Ponytails of Mercury Girls


I stand over my kitchen sink, the “bachelor’s dining table” and wash down my hamburger and fries with Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream, 9 big spoonsful. The florescent bulbs from under the cabinets catches the red in the fur on my belly, my big round belly which has taken now almost three years living in New Orleans to sculpt. I’m 100% good with it. If he don’t’ love this version of me, he don’t love me. And I wish to fuck he would hurry up and show while I can still get a hard on.


As I look back over my life, there are many things that, if given the opportunity to do over, I would hope to do them in a higher and better way. But the past is the past and it is unchangeable. The only thing we can change about the past is the way we think and feel about it. May the mistakes of my past give me the desire to make fewer of them in the future. That’s been a goal. I can’t really say I’ve achieved it that much but I try. But for all of them, these things I might—regret? Do I have regrets? My experience has made me who I am and I’m (finally)(mostly) good with this dude but yes, when I was an asshole, I wish I hadn’t been an asshole so okay, I guess I do have regrets but I will never, ever regret having stood beside a few of my patriotic and dedicated fellow citizens on the right side of a battle for the soul of the nation. We’ve all done a good thing together. There is much yet to be done.


When I was little my mother would go out right after Thanksgiving and gather cedar. She’d place it on the mantle with red candles sticking up out of it and spay that fake white snow stuff on them. The Christmas tree, when it arrived, got a healthy dose of a can or two of “snow.” Then came the ornaments, some from my great-grandmother, strings of tiny glass beads. Then the rope tinsel in gold and silver, and of course the “icicles,” those tiny strips of silver Mylar that swayed when someone passed like a hula skirt in the wind. I’d take one off and use it as floss whenever I got tangerine bits stuck between my teeth; there were always tangerines and peppermints at Christmastime. There was a small hallowed-out log with mixed nuts and the tools to do surgery on them stayed in holes on the side. A small, foggy-plastic tree held gumdrops on each point until I passed by of course. Mother would replenish them.  My grandmother, Mamma Key, who lived down the hill from us had one of those all-silver trees with each branch looking like a metal coat hanger that had been straightened out to roast marshmallows but ended up shish kebab-ing  about a dozen or so ponytails cut from little girls who’d consumed way too much mercury—or that’s what they looked like to me. Mamma Key had one of color wheels that made the tree change from red to green to blue to orange, sort of a midcentury modern insertion to our countryfolk Christmas theme. There was a little Santa Claus doll who stood underneath the tree holding a tiny Coca-Cola. It looked tasty and I remember wondering how I could get the little lid off to drink the Coke inside. I miss my family and those old-time Christmases.


Whitman’s come in to tell me it’s time for bed. I’ll defer to his wisdom.

About this entry