Blind Baby Pasta
By Rebekah Morgan - Jun 27, 2018
I don’t do dope anymore, I just steal Dad’s Watsons from the bathroom and do laundry with Pasta Man. So I close the window overlooking the big beautiful blue morning dick and then I take another Watson and lock the apartment door behind me. I carry the big bag of laundry in front of my stomach and waddle down the cement steps, and I assume this is how I would look if I were pregnant. I sit on the third-to-last step and I cradle and clutch my laundry bag belly child in my lap and then bend my head down and retie my sneakers. I should have worn sandals, fuck.
I walk on the hot sidewalk in the hot sun in my hot sneakers with my laundry bag belly child. I buy a two dollar bottle of water from a man selling it out of a cooler on the sidewalk. I put the bottle on top of my laundry and walk until I see the big smudged glass window of the laundromat. Pink bubble letters spell out ‘SUDZ’ and next to the door is a small dead skink with a fluorescent blue tail. There’s a brown circle of blood beneath the tiny pile of dark red and orange entrails next to the skinks body. Half of the fluorescent blue tail has been bitten or ripped off, and it has grown back into a sort of shortened nub.
Mom once told me that when I was a baby they took me on a trip down to the Florida Panhandle to visit Dicky’s widowed wife, Heather, and Dicky’s now fatherless son Pat who was five or six years older than me, in their new house. Mom said they were all sitting around the sun room together just talking and trying to keep things light. Sitting on the rattan chairs and the rattan couches, drinking beers and pinot grigio, smoking menthol cigarettes and eating cubes of chilled watermelon when Pat ran in screaming. Mom had left me in the living room asleep in the baby carrier on the newly carpeted floor. Pat’s Dad had just killed himself and Pat needed more attention than the sun room could offer. Pat had been playing outside and managed to catch an Anole lizard. Pat then came inside and dropped the Anole lizard on my sweet sleeping baby face and the Anole lizard bit my fat baby eyelid and when Pat pulled the lizard up it didn’t let go. Mom said I didn’t cry or scream at all, I just looked around the room with my one good lizardless eye while Pat screamed and cried for her to get it off. Dad says Mom bit the lizards tail off so it let go but Mom says she just pinched the lizard really hard across the belly.
The next time I saw Pat was for Thanksgiving with the family in Florida when I was fourteen and Pat was about twenty. Pat had brought his boyfriend to Thanksgiving dinner and I thought it was so cool that Pat and Jason were there. I was using all of my fourteen-year-old heart at the time to be in love with a Christian girl named Mallory. Mallory used all of her fifteen-year-old heart to be in love with Jesus, but I didn’t care. Mallory told me that she wanted to be so in love with the lord that a man would have to go to god to get her heart. I watched Pat and Jason eat stuffing and turkey and cranberry sauce and drink red wine out of Heather’s kind of nice glasses. I was allowed to have one glass of wine and I decided that after dinner I would tell Pat and Jason that I was in love. I followed them onto the back patio where they were going to smoke. I told Pat I was in love with a Christian girl and then I told Pat that the Christian girl’s name was Mallory and Pat said “cool” and then Jason passed me a joint they were smoking. I tried to mimic Lisa from that scene in Girl Interrupted when she’s smoking with Winona Ryder and she looks so cool. I sucked on it like a straw and coughed a lot and felt the whole world swell with new love for my cousin and his boyfriend and I felt dizzy with my love for Mallory and the whole thanksgiving world swelled with dizzying love. I figured one day love would transport me and Mallory to a desert and teach me how to cook. I figured it wouldn’t be long till love granted me a drivers license and I could drive to Mallory’s house and take her to Walmart so we could walk around and laugh at people and steal cds. I didn’t even think for one second that I might just be stoned.
I pull the door of SUDZ open and the hot laundry air blows into my face in a warm gust like a thick sea breeze. A mountain stream lavender clean laundry sea breeze. I put the bag of laundry into a wire cart and scratch my arm kind of hard as I look around past all the tumbling clothes to the back where the TVs hang from the walls like art. Pasta Man is sitting back there in a white plastic lawn chair staring up at the TVs.
I feel a wave of relief—or maybe it’s the Watsons—as I load up one of the smaller old laundry machines with the bedding and the crust. I take my water bottle to the back and grab a lawn chair near Pasta Man. Pasta Man is eating a cup of applesauce with a plastic spoon and watching a Mexican soap opera. He is wearing a big black and gold leather New Orleans Saints jacket. I can’t even imagine how hot he must be in it. Pasta Man watches me drink some water and then crumples up his face at me, pulling his face back into his shaking head, saying “No, no, no, you gotta chew the chardonnay like a dog, baby.” I say “Shit Pasta you’re right,” then I take another gulp and make sure to chew my water. Next to Pasta’s feet there is an opened box of pasta.
We sit in silence for ten minutes watching the Mexican soap operas. Two women start screaming at each other behind us, at the front of the laundromat. I get up and walk right between the two screaming women and go outside to smoke a cigarette. Pasta Man follows and I give him a cigarette and the lighter with the picture of the naked man on it. Pasta Man is the same height as me, maybe a tiny bit taller, with eyes that are the color of egg whites. His eyes are so pale and so milk-like that people assume he’s blind. I scratch my arm and smoke my cigarette and Pasta Man watches the two screaming women through the glass the same way he watches TV.
ARTWORK COURTESY OF STEVE STEVENS