Anis Del Toro Bead Curtain
After Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”
I need an Anis Del Toro bead curtain. I need it because I did not have an abortion. I need it so I can go back and forth through it. A thousand times. With children twisting the strands, shooting imaginary guns at one another, and catching their arms within the tickety-tick of its romantic shade. I need an Anis Del Toro bead curtain with grizzled smiling lovers poking through, with absinthe in my glass, with sweet tea in theirs. I need it because Hemingway is dead and he is not my father. My father lives. He is a strong man. Like a bull. Toro Toro! He drove a cool white Cutlass Supreme with blood red vinyl seats. A car like teeth and mouth. The kind of seat that turns slippery with sweat. The kind of seat with graying white seams that make a quilt out of ass cheeks.
Oblivious to the dangers of crashing, I stood on those seats with my arms slung over the tense shoulders of my parents. They were wearing seat belts. Those were some days weren’t they? Late 70’s Oakland of our lady California. There were not many Oaks. Mostly sidewalks, Blacks and Chinese, gum grind, sidewalk lobster tanks and boxes of piñata colored Chiclets. I have never again tasted the same strawberry ice creams as I did then and I look everywhere for that same taste. It is hopeless. My tongue is not young like that now.
I need an Anis Del Toro bead curtain because my father’s best friend dropped me on my head. In Oakland, six feet is a long way down. Time behaves so very slowly when you are three. So that was a very long way down to fall. An even longer way to surface. A purplish yellow egg the size of Alaska on my perfect childish forehead. After that I always longed for Cadbury Crème Eggs on Easter. My teeth are rotting.
My mother glowered because they drank too much and dropped her baby. Her teeth are perfect. She needed an Anis Del Toro bead curtain because she did not have an abortion. I kept bleeding. They put Vaseline all over my face. Now my forehead is perfect. The egg receded. When I fell, all around me bombs fell. Echoes from a war I swat at like a fly buzzing in my ear.
Be quiet and find me an Anis Del Toro bead curtain. Father, I don’t want to know about your baby sister. The one with huge jet dark eyes and moist ringlets. That she liked strawberry ice cream like me. I don’t care if your mother killed her. Penicillin kills other people too. Your war is not my fault.
All of our strawberry ice creams drip down our cones, mingling with tears and Vaseline. This family. Those days. Todays. That is porn. You don’t have to be naked to have porn. You just have to strip behind thin curtains. Like this.
I need an Anis Del Toro Bead curtain if I am to properly bust through them stripped and covered in Vaseline and ice cream. You said you would buy one for me. Or make one. Since you are all so good with your hands and brushes. Your bodies just like cool white Cutlass Supremes with blood red vinyl seats. Bodies like teeth and mouth. The kind of bodies that turn slippery with sweat. The kind of hearts with graying white seams that make a quilt out of hearts. Cursing down engines and pages and canvases. Your dicks get smaller then. Your mouths spit hopeless spittle. But my love flares. Promises, promises misters. All I ever asked for was an Anis Del Toro bead curtain. That and nothing more.
Caroll Sun Yang holds a BFA in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design, an MFA in Writing from Antioch University and is a certifiedPsychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist. She identifies as a hipster slashing hipster artist slash writer slash mate slash mother of two smallish beings (no, not cats) living in Los Angeles, Ca. Her work has been published in Audemus and The Nervous Breakdown. She is forever working on a collection of stories, slinging food at a joint where high-profile writers tend to dine making it a sometimes-unnerving occupation and writing later indecipherable sticky “notes to self”. She can never have enough personality-disordered friends/ lo-fi anything/ human touch/ sarcasm/ cell phone photo filters/ art films featuring teens/ opportunities to use phrases like “the-bomb-dot-com”/ Latrinalia/ frosting flowers/ forward slashing/ the word slash /cats/ bio changes. She may be found spewing forth with embarrassing fervor at: www.franzialux.wordpress.com and www.facebook.com/franzialux.