Posts Tagged ‘idealism’

Flipping through the magazine
I find an ad for my life. They are selling it
at a discount—20 percent off if you call
this month. The children are smiling.
Their clothes are clean, their hair
brushed, and in the picture they
are picking up their yard toys, laughing.
My husband, very handsome, smiles at me adoringly,
and I smile back. My teeth are perfect,
though a tad yellow, my smile real.
My Volvo, sea foam with tan seats,
must have just been through the car wash,
and it shines in the golden light beside the garden,
which is weeded and hoed. The lettuce,
already up, is thinned, and at least
from this distance there are no aphids
in the leaves. In the upper left,
the solar eclipse has just begun, and
there is a sense that the birdsong
in the picture has just quieted
so that one might better hear
the hushed rush of the river, not pictured.
In the lower right corner
an asterisk snuggles up against
some very fine print that mentions
how the picture is merely a suggestion.
I know that the next four pages
will be black and white text, 8 point,
with testimonies from my friends,
my parents, my therapists. They will
divulge all the secrets I tried for years
to hide under my skin. Six columns
of side effects: A predilection toward
weeping in public. Inability to remember
important dates. Addictions to Diet Pepsi, and
listening to a cappella versions of Lady Gaga.
Aversion to going to sleep. Perfectionism. Erroneous
belief in an ability to mind read. Decades
of low self esteem. It will go on and on,
getting more serious as it goes.
They will leave out the worst of it,
afraid to deter even the most
enthusiastic buyers. I will not read it,
knowing it well. I will just leap into the photo,
write SOLD across the top in big red letters
and point out to my husband that we almost
missed seeing the eclipse, but it’s not yet too late.
Then he’ll pull out of his new electric gator
four pairs of handy welder’s glasses—
I’ll offer two pair to my kids, but they
will be too busy arguing about whose
glasses are better to actually put them on,
but my husband and I will stand there together
in that warm bath of light,
marveling at how we almost
forgot to look up.

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