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 4: Lucky’s Wheelbarrow
Has nothing in it. He pushes it around the yard, again, making a pattern on the blades of grass he’s just mown. The neighbor lady with the red kerchief stands and crosses her arms, looking at him sternly. The edges of the wheelbarrow are rusting, and little holes forming in them. He can see the grass through the holes, rimmed with the orange red. He stares at it instead of at her. The holes are getting bigger very fast. She doesn’t go inside the house. He wonders if she’s been talking to his girlfriend again about all the things wrong with him.
He goes and brings the newspapers out and sits down on the lawn chair in front of the neighbor, as if he hasn’t noticed her. He opens it to the jobs section, holds it so she can see that’s where he’s looking. It’s hard to read it, though, the words looking almost the same as the paper, glaring, as if they are fading away. Some of the words that were there a minute ago aren’t any more. Then more words, and worse than that, the pictures for the ads in the back for sensual massage are blank.
Figures. He wishes the grass would go away like that.
* * *
She starts to walk forward a bit, stops, moves her head back, and it looks round, apple-cheeked, pretty, this time, in the Mirror. The people she would interact with in the future, if indeed she really looks that good, make her breathe more deeply. Her smile becomes more winning, as she remembers how often people have told her they were glad to meet her, and hugged or talked to her after performances, and even, at restaurants, and stores, when she hadn’t even performed anything. How many have pretended she was thin and beautiful, even joking she was too thin.
Sometimes, people have laughed when she said something funny. Even if she didn’t know it was funny. Sometimes they invited her to parties. That would, could continue if the image in the mirror is accurate. Her throat skin is looking tight. Her cellulite is looking pretty smooth in that ratio of liquid to time in the mirror. She moves her head up and down in front of it, and the reflection changes shape radically depending on the warp in the glass of the mirror.
She walks the other way in front of the Mirror, turning around and catching a glimpse of her breasts sagging and covering her waist, her thighs she decided were the size of a lumbering mammal she could easily ride. The people she would meet if it is true she looks like this can’t be bothered to smile widely when asking if she wants more water with her meal. They will be already looking around the restaurant to see if someone more attractive can fill up their eyes. Even the blank wall is preferable, and they look there. She shudders thinking of her. Someone walks up to her and says, “Sorry, Ma’am. Two men here have asked that you leave. They paid me to ask you to. They don’t want to have to look at you.”
She walks past the Mirror again, slowly, and catches only the normal constant degree of distortion that seems to exist with any narrow, tall mirror. That distortion of the world of narrow mirrors allows her to keep wanting to stay alive, since she can no longer rely on being an opera singer as a way to excuse her weight.
She stands in front of the mirror making silent ariatic gestures, opens her mouth, curves her hands, her arms, gathers strength for a silent power-bellow. She holds her head as close as she can to the ceiling.
With each distortion of the Equinox Mirror, the portal of rate of liquidity takes her into a way of being treated by other people. Either the other people she meets will pull her chair out for her or they pass by her to someone wearing a schoolgirl outfit or a gold lamé dress or a tennis skirt.
The people in her future will either hold the doors and grin and look at her as a lady, or they will let the door slam in her face because they’ve already walked through quickly after the bubble butt in front of them. Cab drivers will wait patiently for her to pay them, while she looks through everything in her big aquamarine purse, or they start yelling and making her throw her money in her hair.
Lucky gets dizzy considering all those people, and she sits down, her buttocks hooked over the edge of the large red velvet chair. Her black calf-length dress matches nicely the celery-green wall behind her, with a maroon trim. She tries again to straighten her black bangs with scissors, almost poking herself in the eye. She throws them down, knocking over her antique toy plane. She flies it around the room before putting it back on the shelf.
Lucky likes to fly in planes. Especially the tiny ones like her old toys. It’s just all the people she has to sit next to and watch while they walk past her. To try to imagine what life is like to them, moment by moment, trapped in those lives. She wants to be the space in between them, empty.
She wants to fly in that empty space. But without a plane. With closed eyes. Riding the Kundalini up her spine and out into orgasmic clouds bursting with sunsets and piccolos.
She wants to be a bird singing staccato. In her dreams, she always shows other people how to fly. They never know how, and they rarely learn. She wants to hit them. To sequester them in a dungeon of their dreams by using the look in her eye, and the mezzo in her voice.
Lucky thinks of love. Lucky doesn’t like to think of love. She opens the suitcase and snaps it shut. She opens it again, and snaps it. Lucky hates love. Other people oozing in. Like sweat into her pores, like ejaculation into her vagina, like spit into her tongue, like their pee splashing up, lingering, their poo to clean up if they get old.
It’s like they become you, and you can’t keep them out of yourself. She wants to be empty, just herself, no one else. She knows she has to push against that tendency with loud grunts in order to get over it, tries to watch lots and lots of documentaries, tries to dream herself into other people for practice, tries to study her tenants, and spy on her housekeeper while doing “emotional and mental experiments” on her.
She has to differentiate herself, to be born.
The thing is, Lucky loves the tiny kisses in the ears, the beaks between the lips, the muscles of the singers, the lying to each other, the lying to your selves. The belief that something actually might work out between people.
She notices a sound of running water from the bathroom down in the floor above her, which had escaped her attention, coming into the forefront of her mind. She tries to gauge how long it’s been running, and how serious it is.
“Something not right... It’s Narwhal’s hair-demons again, I knew it! They want to huff the Draino. They’ll do anything to clog up the plumbing in order to get that Draino. Narwhal’s got to go when I get back from my trip.”
She decides someone will figure it out after she leaves, how to stop the water overflowing and dripping down. She has other things, important things, to do. She calls it Opera.
Lucky has read, though not from cover to cover, the books about how we are all one. We are supposed to feel that concept when we meditate at our yoga classes. And we are supposed to like it. In yoga class, we are supposed to not be thinking about pulling down our black leotards, which are too revealing. They should be clothes that can fuzz the appearance, loose, with patterns, to fool the eye away from the rolls. She glares, focuses her best “heroine to watch” face sideways.
The yoga classes didn’t help fix her Kundalini misalignment. As she is a lady of such hot-headed nature, instead of the center of her spine, the life force liberated when she fell in the oubliette crawled up searingly sideways, along the right side of her spine, in the pathway known throughout the ages as the pingala, the fire-hot, red-bitch witch.
Copyright © 2014 by Tantra Bensko