouth.
    in.
    and out.

    we'll get there. eventually.

    ...wait.
    If you get there before me?
    Please don't tell me what happens.
    wanna see it with my own eyes first.
    not In Your Eyes.
    ...and I got wicked high arches.
    so. deal, okay? always need to find the orthotics/

    and she jammed the knife in the dust between them,
    wondering what could happen next.
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