ofelia's castle

< my eventual bloodless coup / by ofelia hunt >

i am happy today, i think

I email my sister.

I write: "I’m sorry I punched your face when you were eight years old, on your birthday. I think I used to have a temper problem and I couldn't stop myself because your face looked like a punching bag I saw on television, but you should consider yourself lucky that I didn't try to punch your face rapidly, many times in a row, because, at the time, I thought your face looked kind of like a speed bag or something, and I thought I could be a boxer, and boxers need to practice."

It is Saturday and I am alone in my apartment. There is a movie on television. It is Rocky IV. In Rocky IV, Rocky boxes to defend America from communism after a communist boxer kills Apollo Creed in a boxing match. I'm bored and I sit on the couch and watch Rocky train for his match with the communist boxer in the snow but the movie is not very satisfying and it reminds me of my sister and I feel lonely and bored at the same time and I notice that I haven't talked yet today, not to anyone. I say aloud, "I haven't talked yet today." Saying 'I haven't talked yet today' doesn't satisfy me, so I walk into the kitchen and take the peanut-butter from the cupboard and twist the lid off and eat the peanut-butter with a spoon, and the peanut-butter tastes good and fulfilling, and I imagine I can feel the peanut-butter's proteins moving through my stomach and into my blood and moving all around my body, and I think about enzymes and other stuff I don't really understand, like mitochondria and vacuoles. I say aloud, "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell." I try to imagine a mitochondria in my cells.

I check my email. My sister has emailed me back. She writes: "I'm sorry I shaved off your eyebrows when you were fourteen. I hated you then."

I walk into the bathroom and look at the bathroom mirror and carefully look at my eyebrows which have never really grown back perfectly since my sister shaved them off when I was fourteen. I say aloud, "My sister is a stupid bitch." It doesn't matter that I said that because my sister can't hear me and I think I should probably email her back but I don't want to so, instead, I say aloud, "It is stupid to talk to yourself when you're alone in the bathroom."

I go outside and get into my car and drive around the streets for a while but it is Saturday and the streets are mostly empty.

I drive into the Safeway parking-lot and carefully park my little Honda. It is raining outside and I'm not wearing a jacket so I run across the parking-lot and into the store but I get wet anyway and my socks are wet too because I stepped into a puddle. I walk through the produce section and admire the eggplants and bananas and red peppers. There is a boy stocking red peppers and I walk up to the boy and I say aloud, "I came to the Safeway because I was bored and hadn't talked all day and now I want to drink a Pepsi."

The boy looks confused because he's probably not used to people talking to him when he's stocking red peppers. He says, "Good for you."

"Yes it is," I say.

He says, "What is?"

"Coming to Safeway to get a Pepsi is good for me," I say.

He says, "Oh."

I look at the red peppers because they are very shiny and maybe waxy. I say, "Do you wax the peppers to make them shiny?"

He says, "No," and turns his shoulders slightly away from me and starts to move toward the bananas. He says, "I have to stock bananas now."

"Then you should stock bananas," I say.

"Okay, I will then," he says. He begins to stock bananas.

"Are those bananas ripe?" I ask.

"Yes," he says.

"Thank you," I say.

I walk slowly toward the 'Cold Beverages' sign. There is an open refrigerator and from the open refrigerator I select a bottle of Pepsi and carry the Pepsi toward the check-stands where many people are standing in line waiting for cashiers to trade them the things they want to buy for money. I stand in line at the 'Express Lane' and wonder if I want a Kit Kat or something. The man in front of me has gray hair and he needs to shave, but it is Saturday and men probably don't shave on Saturdays. He is buying red peppers. The red peppers are shiny and waxy looking. I say, "I see that you're buying red peppers. Do you ever wonder why they look so shiny?"

The man's face is round and bumpy. He tries to smile and he says, "I don't usually wonder things."

"The boy who stocks the red peppers told me that they usually wax the red peppers every morning with candle wax and that is why they are so shiny all the time."

"Oh," he says.

I look at his round and bumpy face. I say, "Do you think I should buy a Kit Kat?"

He says, "Do you think you should buy a Kit Kat?"

"Yes," I answer.

"Then you should buy a Kit Kat."

The man turns away and trades money for his red peppers and walks quickly out of Safeway with his red peppers in a small plastic bag.

The cashier scans my Pepsi and my Kit Kat and tells me to give him money. I give him money and I go outside and outside the rain is still raining but the sky seems lighter and maybe even sunny and I get in my Honda and drive around drinking Pepsi and eating my Kit Kat and I find a curvy road and drive down the curvy road fast and turn on my radio and listen to music and smile at the music because it is very fast-paced and I can't understand the words. I say aloud, "My little Honda should have mitochondria in its cells so it can burn proteins and go even faster on curvy roads." I say aloud, "It is time to go home."

I drive my car toward my apartment building. I turn off my radio and listen to the outside which is the sound of tires rolling on wet asphalt. It has stopped raining. It is sunny now and the sun is shining through my window and inside my car the sunlight is magnified by my window and it feels warm and comfortable inside my car. I park in my parking spot near my apartment. I lean my seat back and feel the comfortable sun magnified into my car by my windshield and feel warm by myself in my car. I say aloud, "I should talk a nap."

A few hours later, I wake up and my car is cold and it is dark outside and raining again. I go inside my apartment and turn on my television and Rocky V is on, which is boring, so I check my email but no one has emailed me so I go in the kitchen and eat peanut-butter with a spoon.