Monday, September 28, 2009


allegra drinking and people walking talking
buying candy ice cream waffles and the public bus
screeches to a halt behind the biker with no helmet be careful
kid they'll turn your body to

cream with two cubes of white sugar and where's the spoon i need my
spoon the pigeons watching they're watching who are they
fighting fighting over the pickings of crumbs from the breakfast
crowd the crumbs on the sidewalk the
loneliness consuming out go out the security
people security of people drink coffee
two gulps and walk around walking around walking around in
ring around the rosy
a pocket full of posies
ashes ashes
loneliness under my skin
allegra it says allegra i'm here
              she pulls pulls hair so blond so fine so straight like
wisps of corn silk
she pulls to punish the sinner
nobody sees knows she hides
it beneath those pretty hats
she wears
allegra so happy they say even her name is happy
so shallow hollow they don't see inside allegra
beautiful beautiful oh so beautiful with
turquoise eyes like the waters off the coast of zanzibar
haunted blue eyes but the
and allegra cracking from the inside out

when the ghosts come out to feast i hide behind my wall
allegra hide and don't come out but trista asks allegra out to
play come play
let's play ring around the rosy
trista says it trista the twin sister they thought was dead in the womb
trista the twin that never should've seen the light of day
twin they thought was dead
came into life without a cry without a scream
our miracle baby girl they said about her forgetting you were there
our miracle girl doesn't cry but oh look so sad look at her face
so sad trista is her name they said and named you allegra
you smiled when your twin was born they named you allegra
twins but opposites they said but you were the same
eyes nose mouth hair everything the same but the scar cut wound
they said was an accident when you were little girls playing with scissors though
mommy had said not to allegra and trista played doctors but trista was the doctor doing
surgery on your mouth with the scissors that
slid open going in and slid shut coming out closing on the side of your mouth so
your cheek was open like a piece of torn fabric and the blood was falling like victoria falls
trista screaming saying mommy mommy told me to do it but mommy looked scared and
took you to the er and they stitched you up and said don't worry pretty little girl everything's
gonna be all right but mommy got you home and said come here bad girl
bad girls get punished and slapped you across the cheek still smarting with pain and the
blood came again and mommy doused it with vinegar saying it was the lord's punishment that you
for being a bad little girl now go in the closet and ask the lord's
mommy says don't tell lies or mommy will just have to burn your
cute little mouth with matches
that little mouth you can't wait to wrap around a cock
mommy says don't go pee pee in your panties or mommy will just have to burn your
plump little thighs with matches
those little thighs you can't wait to wrap around a man
you dirty little sinner
aren't you a little whore

trista always nice not because she wanted but because she was your sis' and knew
mommy's bad little secret

twin sis' little sis' they thought was dead and the
other kids always told trista what's wrong with your sister
and trista's face going red saying just a little accident
trista happy but allegra oh so sad and you ask yourself did she mean it
after all these twenty years did she mean it
with your eyes like the waters of zanzibar and
your mouth like frankenstein's bride

got all the friends
all the boys played spin the bottle without fear of
do i really have to kiss her
do i really have to kiss that ugly mouth
and you go behind your wall but tears tears tears
tear down the wall allegra tear down
i'm never coming back i'm not
but the wall is there when allegra comes home
talking i'll be talking and they'll tell me to
and i'll forget what i was saying and what i wanted to say and why she wanted to say it she'll be in
another room with the glass wall and she'll see her body her head
in the air and the voices saying
                                                    save the talk for yourself allegra
and my head will be blurry like a scrambled egg like an out of focus
photo that needs focus because the details
details i need details too many of me to count
none in the same place doing the same thing allegra1 not here not here behind the
of brick and mortar allegra2 behind the glass looking at the other side i don't want to be there
i don't want allegra3 walking walking away and looking back
change of
heart i want to be walled allegra4 a drink a lay a man a woman what difference
does it make the world of
is mine allegra5 on the mountaintop over the top looking out over the space
wide open sharp crags mighty boulders
allegra you're dizzy
so dizzy not good for you
don't like heights
can't feel my arms legs fingers toes head so badly bleeding from the
pulling the hair sores burns cuts
not in her stomach
sweating trembling fever like i've just run over a kid and run away
beating so wildly my pulse is in her temples
her mine

but smile allegra when you
people see a happy you allegra they say is happy
even to her name but you say my mommy and daddy must have
me must have challenged the
with that name
oh so sad and
oh so happy
her mommy and daddy didn't curse her didn't challenge the lord

agitation cutting like barbed wire messing with
moments that fade to
brain freeze
can't remember feelings
there but not part of allegra1 sitting behind her wall
that wall
walled in with brick and mortar
allegra2 what if i tore it down and never looked back what if what if allegra3 walking
to an open space and nervous nervous
oh so nervous but not
nervous enough to
allegra4 with a man pretending to listen to every word she says but who will take
me home and beat me until i'm black and blue allegra5 on the cliff over the top trying
oh so hard trying
to keep her balance but the tide
oh so inviting
and the way back to the wall
don't know what's the way back i just don't know allegra2
saying maybe maybe i'll try to
find my way back but allegra4 says you'll never find a man like him he's all you need
everything you need
allegra saying mommy mommy


and mommy saying i'll give you to the count of...

one two three four five six seven
all good children go to heaven

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love, Suddenly

Two people are on a stage. A man. A woman. They don't know one another in the true sense of the word. They are actors. He plays an army general to a king he later murders and replaces. She plays his ill-advising wife. Night after night, in their roles of husband and wife, they exchange words, glances, touches, as all actors do. At curtain call, the cast members all file back on stage to the thundering applause of their admiring audience. She takes her curtsy. He takes his bow. He catches the flower bouquets hurled from the audience and gives them to her. She curtsies once more and lays the bouquets at her feet. Then, he reaches out his left hand to clasp her right hand, and together, they move forward to the front of the stage for a final round of appreciation.

These intersections are meaningless, a part of their nightly routine. Undisturbed. Unbroken by the merest interest in, or attraction to, one another. They know, without its ever having been processed or verbalized, that beyond their thespian endeavors they lead separate lives. He is no flustered, guilt-ridden King of Scotland, and she is no hallucinating, sleepwalking Queen. What they do not know is that tonight, after curtain call, while the rest of humanity is eating or drinking or sitting in the waiting room of a hospital or playing cards or arguing over politics or making love, after she has taken her curtsy and he has taken his bow and caught her flower bouquets for her, and she has laid the bouquets at her feet, he will reach out his left hand to clasp her right hand, just as he does every night. But, this time, involuntarily, he will reach out just enough for their fingers to brush, fumble, seek. And somehow, this floundering whisper of a connection will trigger an arching thirst, a sensual fever, in his core. A bullet of white passion will shoot through his arm and trickle over his body like icy water. To have had her all this time, so near, her mystery hovering, and yet never to have seen her... What had he suffered from?

Amidst the musty parchment smell of the theater and the heat of the intensely burning lights directed at the stage, he will drift, drift into the devouring world of his senses. He will smell the captivating fragrance of amber coming from between her breasts and the dips in her collarbones. He will hear her shortness of breath despite the crazed babble of an intoxicated audience. He will feel... something. An arithmetic will happen inside his head, followed by the crashing realization of the gravity of his emotion. He will turn his gaze to her, their eyes will meet, and in her cavernous eyes he will see everything at once. And with his eyes, Have you discovered my mind? And with her eyes, I have uncovered you, heart and soul. She will reach her right hand out further, just a breath, just enough to let him know. And oblivious to audience and applause, his now fearless left hand will reach further and clutch her right hand firmly. His fingers will intertwine with hers. And he will close his burning eyes and take deep breaths while slowly counting to ten as he tries to calm his quickening heart.

Friday, September 18, 2009


On the edge of space and time there exists a city named Lafindumonde. This is no ordinary city. Its people are no ordinary people. So where's the distinction?

In the city of Lafindumonde people know, with precision, the date and time of their passing. Their lives are defined by this knowledge. They are on a schedule of events they enjoy, rather than a schedule of duties, responsibilities, errands, and chores. Their professional lives matter less, their personal lives more. There is no mulling over the next mortgage, car, or flat screen TV payment. There is less CNN, QVC, and HBO, and more sunsets, tides, and birds. Interests are geared less toward supervisors, colleagues, and acquaintances, and more toward friends, family, and neighbors. There is less Wanchai Ferry, Hot Pockets, and Burger King at the dinner table, and more homemade chicken soup, beef stew, and crème caramel. There are less corporate parties, business dinners, and "highly recommended" social events to attend, and more garden parties, small dinners with neighbors, and quiet movie nights at home.

In the spring, the people of Lafindumonde take their little ones out to see the glory of the daffodils in bloom. The little ones are told the daffodils won't be around for long, so every day in their presence is a crystallized dewdrop. Bumble bees buzzing around lavender bushes in front yards are not mere background music; they are an intricate part of the spring season.

When the summer months arrive, the families of Lafindumonde are at the beach and in the parks, enjoying the water and the sand and the trees and the grass and the endless blue sky. The children are playing with beach balls, building sand castles, enjoying picnics, picking worms, and flying kites.

In the fall, everyone returns home to somewhat of a grounding time. An ordinary work schedule resumes - the usual thirty-hour week. The children return to school - four days out of seven. In the early evenings, couples go out for walks in the woods. They enjoy the splendor of the changing colors, the crackle of dry leaves under their feet, the light crispness of the air.

When winter comes, Lafindumonde is a quiet city, but no one is hibernating indoors. Everyone is out to see the first fall of snow and watch it melt on the sidewalks. The outdoor cafés are packed with pink faces drinking hot chocolate and cider and watching the children play tag around the fountain on the town square. And with the winter freeze comes the highest entertainment - listening to the sound of boots squishing in the snow.

This is how the people of Lafindumonde live, every season, every year.

One day, a stranger comes to the city. We'll call him Mr. Z. He's not a visitor. He's here to stay. Because it is customary for the residents of Lafindumonde to know the exact date and time of their passing, the new arrival is informed of his facts by the town spokesperson. But this information does not have the desired effect on Mr. Z. Rather than doing as the people of the city do, he goes on a schedule of collecting, bookkeeping, hording, recording, preparing, hiding. He is ravenous for anything and everything. Grasping. Clinging. Tenacious. And soon after, he invites a female companion, also from out of town, to join him in Lafindumonde. The townspeople, until now, have not bothered with Mr. Z and his pettiness, but the arrival of this companion is a threat of changes to come. It is only a matter of time before things are no longer as they used to be.

The townspeople are nervous. Anxious. Jealous. They feel entitled to protect what is theirs. But as it is unlike them to force an issue, they ask their spokesperson to have a word with Mr. Z. Already, this is a sacrifice - meetings are not popular in Lafindumonde. During this meeting, the town spokesperson informs Mr. Z that his city's people live satisfied lives in the knowledge of their date and time of passing, and that they are not seeking any modifications to their way of life, especially by a person who came here initially seeking their way of life. And it is always easiest to swim with the current rather than against it, sir, the spokesperson tells Mr. Z. Mr. Z is pained by this exchange. He had hoped for more of a discussion and less of a monologue. He understands what the spokesperson is saying well enough, and he agrees with the logic behind it, except that there is one dilemma: he knows his date and time and is helpless to curb his instincts, his nature, which counter any attempt to change his habits and become like the people of Lafindumonde, who have evolved a contentment with the very knowledge that challenges him. And so, they come out of the meeting exactly as they had entered it, without an agreement. There is no animosity or resentment, but missing also are the feelings of hope and promise that hover over an inkling of accord between two previously opposed parties.

The people of Lafindumonde should not be mistaken as inflexible or backward. On the contrary. They have advanced their society intellectually, culturally, scientifically, technologically, beyond any other society. Everything in Lafindumonde functions with absolute punctuality, efficiency, precision, and perfection. Everything is planned, organized, and premeditated. Nothing is left to chance, fate, coincidence, or providence. Time, the most precious aspect of the city's existence, does not allow for such serendipities. The people should also not be considered cold or heartless simply because they know the dates and times of their deaths and the deaths of their loved ones, and yet are able to lead such serene lives. One may say that they are not as struck by the shock of parting with loved ones as we are. That they are able to plan for the arrival of such? Yes. That they can say their final goodbyes in a more eloquent and timely fashion? Yes. That they are better equipped to take care of unfinished business? Yes. But that they are heartless? No.

Mr. Z is intrigued by the clinical methodology the townspeople have adopted - it is what had brought him to Lafindumonde in the first place. Knowing that people in this city put in thirty hours of work a week and accomplish what they do and are paid large salaries and still have free time, plenty of it, for leisure and relaxation, had been the decision maker. But there is an unsettling element for him. Life in Lafindumonde is, if such a thing is possible, too designed, too perfect. It is true that Mr. Z had left his old town because life had become too intense with a fifty-hour work week and responsibilities too many to count. He had begun to feel like an indentured slave to his house, his car, his job, the fillings in his teeth, all of which required him to work like a beast so he could pay pay pay. So what had his options been but to explore, in what should have been his golden years, the possibility of a new life in a new place with a different vision of what is ideal? And so he had happened upon Lafindumonde. And, if truth be told, the townspeople had given him the facts before he made a decision; there was no deception involved. So, what to do, now?

Going against the current is something that Mr. Z acknowledges he can't risk; the spokesperson was right about that. And so, following several days of deliberation, within himself, and with his companion, on a cruel and brittle January morning, after the holidays and festivities are over, Mr. Z and his companion leave the key of their rental home under the mat at their front door, pack their few belongings into their car, and drive out of Lafindumonde while the city sleeps, knowing they will never return.

The townspeople awaken to a new day of dark skies and endless snow. But as is their habit, they go about their daily activities with energy and optimism. By the lunch hour, every person in the town has heard of Mr. Z's departure, but the news is just that - news. There are no comments, speculations, or discussions over lunch in any of the cafés. With time being as precious as it is, there is not a moment to be lost. There is lunch to be enjoyed in the company of friends, and work to be done - all at a leisurely pace, of course. And there is a town gathering on the main square to be looked forward to, this evening. A new outsider from somewhere across the world is coming to Lafindumonde with hopes of establishing residence. And the town spokesperson will be there to deliver the facts.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Au revoir, Bruxelles

My husband breaks the news to me over the phone. Are you sitting down? I tell him to stop messing with me and just say what he has to say. We’re moving back to the States. I'm silent, trying to digest this information. There is no back to, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never lived in the States. For me, I’m just moving to the States. He breaks the silence. I can’t believe it – after twenty years. He sounds like he’s upset, or maybe excited, or confused. Either way, he'll be in the Sandbox for another four weeks. And then, he will come home to Belgium. And six weeks later, we will leave. This time for good.

I make a deal with myself: I have ten weeks – ten weeks to enjoy Brussels, my favorite city in Belgium. And I will enjoy it like I’m dying tomorrow. I do this because I know. We make promises and resolutions and decisions, all of them determined and sincere and final. And then we break them. And this time, like all the times before, we will promise to return, for Christmas or New Year’s or his birthday or mine. But we won’t come back. So this time, I am serious. And maybe everyone sees it in my eyes. So the vendor at Friterie Michel smothers my cone of fries with extra Samouraï sauce, and the waiter at La Rose Blanche sprays an extra tall tower of crème chantilly over my cappuccino. When you’re getting ready to leave somewhere, all of a sudden, it’s the only place that matters in the world, and the only place you want to be.

It’s a sunny day in Brussels. On Avenue Louise, I enter my favorite perfume boutique. It’s a French perfume boutique, but it’s in Brussels and this is what matters, for now. I choose as a departing gift to myself Le Jasmin, and the store manager, a middle-aged lady with the body and face of a runway model, and who has been very nice to me these past three years, gives me a miniature flacon as a gift. For the plane ride, she says. We embrace. Perhaps we will see one another again, she says. Perhaps, I tell her. But I doubt it, I tell myself.

In the Gallerie du Roi, I go to a tapestry shop. I buy myself a shoulder bag with a floral motif and a monogrammed lace handkerchief. On my way out of the store, I see a small replica of the Manneken Pis with a corkscrew for a penis and take it for my husband; I know he will get a kick out of it. I exit the store and cross the Gallerie to Neuhaus, or Chocolate Decadence, as my husband calls it. A lovely young lady with dazzling blue eyes is manning one of the counters, and she summons me with a bright smile. And which chocolates would you like today, Madame? Some caprices, some Manons noirs, maybe some truffes? Or would you like to try the tentations? She indicates the various chocolates with her perfect mauve fingernails. Could I have six violettes, please? I ask her. Mais ouai, Madame. You like the flowers. Such delicate flavor! She offers me a ganache. I take it and thank her. The sky is clouding over, she says as she gently places my six violet chocolates in a sachet, seals it with a Neuhaus sticker, and hands it to me. This is Belgium, she continues, taking the twenty-euro note I offer her and walking to the cash register. Nothing changes in Belgium, she says. At least not with the weather. Nor with the government, for that matter, she adds with a sarcastic chuckle as she walks back to the counter with my change. I tell you, Madame. She looks into my eyes as if she is about to impart some very critical knowledge. We have been six months without a government in this country, she says, stabbing the counter gently with the side of her free hand. What kind of country survives without a government for six months? She's still hanging on to my change, holding it hostage until she is finished with what she has to say. I don’t think she is waiting for an actual response to her question, so I don’t offer one, though I feel like I've earned the right. I have been a resident of Belgium for three years, speak French like a native, and have passed for one on many occasions. Doesn’t that entitle me? Six months! she repeats, tossing up her hands and rolling her eyes around in disbelief. Think of it, Madame. C’est ridicule! She hands me my change. What we need is a man like Nicolas Sarkozy, she says, pointing her index finger with conviction. A man with balls, she says decisively, holding her hands out like she’s handling testicles. I have to ask myself why a woman who just saw me for the first time in her life less than five minutes ago would use the word balls with me, and I'm uncertain about how to respond to this unexpected and unusual show of informality. But my response hardly matters. She wants to play the pundit, and who am I to stop her? As she wipes the countertop with a damp towel, she apologizes for giving me an earful. Don’t worry about it, I tell her. It was my pleasure. At the door, I pause, taking a deep breath and closing my eyes, as if to seal this sharp, bitter, sweet, fruity, floral aroma inside my brain. Ça va, Madame? my pundit friend asks me. Everything is just fine, I say with a smile.

I have spent the last two years, nine months, and twelve days of my life being annoyed with the rain, with the inconvenience of having to carry an umbrella wherever I went. But now, the rain of Belgium is a precious treasure that I have only ten weeks to enjoy. I walk out of the chocolate shop, back down the Gallerie to its entrance, and into the torrent drumming like shards of shattered glass upon the Grand’Place. It is so true. Nothing has changed in Belgium. Not the centuries-old buildings whose sides have been rubbed by tens of thousands of appreciating hands. Not the cobblestone square that has been trampled by unwitting feet and carpeted with colorful tulips. Not the sky, which can go from baby blue to lead gray faster than you can say “Bang!” And not the Belgians themselves, who have been so kind and friendly to both my husband and me, though he is a service member in a military that is fighting a war they do not support.

Four weeks later, my husband returns. My joy is boundless. When I open the door for him and see him for the first time in five months, I realize that this is the happiest moment of my life. But my joy is tarnished by the knowledge that soon it will be time for both of us to go.

For six weeks, we visit our favorite outdoor cafés on the Place Ste. Catherine, eating moules frites by the tub and swallowing it all down with half-liters of Hoegaarden and Chimay. We bargain with the artists on the Grand’Place and buy two or three of their amateurish sketches, just to say we did it. We chat with the tourists and brag, We live here, our hearts dark because that is soon to change. And when the sky blackens with clouds, we don’t open our umbrellas, because we want the rain falling out of the sky of Brussels to baptize us.

On November 7, a shuttle waits in front of our hotel to take us to Zaventem Airport. In tow, I have with me a symbolic tribute to Belgium: a small ballotin of homemade chocolates, my tiny flacon of Le Jasmin, my tapestry shoulder bag with the floral motif, and my monogrammed lace handkerchief for the tears I know will come. It does not rain on the drive to the airport. Maybe some things do change, after all? Maybe just for today? On the plane I take the window seat, as usual. I settle into my chair, fasten my seat belt, secure my monogrammed lace handkerchief in my right hand, and lean my forehead against the window. The dark clouds roll in. I watch, waiting for the first drop of rain to spark on my window. And the rain begins to fall, so swiftly, so suddenly, so violently, I miss the first drop. It is raining in Brussels. It is always raining in Brussels. And it is always raining in Belgium. What had made me think it would be otherwise, today? Nothing changes in Belgium – at least not with the weather. Nor with the government, for that matter. Ten weeks later, the Belgians still don’t have a government. And the rain will not stop. Not even for my departure. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Voice of Insomnia

You think you don't know me, Hannah Baum, but think again. I've slept in your bed, rested my body in the same place you rest yours, so heavy with child, every night. I've laid my head on your pillow and read your thoughts that are so haunted by the natural childbirth you know you can't risk. I’ve been in your closet and worn your clothes, and your husband has snapped shots of me posing like a happy hippie, dressed in your 1960s floral hat with the purple trim, and nothing else. I’ve tried on your comical granny shoes, the ones with insoles, the ones you’re always wearing because you’re always pregnant. We laughed at you behind our hands, your husband and I, like teenagers sharing a secret. My back, my stomach, my legs, my hair, have been caressed by the 1,500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets our man bought you for Valentine's Day, and the smell of my skin has mingled with the smell of yours. I didn't get her anything for her, specifically, he’d told me. We’ll be using them, too, you and me. And it's true that we'd stained the burgundy sheets with our love. But is this consolation? I can't leave her, he says. What would happen with the kids?
When he's with you, I’m in my bed aching for him. You’re in your bed, with him at your side breathing deeply. My man has no worries, you tell yourself, and you smile like a moronic beast. It’s a sham, Hannah. His rest is the rest of the guilty. He prays, before he kisses your breasts swollen with milk for his fifth child, that he won’t whisper I love you, Isabel into your ear when his body is dancing in ecstasy and his mind is bent at an obtuse angle from reality. He prays to some God of the Unfaithful every night, before he succumbs to sleep, that he won't wake up in the middle of the night screaming the name of another woman. Who knows how many lovers he has? But you don't get any sleep, either. You're on your back, like me, staring blindly at the ceiling in the pitch-blackness of the night, your right hand resting on your belly, like you can protect your child from the truth.
I know what you're thinking, Hannah. You're thinking you're scared about the natural childbirth, though you're not letting on. You're thinking maybe you should go with the C-section, after all - doctor says there's still time to change your mind. You're thinking this man is the father of your four kids and the fifth that's on the way, and he’s so in love with you his heart is bursting with it. But you're so wrong, Hannah, and you know it – you know there’s another woman. You know because he’s left home for “the office” at the oddest hours. You know because your intuition made you call his office one day to ask about the number to the hotel he was staying in on his “conference trip to Albuquerque,” and they’d said, What conference? And you know because after five kids and eight years of marriage, there's no room for I'm fliphappy in love. You're more like friends than lovers. You're spouses – comfortable in the familiarity of one another’s presence and in your shared contentment with mediocrity. And you know why else you're wrong, Hannah? Because he loves me - Isabel - but he won’t tell you that. You are about to have his fifth child, and he doesn’t want to upset you by confirming your suspicions. He keeps watering you like a tree and you keep bearing him fruit; it’s a win-win situation for both of you. I concede – he'll never leave you. But...
If I tell you something, Hannah, can you handle it? If I tell you I'm carrying his child, too, can you handle it? Yes, it's true. No, he doesn't know, and I'm not going to tell him. I'll let him figure it out. And he'll have to fight it out with himself over whether or not he's going to tell you about his love child. I know it's cruel of me. Really, I do. But it'll give him something to think about. For once, he'll be staying up at night, not you and me. He'll be on his back with his eyeballs glued to the ceiling, our man. It won't be long, now.
I know the barrenness in your chest when you don't have someone to go to in your time of need. I know the restless anxiety of driving around in the devil’s hour, on your third sleep-deprived night in a row, your body as stiff as a block of ice, your senses as charged as live wire, trying to hypnotize yourself on the deserted, floodlit roads. When you’ve had enough of white snow on black asphalt, black ice, rain, black ice, white snow, rain, white asphalt, black snow, black ice, you take yourself home and carefully lay yourself down in bed, closing your bloodshot, burning eyes with a sense of relief because, surely, now, you will sleep. You stretch out your sore legs, all the way to the footboard, like someone is pulling on them. But your hands are rolled up into hard little cannonballs and your eyes are like glass marbles. You can't take a sleeping pill. You can't have a drink. But you won't have to worry about that, Hannah, because I'll be there for you. And for him. When your fifth child is here, there’ll be no more lovemaking in your home. Oh, don’t worry, you’re not going to be that ugly. But you’re not going to be that pretty, either. Your face, which is now glowing with hormones, will be ashen and pasty, like the pith of an orange. Your body will be a deflating mass of flesh. You'll have bat wings under your arms, stretch marks on your stomach, fat dimples on your ass, and mini donuts around your eyes. So he'll be coming to me for his doses of toe-curling pleasure. And when it’s time for me... well, I’ll worry about that then. I’m not due for another eight months.
You think I'm crazy, Hannah. Crazy or drunk or stoned or maybe hallucinating or maybe all of these things put together. No. I am tired. But my mind is as sharp as a razor. And I'll be waiting for you. And for him. And when I have our love child, our man will never leave me, either.