When I was about twelve years old, my grandmother's dog Pepper shit on me as I slept. I was adorned in a new pink t-shirt, one I had purchased for two dollars (an substantial sum in that time and place) at a garage sale. Pepper, a notoriously low-energy poodle (in contrast to our poodle Peppy, a hyper little thing who died at a very old age of exhaustion from trying to hump our German Shepherd), who mainly ate and slept during his tenure at our house, had managed to crawl up and perform an almost acrobatic feat to plant his feces square in the center of my back. When my father tried to wake me up, he started to yell, don't roll over, don't roll over and walked out of the room for toilet paper. My mother heard the commotion, ran in, and went into hysterics. I always thought that t-shirt looked like shit, she said. She had been against the purchase from the very beginning. My father removed the dog shit, and although I continued to loathe Pepper, I had a new respect. The dog had made his feelings known, for crying out loud. Eventually my mother posited the theory that demons had possessed Pepper and forced him to hover over my back and perform his midnight surprise. Hate, demons, a weak g.i. tract? Who knew? Evil only needs opportunity, not motive. I can still see the t-shirt that I was so proud of as I threw it in the trash, one of the first of many things that I have bought with great hope and abandoned for dead when it became clear that nothing good could come of it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It is the dangerous hour of clear understanding." Colette
2 ozs. blended whiskey
1/2 oz. Southern comfort
1/4 cup of thawed frozen peaches
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 1/2 ozs. lemon juice
1 oz. orange juice
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 slice lemon
Put all ingredients except the ice into the blender. Pour the delightful concotion over the ice.
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Curbside Review:
Dubbed in Korean With Japanese Subtitles
Once a week, a few of my ex-boyfriends
would rent Kung-Fu movies, drink beer.
They were all buddies, you see, veterans
of the same war. I imagined them reliving
failed campaigns in the breaks between Bruce
Lee and Rolling Rock, my words repeated
with varying degrees of bitterness, but when
I asked a friend who also attended, he
said that they mostly avoided the subject
and watched whatever new they could find
on the racks. One night they rented a Jackie
Chan movie that was dubbed in Korean
with Japanese subtitles. Did they think
about returning it? I asked. At first, he says,
but after a few beers, they just wanted to see someone
get hurt even if they couldn’t understand why.