by Tantra Bensko
A dysmorphic Lucky Lavaggio travels ahead in time on the Equinox, using her scrying mirror to foresee her future as an opera singer and jilted lover. Meanwhile, a male Lucky Lavaggio battles the void.
Chapter 1: Preparations for Winter
The mezzo-soprano, Lucky Lavaggio, tapes her black bangs down against her head to prepare for her International Equinox mission across the time zones, for her life or death descent down the final plane’s steps. The planes she’ll be taking at the end of her mission of truth are the dinky kind that land outside in the fresh air, like a toy plane a little girl would set down in her front yard, along with ships, toy soldiers, garbage trucks, trolls, and rubber spiders. In fact, perhaps they are.
If we cut away a wall of it, her boarding house would look something like the lucky child’s dollhouse, the dolls in it being adult pilots, and soldiers, the same size as the rubber snakes she used to plant in beds of people she loved most when she went on short-sheeting binges. In her room, she prepares her suitcase for the trip. She sings atonally: “Tiny dots of consciousness are all the same dot. A 10-33 centimeters Max Planck of a dot.”
She juts out her jaw, making it square as a comic book man. Then she aims her deep voice much more loudly singing her well-practiced aria. She leans up against the wall of her room, her ear up to a round mirror a half inch wide, until she hears one of her less-than-gruntled tenants knocking. She sings louder until she hears a tenant turning over in bed, on the other side. Lucky’s voice shakes the walls like an earthquake tremor, in combination with her heavy steps.
She grandly takes off her thick black glasses, and strides around the room, holds out her precisely curved hand toward a chest of drawers, addressing her aria to it with star quality, but she runs into it with her buttocks in their long nylon dress cut to call attention away from their size, the lights making the blackness of it shimmer white. Her suitcase falls to the floor. She shakes her head and puts her glasses on again, righting herself angularly.
“Any complaints?” she yells .“Huh? Where’s your standing? Where’s your standing?”
Picking it up, Lucky appreciates that her suitcase was carefully protected with a lining against desert and jungle hotel bedbugs by the housekeeper, with small tender hands, brown skin, with the fingertips and the fingernails that angle slightly to the side, rather than growing totally straight out. Lucky shudders, picturing it.
And she shudders, picturing living all this time with all her tenants, which she does every single day. How does she manage their weirdness? Such as: before she went to bed the night before, she had gone out into the kitchen when she heard the middle-aged tenant. Nadia was hopping on crutches, her face in that awful grimace, carrying a can of peas to the table, and easing herself down awkwardly into the chair, with a gasp, grabbing her leg in its cast. She had opened the can right there, and started eating from it. Hurriedly. Lucky was hardly going to have time to talk to her if she ate that fast!
“Some day you’ll learn to care about you again.” Lucky had grabbed, taken the can across the wide expanse of kitchen floor, step, step, step, step, and emptied the peas into a big bowl, set the can down, and brought the bowl over, step step step step. The barren steppes.
“I was caring about myself, actually. It’s a lot less painful than carrrrrrrying bowls, to just eat from the can right now.” She glanced noticeably at the expanse, and back at the sink, where she’ll have to carry the bowl, while on crutches.
“Oh, boo boo. ‘I’ll never find anyone! I’ll always be alone! I’m old!” Mimicking her, with excessive color in her voice, Lucky had put her head down and pulled the corners of her mouth down to her jowls, which she tucked in and turned everything sideways, eyebrows up like theatrical masks.
Nadia had chuckled and politely nodded in agreement that that was her problem that made her eat out of a can - which it wasn’t.
“Cans don’t go on the table, Nadia. One day you’ll learn what it’s like to take care of yourself and live with other people. It’s because you’re used to living alone.”
“Cans hurt the table in some way? It’s an awfully thick table cloth, and a clean can. If you remember, I lived in communal housing most of the time for the last 30 years. I got on well. We used to have potlucks, and drum jams, and art nights.”
“It takes practice to learn how to live with other people. It’ll take time.”
Copyright © 2014 by Tantra Bensko