[work in progress]
what goes on.
When she was 3, Anna buried herself up to her neck in her front yard. Her parents brought out lawn chairs and drinks with tiny umbrellas and watched as she blistered in the sun.
Before she falls asleep at night, Anna imagines she’s again buried in her hole. After 7 hours she began to find a sort of comfort beneath the surface.
What makes her happiest these days is digging holes. She measures their depths by the height of children.
She had a child once.
She learned not all children can live in holes.
She is afraid that in effort to make others know the peace she has found she will bury everyone she loves.
She goes to the park.
She sits on benches and stares at pregnant bellies and hopes for another chance.
He knows this will never work.
This will never work, thinks Brian.
His path is littered with holes.
There are just so many holes, thinks Brian.
They haven’t even bothered to cover them with sticks and twigs.
He falls in anyway.
The effort they could put into arranging sticks and twigs in a deceptive manner is much better spent on forging new trails in directions he wouldn’t consider for fear of freezing to death with those 3 children he’s never had, the 4 of them huddled together, 2 miles from the parking lot in a state park and that kind of thing doesn’t just happen, that actual thing did.
He’s safe and warm in his hole.
‘I can’t thrive in boxes’ he says from the passenger seat of her 97’ station wagon as he slowly runs a glass cutter across the window in the shape of a real human heart, reaches around and out the backseat window, taps the cut form onto his lap, offers it to her.
‘You could’ve just cracked the window’ she says, hands on the steering wheel.
‘But I didn’t. It’s perfectly intact.’
‘Maybe your heart is, but what about that hole in the window?’
‘I know. Beautiful, right?’
‘Yes, but not very practical.’
She takes her eyes off the road and places them on his chest. Why a heart? she thought. How cliché. Fragile pre-owned heart he holds in his hand. Oh look. The sharp edges are even digging into the folds in his hand where he rests his pen.
He reaches over and jerks the wheel out of oncoming traffic.
She pulls off to the side, cranks her window down, flings the heart out.
He giggles or sneezes, she’s not sure which.
She drives back onto the road.
Wind whistles through the heart-hole.
She wants the sound to make her angry but instead it’s lulling her to sleep.
She pulls into the salon.
He watches through the hole as she ice skates to the door, slices a perfect arrow in the asphalt on her way.
I want a famous face she tells the stylist. Or just one that is different would be fine. Yes that’s what makes sense to me.
The stylist looks like a Barb or maybe that’s just because she’s thinking of barbers.
Barb cranks her chair up to chin height, spins her around so Anna stares straight into her own eyes. Now THAT makes sense she thinks as Barb walks in a circle around her, making large arm movements and mumbling gently to herself.
Anna watches the skin grow heavy around her cheekbones, her jowls sag to her clavicle.
Her nose dissolves.
Her eye sockets deepen, her eyes sit like birthday candles atop two devils food cupcakes no frosting please.
Her gaze blazes ahead. She sees only black.
She blinks and she’s back, her face unchanged but something is different.