Sunday Supper

by JW Mark

"This air has soupy thickness. I'm getting sick, I know I am," I think just to myself. Looking outwards through the window, Mom is bouncing up and down, the plastic bag held in her hands and its contents slowly gagging forth a clustered multicolored mass- yellow plastic cup, red cardboard case, the orange-red candy wrappers bent to billion tiny wrinkles. Another Sunday supper tossed.

"Your throat is dry," I think and inventory the meal and heat and stale air. Of the slick throat greasy burger and the French fry-milkshake gel that somewhere sits inside myself. Working backwards I recall it- the food in wrapper format, first dry and warm, then salty, greasy, gliding down into some deeper place near my center. "I feel sick" I think, "I need some air," perhaps a breath or two will make this ache just go away. "Just breathe, you need to breathe," I think in hopes to button recollections of a meal now held inside, "Just let it sit. Just let it sit," in hope to cull a trick in which this quezzieness will go away.

"What did I eat?" I wonder, as I laugh inside and wonder to myself, "Did I forget?" content and with my hands I rub the fleshy cushion of my gut. Somewhere below that spongy mass lingers on in waiting- all that other held inside a world where guts of goo and wired red connections chew and gobble more. Pathways red and tubular- the network of my being. I rub my rising stomach and try to feel the digestion as it happens. What gobbling sleight-of-hand plays out inside that hidden place?

What a wonder world my stomach is! Beneath my skin a factory for my being- plant of purpose, mill of life force- is there an industry of life inside? Is it tall and black and greasy with my whole life's world collected? Does a crew wake up and dress themselves, fretting duties to the silent art that hangs inside their dwellings? Are the paintings hung reflections of my life, my sights and dreams and fantasies? Do these women and these men plod off in anger of their duty? Do they chew my meals in bubbled halls? Are they happy when they swim back home in vessels of my blood stream? Do they cruise internal highways?

"What did I eat?" I wonder once again. What makes me think these things? "Too hot! I'm way too warm," I think, and wonder if its heat that makes my brain dream up these crazy things. "Do burgers dream inside my gut?" Looking forward for my sister, twisting eyeballs to her snoring nose and then I find her facing back, asleep and vacant in Sunday snooze. "Greasy burgers make her fly," Mom says, "always have and always will." And its just like every Sunday- sister fast asleep and Mom just smiling with a grin that seems to never go away. Another Sunday supper tossed.

"Tomorrow's Monday," I remind myself, recalling of the pit gut lull of school walks, empty hallways, pimpled faces tucked inside arm pits. And of my clothing and my scent, they smirk and say inside their shoulders, "She lives inside a car," though in whispers meant to hide it but I hear it and the laughs reminding me I'm different. And they point and smirk and talk and squeal and watch me slink inside my horror, digging deeper down inside my soul and all the more the Quasimodo girl I start to think that hope is just a slogan. "Can hope be just a slogan?"

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