Today will not be a good day to die. Because everyone would know that I didn’t bother to shave my legs. That I still wore maternity shorts. That I hadn’t unloaded the dishwasher past sunset. Nor touched the dirty dishes. Dishes dirtied by frozen meals I’d burnt while produce rotted in the fridge. While cobwebs collected behind the children’s bed. The mountain of blankets on the bed that would sprout dust fountains when they bounced. Their bouncing off walls on an overdose of M&Ms they had for lunch. Walls fortressing me with stubborn bricks of fear. Fear of life, of death and the comatose in-between.
Mango. How does one begin to attack this fruit?
A deformed velociraptor screeches across my face followed by a panting tyrannosaurus. It is rescued by the fleet of matchbox cars recycled from a stash of the older sibling’s first birthday gifts. His hand-me down shorts are a season too small, but at least the grinning piranha on his t-shirt is new.
My mother leans back against the damp moss of the tree and polishes her prize on the pleats of her skirt. She carves a golden orb of diamonds in a practiced symmetry. A river of stickiness drips down her elbows.
He peeks through a crack on the terrace walls. There are balloons, bubbles and children whizzing by on scooters. He is three years old today. This is not his party.
Perhaps I can just bite through this toughness.
He returns to the pizza hardening on the counter adorned by tiki-themed danglers that were leftover from his baby shower. They don’t really care for pizza anymore, but that is all I’m serving. Like gum on a sole it is fused with their notion of a birthday party and I cannot rob their godless lives of these slices of tradition.
A taste of flesh ends in a violent ripping of skin and breathless consumption, a hunger known only to lovers denied.
The older sibling huffs about in circles ignoring the groans of his bike. Forced to spend the evening at home, the shrieks of his friends next door taunt him as he licks away tears before they soak the straps digging into his chin. “It’s your brother’s birthday today. You need to be here. You need to make this fun”.
Ravished and bare, its hairs stand coarse and ugly against limp skin. All sweet things must end.