Atlas and Alice - Issue 5

Page 13

Atlas & Alice | Issue 5, Winter 2015/2016

Pumpkin Friday I make sure to buy a pumpkin every Friday during the Fall. It is a table for my wrists and company for my wine glasses. I am unhappy most of the year, but October brings an eerie feeling I am sentimental about. If I had friends, I’d invite them over to paint my face like demon or like a geisha. I come from Japanese heritage. Maybe I should celebrate something about myself every once in awhile. When the pumpkins start to rot, I mourn. I stammer through the house, my arms flailing, my chest pulsing. “But you were mine!” I screech. “I kissed your wrinkles and scrubbed your dirty scabs!” There were times I was so intoxicated I believed the pumpkins talked to me. One night the biggest one said, “You exhaust me with your misery.” I ran up the stairs sobbing. There were only two left at the store when I went last Friday. I could only afford one. It was oval shaped and caked in dirt. My water was cut off, so I could not clean it. “You need to shine.” I whined. I staggered into the kitchen, bringing my elbows down heavy on the counter as I felt the pressure of grief. There was a pitchfork sticking out of the drawer. I stared at myself in the thin slice of metal for a moment before shoving the sharp edges into my shoulder. Blood was gushing from the wound as I hurried to the pumpkin. I sat it in my lap and let the gash leak over it. I was crying as I washed the soil from its body, not because I was in pain but because my blood stained its lovely orange color. “I have taken away your natural beauty.” I moaned. “Go ahead, chide me. I want the romance of contrition and the thrill of anger.” We sat together, both of us changing shades as the hours passed. I was laughing when the pumpkin said, “You will be gray soon. I know you don’t care.”


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