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 8: Lucky’s Potential Mother
“Now, Lucky, you know you shouldn’t learn Spanish. When you get old enough to have a Mexican housekeeper yourself, then you can learn it. For now, don’t bother your pretty head with it. What she talks about isn’t for your little ears.”
“But Mama, why does she change into see-through outfits before she leaves, and go stand out by the street for Papa to pick her up? I don’t get it. My friends don’t get it.”
“Never tell them about it. That’s the answer to that.”
Lucky’s mother curls her lip in disgust, picturing her husband moving junk off the passenger seat every time at the last minute, while the housekeeper stands there, where all the neighbors can see.
Of course he never would think to move it ahead of time. Or not put it there. She’d soften her lips, and he’d brush up against them, giving a taste of what would happen once she was in his car. The family car. With the license plate out of date, naturally.
She goes into her room, and sits on her bed. She reads aloud musical poetry about the role of a woman in society, in Spanish, and compares it to the English version. So much more fetching with the European lilt. She puts on her most ethnic dress and plays a classical song full of duende on her Spanish guitar, breathing in the richness of the air, and the colors of the decorations around her, her favorite things.
Lucky Goes for a Ride
Lucky looks at her watch, smirks to herself over ability to guess just how late he would be, and walks to her front door, looking for her driver. Her driver’s car curls down the driveway, banging. He hops out, lithe, his hair long around his face in wringlets and wronglets. His collarbone forms a delicate shape glinting in the early light.
Lucky follows his bounce with her eyes, follows the tautness of his skin, his tallness that makes her want to hold onto him and stand on his shoes and let him walk her around, singing to her.
Her driver goes in the house, singing “Hello” to her in faux opera, and emerges with her suitcase and the box of mirror. She whispers below her breath, “Open the car door for me not just because I hired you to, but because you want to watch me get into your car, and slide across our favorite seat.”
He slides past her, and turns around, saying over his shoulder to her: “Your future awaits, Ma’am.”
Tapping him on the shoulder as she follows him to the car, Lucky points next to him to the swing. Someone in the night has left crumpled beer cans in their yard. The driver swings his body down to pick them up without missing a light step on the balls of his feet, on the trip to the driveway. She tries to imitate the lilt of his steps, the sense of rising, rising, rising.
Lucky spent practically all her time when young at the swing set, the “wing set,” she called, it, as she jumped out of when it swung upwards, it into the air, flapping her wings, chirping. She would sit in the little pool by the roses and play with her little airplane, zooming it around like a bird. Her little shirtless troll with long grey hair that stuck straight up.
She always had the uncomfortable feeling she might break the swing with her size. Her cells call out to others to not see her fat level correctly. To love her so much they don’t see straight. To see her in a long narrow mirror, of pupils of tolerance.
The Equinox Mirror swings back and forth, forward and backward in its case, with the steps of her extraordinarily handsome young driver carrying it, who lopes along toward the car, breathing deeply in and out. He opens the door for her, grandly. As if he’s looking for a big tip. Before he has a chance, she snaps the door shut. Hard.
Lucky’s Kundalini snakes up the right side of her spine, rather than the center, where it should be, raising her bitch factor. This time, it causes no burning rash, just a sense of slithering ecstatic transcendent conceptual orgasmic rush. One look at her driver does that to her.
She sits in the car unable to speak, choking on the idea of words, of “I” and “You,” as they seem to be the same thing to her, as they always do when her Kundalini shoots off and she goes flying into the sky, riding it, arms waving, shouting, blasting off so far no one can see her, and no one cares.
Lucky recovers from her Kundalini swoon enough to keep her head up straight again. Part of her is still flying far away, on the edges of her aura, giving up any semblance of normal logic, and linearity. Part of her is in charge and sits tight, clearing her throat authoritatively.
The Equinox Mirror bumps along in the back of her alert, spunky driver’s car, the broken trunk latch replaced by a piece of rope, the peeling paint shaking off more than ever from the movement of the trunk lid up and down.
They are driving toward the rain clouds. Tiny water drops begin to soften the mosquito flattened against the glass. “Darn, I’d better find a station, I’m about out of gas. I hope there’s one around here.”
Lucky looks out the window at the goats, turned into rivulets of rain, moving their image sideways back and forth, shimmying on the glass. She wonders what he saw in her before. The mirror will tell her definitively on the Equinox if she should bother to try to get him back.
Lucky and her driver stop for gas. He has to look at her to take the money for the gas. His mouth no longer curving up as it did when they were a couple. A lip riding with a soft moist reddish flare upon the bottom lip. The portal of the tiny space in the opening of the lips she could fly through, kiss his insides, live with him always, be him, be beautiful, have a reason to live.
He doesn’t give the tiny sex-grunt he used to give before special sentences. He doesn’t put his hand on her leg and make it surrender to the fiery continuum, the Kundalini flashing out into his soul. Instead, he gets back in and drives.
She looks at everything as closely as she can out the window, counting things so she doesn’t start to cry. They drive past many things, each having its own life, with branching parallels of varying surreality, feathering off further into the subconscious, the continuum merging. She can’t help watching the back of his neck, slender, tan, curved poetically. She wants him again, like old times.
She remembers what it was like before he turned his attentions to the housekeeper. Lucky has stopped speaking kindly to the woman. She has forgotten to tell the housekeeper when the driver is going to come to the door. She leaves her mystified about their comings and goings.
Lucky is more beautiful than the housekeeper with those surreal teeth coming out of her face. He will surely notice that again. Now that she isn’t supposed to be operatic, the lens of ideal size has changed. She has to curtail her eating, her drinking, and those are all that keep her from crying. She eats almost nothing as it is. An apple. A piece of God. A door handle’s worth of dinner-love.
She furrows her brows, staring, trying, trying hard to tell if the Mirror is saying: “Do your best to be pretty. Go ahead and do it. Stand in front of him and take off your clothes, and I will fuzz his eyes to the other splashes of liquifying glass. To make the corner of his mouth tighten milometers. You know of the portal that goes through that tiny milometer between his lips. You know one future goes through that portal. Give it a try, you look good enough.”
Is there a right and a wrong way the Mirror shows her? It all depends on what degree the eyes of the people are aligned with, which parallel worlds the Mirror breathes into, or out of. The melt of the glass.
The driver keeps his eyes on the road. He starts moving his neck with verve, with great sinews bulging on it, sings loudly, pretending opera, making up German words, making his voice too loud, the gestures of his neck too preposterous.
He turns toward her, then smiles like a gecko. He doesn’t blink his eyes. He jiggles the steering wheel slightly back and forth, making her jump and tighten her muscles, while he looks at her, his expression never changing. He looks back at the road.
She peers into the side mirror: it shows her ugly, monstrous, flaccid. She hadn’t shaven her beardy-whiskers well, and the mini-hairs catch the light. She should let him enjoy the housekeeper, in that case, and just give up. Give up. Give up to HER.
No, she should NOT let him enjoy the housekeeper. Not Not NOT.
The rash along the right side of her body snakes redly. The housekeeper’s molecules resting on Lucky’s skin cramp up a little.
She thinks of his face next to hers on the pillow. The wrenching of being one person, now being two. Imaginary numbers. They drive past trees, the sunshine glinting through. She looks at herself in the rear view mirror. How does her driver see her? Like that? Or like how she looks in the side mirror,
He moves with such cruel flair, such youthful vigor, she feels he does it to spite her. To make the electricity. The vibrations.
Lucky normally keeps the housekeeper busy. Now, that Lucky is leaving, what mischief will her driver and housekeeper get up to while she’s away?
They drive through a woods with little undergrowth, and old trees, with moss shining on exposed roots. In her mind, she hears the memory of him saying “I wonder if we should have been brother and sister. Maybe that’s what were in other lives.” Poo on brother and sister. Damn them to hell.
She pictures throwing her poo, like the orangutan in that had thrown hers at her at the zoo. It had made mud pie as it flattened against the glass of its display cage.
Damn every brother and sister to hell. She closes her eyes. Her head bumps along against the glass.
Copyright © 2014 by Tantra Bensko