1st & 2nd sections
The first telegram came before Marcus was born. Alex went to the door in a towel, but whoever knocked had left. A small pink slip was wedged beneath the heavy hinge of the knocker.
Alex brought the note to Alex, who looked at it for a long time. She rubbed her belly, filled with movement. She stuck the note on the refrigerator with the magnet shaped like a fish.
“I think it’s a good omen,” she said. She knew exactly what kind of mother she wanted to be.
Alex got dressed and brushed his teeth with all-natural toothpaste. Sometimes, he wished for Crest. He wandered back to the kitchen, still brushing, and looked out the window over the sink.
“It looks like everyone is getting one,” he said, carefully, trying not to spray toothpaste. A man was walking down the steps of the neighbor’s front porch, and across the lawn to the next house. Alex could see a stack of pink paper, like a deck of cards, jutting from the man’s back pocket.
“Maybe he’s a Jehovah’s Witness?” Alex wondered. She was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, which was also the doorway of the kitchen, still rubbing her belly.
Alex spit into the kitchen sink and swished water in his mouth. He rinsed his toothbrush and laid it on the counter before answering. “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think Jehovah’s Witnesses maybe ask to come inside.”
Alex went into the bedroom. The bed was still unmade and had small piles of baby things all over it. Seeing them made her feel happy, lusty. She wanted sex all the time these days. “I have to finish folding everything and find a place for all of it.”
She was thinking about how one appetite begets another. Sex made her want to eat, and eating made her want to sleep, and sleeping made her want to have sex. She wanted many babies, and a bigger garden to feed them all, and a giant bed for everyone and their piles to sleep in.
Alex was looking out the window again. The man was still in view, at a distant neighbor’s door for a moment, and then, again, walking briskly down the steps.
“Let’s go to bed,” came Alex’s voice.
“Now?” said Alex.
But he joined her, amidst the mounds of small socks and blankets. Her body felt ensconced in flesh.
Labels: work in progress