Friday, January 8, 2010

Dialogue from Ofelia Hunt's amazing Today & Tomorrow, coming in December from Magic Helicopter Press

"Grandpa should be worried about you Merna, not me. You're who's pregnant with twins, married to Noah with his weird hands. You'll have to raise the twins alone. Noah works like a hundred hours a week, sleeps at the hospital, on a gurney, right? You'll be always alone and talk only to the babies, babies who can only cry or burp, so you end up walking dark alleys in nightgowns, banging your head against dumpsters—probably the twins'll be boys and the twin boys'll grow up without a paternal influence which will make them violent, dangerous, apt to take risks, knife-fights, baseball-bats, drag-races, chicken at night with no headlights, drugs and alcohol, and you can't stop that because teenage boys only care about exerting themselves on the universe, existence and stuff—also negating the universe, fear of death or something and they'll ask you where Noah is and you'll tell the twins he's at work saving people in the emergency-room, which will internalize their anger somehow, make them quiet and passive, angry at these saved people, searching them out, in their casts, on their gurneys, looking savagely for oxygen-tanks to switch off, IVs to cut."

"Noah doesn't work that much."

"He only exists at work. He only exists in his emergency-room."

"He gets vacations."

"Emergency-room," I say. "Anyway, if there's an emergency, which could happen on vacation or any time really, moment to moment, at every moment, like he's potentially talking to the twins, teaching them important life skills, speech, cooking, street-crossing, his long fingers grasping carefully their tiny shoulders, and there's the cell-phone, the hospital, a surgery. The boys never learn to speak. At street corners they panic, scream silently. You lock them in basements, feed them scraps, orange-rinds. The police come and absorb them."

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