He grew up in this house with plastic covers on the chairs, and the decrepit couch with stuffing escaping the leather. This is my second time here. I should be uncomfortable sitting here. I should’ve been uncomfortable sitting in front of his casket in his mother’s home.
He wanted to move from New York to California. The only thing California is good for is weed. I like New York and I wasn’t going to let him move. None of them were allowed to leave me. The same way none of the others left mother. She poisoned them and slit their throats. She taught me everything I know. I watched her shoot the gun over my six-year-old head. The bullet lodged into the chest of the man I called Dad.
That moment started the family trade. Just me and her. ’Til one day it happened: one of them shot her over a lost lottery ticket. Apparently it was a winning one. Two years later, he would be my first solo.
His sister is buzzing about; the preacher’s eyes chase her bosom. Ripe ones they are. Her eyes are puffy from crying as she offers cucumber sandwiches. I never liked her. I don’t like the way she takes charge of everything. She’d visit and book a bike tour around the city knowing I can’t ride a bike. So it was just him and her on the tour. She did it on purpose.
There were ones before him. Most were tall, depressed and good-looking. The night I met him his jaw cut the moon’s light in half. Now he lay in that casket in the navy suit I bought him. I loved him. I loved them all. He was strong-willed; not like the rest.
His mother is crying on a stool. She should be sitting on the couch, swallowed by pillows. She’s just lost him. He opened packages of fruitcake from her every month for the past year. I hate fruitcake.
I remember fruitcake. I was having a dinner party a few years back. I knocked on my neighbor’s door, hoping for a wine bottle opener. A fruitcake was on her table. She seemed weak, hurrying me to bring back her opener. She said she was going to propose to her boyfriend who had commitment issues. He obviously had other relationships she didn’t know about. Her frivolous life issues bored me. Her weakness annoyed me. So I wrapped a belt around this brunette’s neck and pulled ‘til there was no more breath. I liked the belt so I wore it to the party. Maybe her mother had mailed her cake, too. She had just moved in.
My bum is numb from sitting in this chair in his mother’s kitchen. It’s the chair he and I gave her for her birthday. I got the chair from a shop on Dean Street. The shop owner had nice hands and I liked feeling them around my neck. He was a good kisser, too. He liked to wear a noose while I rode him. I pulled this very chair from under him when I was done. I had gotten what I wanted: a chair and an orgasm. A customer found him the next day. I didn’t go to his funeral.
A girl chases the cat through the kitchen. Her long blonde hair reminds me of dead grass and vomit. The summer in Texas when I worked at the sweet tea and pork chops stand at the carnival, I poured some propane in a jug and blended it. The redneck drank it so fast that he fell off the haystack dead. I took the stand’s owner trailer, and drove it to Canada.
I’ve been sitting here for a while daydreaming about past realities, but funerals excite my memory. They remind me of life. The neighbor that lives in the house across the street with the burgundy shutters nods and smiles at me as I walk past him to the basement. That neighbor played football with him in High School.
The basement bulb blinks. I spent the past two days in this basement building this thing and I hope it works. It’ll be the first time I attempt a multiple. And second time I built a bomb with a timer. I had a set back trying to find a place in this wetback town to sell me gunpowder. The nails’ shiny-silver add some beauty to the basement’s doomed scenery. I wonder how much time I’ll need to walk away untouched by my homemade device. I must disappear like a ghost that they’re all about to become.
There are boys on the lawn throwing a baseball back and forth. Their fathers’ are on the sideline stuffing their faces with future heart attacks. Everyone here is eating. Everyone here is ugly. Everyone here is gossiping while wearing black and pretending to care.
Life. Everyone needs to shut up. Everyone is fat. Everyone is ready to die. This will be my own personal 9/11. Terrorism against annoying happiness. Suburbia. Ignorance. Family.
I duck my head to avoid the baseball they throw across the walkway.
“How are you doing?” one of the fathers asks.
“I’m a little sad.”