Thursday, December 4, 2008

Distractions (Fiction) by Lydia Suarez

by Lydia Suarez

A Dad blows leaves at 9:00 am Saturday mornings near a fence which borders his neighbor's trees he secretly poisoned after they dropped whirly birds on his Kentucky blue grass, except the world began with a whirl. The noise drowns out his autistic kid who never stops hounding him.

In the bagel shop, a contractor orders coffee regular and thinks about the time he tried on his mother's underwear.

At the Farmer's market, the sushi chef greets every customer, the owner's daughter draws on walls and workers from Guatemala unpack pomegranates. The divorced mother of two examines cleansing teas, wake-up teas and sleepy teas and considers steeping them all together. She buys earl grey and French bread justifying her ex husband's parting blow, "You are a fried egg stuck on a pancake."

In the dry cleaner, a professor offers his stained ties to a clerk who realizes she forgot to defrost the chicken for dinner but who remembers bio class where she studied how some female insects glue their eggs to the males. The Ph. D. reflects on his stalled career and stalled marriage. He visualizes authoring the next self-help hit and auditions his first line, "The resentments of childhood have a long shelf life."

A wife rounds hydrangea shrubs as a squirrel rushes the lawn and hurls onto the trunk of a pine like the laborer on the cooking show who hung from a tall tree limb dropping avocados like infants from a burning building while the chef discussed the superiority of the Hass variety because they were not filled with water. Only everything is made of water. Except for Americans who are giant corn chips. Products of another failed government project like when Castro razed all the fruit trees to create a utopian state and starved the population.

In the kitchen, a mother chops the heads off strawberries and lets the knife blade skim her wrist. Then she squirts whip cream into her mouth. The professor finds his flash drive in a pair of khakis in the washer. It still works.

The dog discovers the baguette in her purse, eats half, chases the cat like in a cartoon and passes out from thirst until the contractor arrives and gets attacked by the pug whose been awakened from a canine coma by doorbell chimes.

The wife of the neighbor with dead trees paces an aisle of anti-aging creams that promise to hydrate, lift, erase, renew and turn back time while her husband bangs the twenty-five year old intern at the office and a computer calculates pi to the 50 billionth place.

And the girl imagines waves in Kenya and wonders whether she will ever witness the vastness of an African sky and why she feels like Saturn's son being devoured.

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