ofelia's castle

< my eventual bloodless coup / by ofelia hunt >

i want the glass panel tinted

On Saturday afternoon I tell my boyfriend, "I want my left eyeball and right ear removed while you watch through a two-inch glass panel. The glass panel is important. It will stop you from saving my eye and ear because you will want to save my eye and ear and the two-inch glass panel will keep you away. I want the glass panel tinted so you can see in but so I can't see out so I don't have to see your little black eyes going sad or your little hairy hands palming the glass panel. I should be lighted fluorescently and I should sit on a small chrome stool. My room should be large and white, so white that it is difficult to see the corners of the room, and the room should be perfectly square, or maybe cubical, or something, and the floor itself should be fluorescent light panels to match the fluorescent light panels in the ceiling. For the ear, a cleaver with white handle, and for the eye, a large white awl, I think. I don't know why. I don't necessarily want to remove these pieces myself. Perhaps a classroom of small girls should remove them, or a gang of tiny terrorists, and you could sit behind the two-inch glass panel in a comfortable chair with a beverage holder so that you could set down your extra-large fountain soda, probably Pepsi-Cola, because this is your favorite soda, and lean forward and palm the two-inch glass panel. I will instruct the small girls or tiny terrorists or small girl tiny terrorists about how to remove my eye and ear and allow them to play their favorite pop music quietly in the background for both me and you and they will probably choose a kind of hip-hop ballad for this, maybe Justin Timberlake. I think I would like my eye and ear removed to a sexy Justin Timberlake song because it would make me feel warm and like dancing and you could even dance in your soft little chair with beverage holder, but don't knock over your Pepsi-Cola. I don't want you to be thirsty, ever."

My boyfriend looks at my forehead and says, "Why do you say things like that?"

"I was joking."

"I don't think you're joking, you're always saying stuff like that."

"I'm just being funny because I'm bored and tired of watching TV with you and I wanted to know how long I could talk without you stopping me but you didn't stop me because you don't care about anything and are a nihilist or something."

"Let's go for a walk, maybe."

We walk up the street past the square apartment buildings and the AM/PM with the flat roof and cross a couple of streets, and then past the elementary school. I think about a gang of adolescent girl terrorists removing my eye and ear with a cleaver and with an awl. I visualize them in a tall ice cave. They are wearing white jeans and white t-shirts. They all have the same face and long hair and strange blue eyes and they don't smile and they all are wearing cute hoodies with zippers. I tell this to my boyfriend.

He says, "I think we should go to the grocery store and buy sodas and walk to the park."

At the grocery store, the cashier tells us the truth behind Jeopardy and how to win, which really is to watch the show every day and read current events in the newspaper and study a lot. His eyes are little marbles rolling around and he has a cold. We forget to get our Club Card savings and spend three dollars too much. We get our three dollars at the Customer Service desk and run into the parking-lot laughing. I stop laughing and my boyfriend looks at me like he wants to know why I'm not laughing and I pretend to smile but I know he knows I'm not really smiling and we walk out of the parking-lot not smiling and not laughing and not talking.

We sit under a tall tree at the park and watch the little children spinning on the merry-go-round and swinging on the swing-set. I don't think that the little children are thinking about anything because all little children are selfish nihilists because they just want to have fun all the time and ignore the world and drink soda and eat candy, which is why the world is meaningless and boring and stupid. I tell my boyfriend but he is smiling at the little children and I don't think he hears me. He holds my hand and I let him and then lean against the tall tree and feel the tree-bark with my hand. It is rough and comfortable and not sticky with sap.

"You should drink your soda," my boyfriend says.

I drink my soda and let the bubbles bubble up in my mouth and move around between my teeth. It is sweet and dark and I want to drink Pepsi-Cola every day for the rest of my life and eat candy bars and sit at the park even when it is foggy and cold.