Domesticity with Fairies
You keep pulling me to you and wrapping your arms around my waist. I’m standing in the kitchen with coffee as the morning wind shakes the red-gold from the trees and you’re squeezing me like I’m a stuffy, a baby blanky, a puppy before the first day of school. Have a good day at work, I say around your damp hair. After dinner, when we’re washing bedding and polishing the dust from the lamps, you say, We’re getting too old for this, and kiss me hard, tilting your head up as if I were taller than you. I’ve never been. You kiss and kiss, misreading my body language for a peck as Make-out time! Later, as you take the stairs to your office, I call out, I’m walking up to the store and Casa Video. It’s two-for-a-dollar-night. Any requests besides pop? As I’m sliding into my coat, buttoning it, wrapping the scarf around my throat, you join me for a kiss goodbye. You grab my thigh, fondling my chest. I step back, push you away. Stop acting like a teenager. We’re going G tonight, I say, thinking old school—Fern Gully, Peter Pan, Fantasia—not yet ready for, The Pirate Fairy, Secret of the Wings, Maleficent. You try for more fondling, slipping your hands under my coat and beneath my clothes to rest your cold palms on my waist, but I step from you, step outside, and say, Stop. I never knew you in college, never knew you as teen, and never as a little boy. When we met, we were already old.
Truthfully, I don’t tell you how I search. I have trolls, angels, even a care bear in the boxes of xmas, but no fairy ornaments, lapel pins, or tissue paper. I never mention I opened closets for DVDs or VHSs, finding goonies, jedis, and slayers, but no flicks where fairies rule. I never mention the hours I search stores for knock-off fairies stuffies, fairy toothbrushes, fairy costumes for the very small dogs we don’t own. Seriously, I go to party stores for fairy party favors— streamers, grab bags, necklaces, paper plates, balloons with that powdery stuff inside the lips. I never mention Walmart where I find a fairy fuzzy coloring poster, stained glass art kit, and a latch hook craft of flower fairies. You would say, You can’t be serious. Truth is, when I look for fairies, I have few serious cares at all—only choice of fairy pillow shape, fairy tee-shirt size, fairy mug or fairy juice glass. Sometimes I just buy them all. I find three moon fairies to put in water overnight. The packaging promises they’ll double in size. My choices are pink—moon fairy with pink hair bun, moon fairy with shoulder-length sway, moon fairy with hair down to mid-back. In the big box aisles or at the till, as the cashiers in navy smocks spin their kiosk of sacks, I delight in plastic filling, the whisper of promise as I set them in my cart, push the big metal basket through the parking lot, load up, and then, home.
Date Night with Fairies
As a kid, I read Evening of the Fairies, the one about neighbor girls, a dying mom who shifting the curtains, watching what she couldn’t parent, unable to stop all the shoplifted food—baloney, chocolate bars, silver bags of nacho combos. She was hungry. So was I. Who is strong enough to stop hunger? You tell me of afternoons of nerf, legos, that day you broke your bother’s nose—On accident—after you startled him and he tried to run, but the door was closed—An accident—and ran face first—Really, I didn’t mean too. It was an accident—gushing blood, bruises, your mother’s yelling each word of your name. You’re so busy talking bruised childhood, I don’t tell you I gave that book to a girl with dark hair and bitten fingernails. I dreamed for years of the chapped turn of her mouth and the frayed sleeves she pulled down over her hands. I tell you about watching Disney’s Briar Rose, Cinderella’s matronly hope, fairy godmothers who die from lack of belief. You don’t dream fairies, not even monsters, ogres, elves, or trolls. I say I want to paint ceramics at the DIY store—fairy light switch covers, outlet covers, several letter Fs. I say, On Fridays, it’s couples paint. The paint fee is two-for-one. After, I tell you, we can wear sparkly skirts, silky tops, jewels to cavort in the Haymarket, climb the jungle gym train, sip mugs of hot water dusted with chocolate, sweetened with sugar. Do you really want to paint tonight? Wouldn’t you rather go to bed? You ask, tilting your head and ogling. You reach for my breasts. I flinch. I don’t have a headache, but try the cliché, rubbing my temples, backing from the room, giving a pained wave. You never sleep, never dream of fairies, but sit your desk all night making 3D specks of plastic toys designed to print, the screen flashing against your glasses.