A Bottle of Rum

Not a Bottle of Rum, Rather Warm Milk and a Pair of Socks (and maybe a toothbrush)

I know it’s National Talk Like A Pirate Day (thanks to Dave Barry and Jeremy), but I am of the Red-Handed Jill kind, you know, sorting out all you ruffians and teaching things like manners, propriety, telling stories, reminding you of your mothers.

So, shape up all of you. You know, ship-shape.

After I throw it up all over the dorm bathroom floor, just missing the place it should have gone, I remember why I don’t like rum. The sweet smell with other bitter ones reminds me, and I heave again. The tiles are the color of your pale green uniform shirt, nickname stitched above your right breast pocket. The handle on back of the stall door is shiny. To this day I can’t stand cordovan belts with nickel buckles. Dark unscrubbed crevices around the grout show me old oil mixed with dirt and pommade beneath your nails that fumble with your zipper while trying to steer the truck. Seeing the flaking paint and quickly patched places in the drywall, I feel the callouses of your palms against places that are waiting for love. My stomach twists again, just like then, only now my mouth opens wide and instead of you shushing it, I scream through the retch, and you spill out all over me.

This is the last time I will give a “disclaimer” as to if something is fact or fiction. There is a genre of writing called Creative Non-fiction (cnf) and that is exactly where this piece belongs. Disturbing? Yes. It should be. Life sometimes is.

E returned home as one of the top ten Congress debaters in the state...and with a cold. She sleeps. I watch her and remember her so much smaller, tufts of hair, a sweet, greedy mouth, floppy pink arms, violet eyes that searched for her mother’s.

At the recommendation of Jeff, the girls and I watched Mirrormask. It is a wonderfully weird and luminous Lewis Carrollesque film. Neil Gaiman wrote it and Dave McKean did the art. I knew it looked familiar in some way. They collaborated on Coraline. E picked it up on a trip to the bookstore a few years ago. E also told me about another book of Dave McKean’s that she read at K’s and A’s this summer, The Wolves in the Walls. That earned A one of the highest compliments from anyone in our family: “she has good taste in literature.” Wolves and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish are on their way here via amazon (and Mirrormask, as well).

Spring break is this week. I have already read about Psychoanalytic literary criticism, read the play “Heda Gabbler,” read six chapters of The Sun Also Rises (I just can’t get into the plot and I am six chapters into it), the poetry of Robinson Jeffers and Marianne Moore, and once again, from Dr. P, another amazing graphic novel: Epileptic.

Tomorrow, more Epileptic, The Sun Also Rises, the poetry of Christina Rossetti, and finishing up psychoanalytic criticism. Oh, and watching Heights, Chem-dry carpet cleaning, laundry, and making the final payment due for the trip to London.