by Tantra Bensko
Chapter 7: Lucky Lavaggio
His little boy self is crawling through the chairs of the table at the Chinese restaurant. He pokes his head out through the space over the seat, his body encased by the legs of the chair. He starts to crawl out, and he’s stuck. He’s curved inside of something the same size as he is. He sits there. Maybe half an hour goes by.
People give him cold drinks and tell him he’s brave. The fire truck has a loud siren, and as it gets closer to the restaurant, his mouth starts to quiver. The firemen break the chair. He’s sorry for the woman who runs the restaurant, that her chair is broken because of him. He holds the chair together silently, not moving, as if he could stay that way forever.
* * *
She goes into the bathroom to look at herself, and turns her mouth sideways. She goes to the different mirror by the front door. She turns sideways. One mirror makes her look smaller than the one in her room, and the other makes her look bigger than her room itself. Liquid is moving at a faster rate, like water, coming alive. Liquid living to eat her, to spit her out looking old.
Lucky hears someone sneaking into the kitchen past her door. She wastes no time getting out there. She sits down and watches Narwhal covering her face from her view by the way she dangles her long blond hair in front of her face, and turns sideways.
“You always been this shy? You’ll grow up someday. Is it that you have something about yourself that’s awful, that you feel you have to hide it?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“You don’t think I know? You don’t think I’ve seen you talking to Nimbling? How old do you think he is? His mother should be worried, shouldn’t she?”
“What? Right? What?”
“He’s just a friend, Lucky. We talk. You know. Like people do.”
“Should I tell his parents? What do you think they’ll think, huh? Huh?”
Narwhal crunches something loudly, gesturing, and picks up her cell phone and speaks into it, as if someone is on it.
Lucky eventually goes back to her room.
Lucky polishes the mirror. She is preparing to take the special scrying Equinox Mirror with her, across the ocean, to the jungle and to the desert, full of dust, and cactus, and mirages, and maybe beyond, checking how she looks in different degrees of the progression of Autumn and the Heavenly cycle. It’s September 23rd. Equinox eve, time for magic.
The Mirror will be held there by handsome men in opposing locations. They will hold the Mirror for her to check quickly, while it is still the future. It will be the first day of Autumn there, until she flies home back to the last day of Summer.
The future reflections of her size and shape in the mirror will tell her fortune. Maybe she’s still beautiful enough for more opera. Maybe still young enough for more love. Maybe she’s beyond ever looking good enough again, and is only fit for... what: death? Who cares. Ugly, alone, no-one-special kind of death.
The Equinox Mirror will be standing there facing her when she walks off the plane, her hair not blowing in the wind, so she can look lovely, and slide, ooze, into the pores of that life, the life in which she remains enticingly beautiful. Or not. Buttocks that are irretrievably fallen, wrinkled, arms impossible to reign in, breasts so far gone that dieting would only make them worse.
Outside her window, she sees the Little Person, Andrew, shortly padding quietly, wearing his little-boy sized pyjamas, looking both ways, then dipping back behind the shrubbery. When he comes out in a few minutes, he seems smaller around his pockets. He closes the door to his room softly.
Lucky thinks about how her tenants defy her; so evil. But she pets the large case the housekeeper has made for her to lay the Mirror in for the Equinox journey.
The case is lined with time. The case retains the past, the housekeeper, the house, the dreams of the tenants. Most likely, the dream molecules will travel with the case, so the dreams of the tenants and the housekeeper will fictionalize, too, and be reflected in the Mirror, when it is inside the case.
So, the Mirror won’t see the traveling, on the plane, the bus, the car, the camel. The Mirror will combine the past’s dreams with the present’s dreams in an unholy manner.
The different dots of her and not-her shimmer across many fields, many intersecting planes, many matrixes like the shimmering dresses of slender, curving celebrities, tiny mirrors on gold lamé dresses, or silver.
She shimmies the shimmy-shudders. Even when she was a minor opera star, she couldn’t wear the slinky, shimmery, mirrored-gold lamé dresses. Maybe she could get her eyes operated on, so she could see people on the stage better, not bonk into them as in her last performance. Maybe she could perform again. Maybe people would forget about what happened last time.
She remembers all those times she thrilled to the Kundalini sliding up like lighting along the telephone wires. Life is worth living. It was worth being born. She say calls out loud to her mother backwards, into the past, “Yes, mother. Make love. Make me.”
She meditates, moving her breath through her body using the direction of her eyes. Her breath is a god. She feels the sweaty tumult, the sweet spur, the theatrical screams of her mother conceiving her. “Yes,” hisses Lucky.
Lucky picks up the Mirror, speaking to it backwards, and lays it in its mahogany box, with carvings around the edges. The housekeeper took a long time making that box, that’s for sure. Many layers of stain. Lucky nods, appreciating for a moment how she must have been up for hours brushing on the stain and letting it dry.
Copyright © 2014 by Tantra Bensko