Salvatore Difalco: “Playmate”

Playmate

Amorphous, hazy morning. The fleshy stocking-clad brunette in my bedroom requests a Coca-Cola and a magazine. She is an image from a dated magazine, and I am the printed ephemera crowding the margins. Instead of despairing, I gaze out the kitchen window.

Blue, red and yellow dots make up the view, with passing people thick-lined in black to separate them from the scenery and from each other. A wandering path with no clear point of departure or arrival meanders anesthetically through different densities of green.

“Where’s that drink? I’m bored. I’m really bored.”

“Coming right up, hon.”

And I am like a defeated nation; fear and dread fill my mind like stick figures fleeing from fire. Many comrades fell during the fighting. The generals are all mad. I need more than psychology to sort out the minefield my thoughts have become.

“Hurry. I’m dying of thirst. And I’m dying of boredom.”

“There are better ways of expressing society’s failings.”

I am not hurrying. I shut my eyes and move through suspended bamboo poles of resentment, into a spot-lit clearing, the poles gently swaying and knocking together behind me like giant wind chimes. Photographic fragments of my past flash by. A lost history. But all memory is lost history.

“I’m getting sweaty!”

“Maybe you’d rather bleed.”

“What’s that supposed to mean? You can’t talk like that to me. I’m American.”

“You’re from Buffalo.”

“I’m still American.”

“You grew up an hour away.”

“You don’t own a gun, do you?”

The word gun slides into my ears like mud. A chill goes through me. The kitchen looks composed of Ben Day dots. I feel like an opium smoker resting against a monument. I feel incongruous.

“I feel incongruous.”

“That Coca-Cola better be cold.”

The hard edges of her words clack together, then soften and merge to form one sound: “Caw. Caw. Caw.” It’s as if a giant eagle occupies my bedroom, with a giant beak and cruel, horny eyes.

 

Salvatore Difalco‘s work has appeared in a number of print and online formats. He lives in Toronto.

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