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January 1, 2009 | Fiction

Two Stories

Grace Andreacchi

Two Stories photo

Shopping

I was sitting at the kitchen table, it was morning, the light was pale and fine, he was messing about, making something nice for me to eat. 'I want you to come with me to buy a table,' he said. 'A new table for the dining room, a nice big table.' Yes, I thought, this is great, let's go shopping together — and I'll take him to that new shop with the pretty dresses in the Schönhauser Allée and I bet he'll buy me a pretty dress. And he'll be bored because men hate shopping, but he'll certainly want to buy me a dress. And I smiled at him and said, 'Yes, but keep this table for when we have a baby. It's good to have a table in the kitchen when you have a kid — then he can sit at the table while you're cooking and you can keep an eye on him while he eats or fools around or whatever.' And he came right up close to me, gingerly he took hold of my hair and said, 'When you have a baby, I'll brush your hair for you. Isn't that right? Pregnant women have trouble brushing their hair?' 'I never had any trouble brushing my hair,' I said. 'But I'll let you brush my hair if you want to, my darling.' And he moved away from me across the kitchen and stood very still with his back to me, loving me very hard with his back and the nape of his neck.



Tonight I am Ingrid Bergman

Bend over, he says, holding the flashlight close so it burns my skin. But tonight I don't mind, because tonight I am Ingrid Bergman in a black lace cocktail dress with a skirt that eclipses the moon and the stars, with slow eyes that glow a helmet of golden hair a silver laugh and a coat of pure one hundred percent illegal ocelot. Notice my Swedish accent. We will always have Paris. Tonight I am Audrey Hepburn just look at my beautiful bones all draped in skinny black my cigarette holder between my slightly off-colour teeth (wartime hardships I suffered as a child) my feet childishly awkward in stiletto heels. I told you not to touch that he says, smacking me. Touch it, he says. Touch it again. But I don't care because tonight I am Marilyn Monroe and everybody wants to touch me, everybody wants a piece of me, even the President of the United States until I can't take it anymore so I tell everyone I'm dead and run off to the Nevada desert where I live forever along with Elvis, John Lennon, Jesus, Mozart and anybody else you care to name.

image: Ryan Molloy


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