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All right. Here's mine. "Two Down, Five to Go"
Sloth. One of the deadly sins her mother always warned her about. Next to gluttony and lust, it was Glory’s favorite. It allowed her to sleep in as late as she wished. It encouraged TV watching while lying on the sofa – assuming she’d been ambitious enough to get out of bed. Upon upholstery, she believed herself an overachiever.
Remote in hand, Glory pushed herself up with one forearm. She wanted a sip of soda. The runners on the screen were making her thirsty. Silently wanting to train for a marathon didn’t make it so. “One foot in front of the other,” she’d assured herself, staring at the track. But, after two steps she’d deemed the messenger mostly unreliable.
“Move!” she’d ordered her sneakers, expecting the rubber soles to relay the directive – and hopefully do the work that she was truly loath to do. Instead of stretching her hamstrings, Glory did the next best thing – indulge her growing craving. She’d heard about this dynamite sushi restaurant up the street. And they delivered. For that, she’d even consider sitting up.
Food was far more interesting and caused less pain to her calf muscles. Or were they cankles? Sinking further into the couch, she didn’t care. She’d already stopped shaving. As a sloth, she’d planned to grow a concealing coat of fur that everyone would envy. She’d photograph her hairy pair and post the evidence online – if only she could reach her phone.
yes! wonderful wonderful and a big smile on my robotic face!
Nothing sadder than a broken tooth, the perfect irreplaceable shiny thing cracked, chipped, shattered, gone, leaving a jagged hole. It will make a mother cry like nothing else will. Yes, a broken foot will hinder your ability to move, and other snapped bones will dynamite your plans for a while. But one firm white thing is actually a living factory, converting food into a new self. The other solid white, that rounded rectangle with a lingering iceberg root under the gum, well, that will not grow a new tail. And so you are left with a tell-tale sign of something revealed every time you smile. And so you avoid smiling; you just doesn't want to have to watch the eyes drop and jolt, get snagged by the tooth, the thoughts running through the possibilities: carelessness? recklessness? hard luck? brawling? battering? Out the window of the train through Mexico's Copper Canyon, however, you see something so funny you can't help but peel your lips back: it's a cactus that looks like an old lady, leaning back, one hand on hip, the other in the “oh, come, on” wrist flick, laughing loud and wide. Her posture makes you think she's wearing an apron, carrying a hankie, ready to dab at happy tears. Next to her is a taller cactus neighbor, in slacks, leaning in, telling the joke that sets her off. You must have emitted a a sound, because the porter's eyes catch on your tooth. But he doesn't try to pretend he didn't see it. Instead, he runs his finger along his own front line, where the same tooth is a ragged diagonal, a mirror image of yours. Your finger goes to your own, your eyes lock onto his. You have found your sibling in brokenness, in unexplainable accident, in flash action that is no one's fault but leaves a trace forever. You and your twin do not speak the same language, but your mouths are open and you are folding in toward each other, reaching for the missing piece.
Crickets and train whistles in the damp night the lonely backdrop to dreams Daddy raced the country trains in his Cadillac drunk the wind blew my braids straight back we lived in a house right beside the track I don’t remember the house vibrating when they passed had to wait until we moved to the wrong side to crawl inside a train car jump off when it rolled one kid lost his foot I got blamed workmen unloaded food we hid under the ramp to scavenge cans needed to break rules stole apples my cousin got caught my aunt cried all the way to the train station she cried at the ramp waiting for me to board she cried and waved when I took my seat I’d kissed my cousin too many times and other boys too that was a great summer and then the lady on the train said I should babysit her kids while she drank with some men she came back drunk and shoved five bucks into my hand back home for junior year lost I dyed my hair blond then dynamite red the trains still unloaded and switched cars and sang their hearts out at midnight