“Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Co-lo-rad-oooooooooooooooooooooooo!” Wah-wah-wah-wahh-wahhnnnnn….. Dun! Dundundun… Dun dun dun dun dun… dee dee deeeeeee…”
—Rooster! What’s the matter with you? Why are you running a motorcycle in our garage?
—Well gosh, dear. I’m just having a bit a laugh, a bit of a goof. Would you like to go for a ride?
—Oh come on, it’ll be fun. We’ll go skunk hunting. I hear they mighty tasty this time. It’s been a good spring.
—I don’t know about that, it’s been so nippy. Haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks… it’s too cold up here. I wanna visit my sisters in Carolina soon… I haven’t seen them in three years at least.
—Not long enough, if you don’t mind me saying.
—I do! Rooster, you are so rude when it comes to my sisters. You don’t have any respect at all. At least be nice or keep your feelings to yourself for me.
—I know. I’m sorry, Monica. I just get so worked up—VROOOOOOOOM!—I get so worked up around them when they’re mean to you. They don’t understand you and I don’t know why you defend them. I’ve seen them make you cry too many times. Sometimes it gets so hard I can’t stand it anymore and I get mad. I get real mad, Monica. So mad I wanna break something. I don’t want that.
—I don’t either.
—I know you love them.
—And they love me.
—I’ll never know that.
—You can be such a JERK sometimes!
She stormed out of the barn that night and I couldn’t help but wait by the window all night for her. But I got up after an hour and a half to fix myself a cocktail—a skirt steak skunk Bennington brought over earlier was sitting out in the open, the fridge was leaking and I grabbed my glass, my marbled ice, and went straight upstairs to my works room.
Ginger ale and Laudanum with valerian root and lemon balm. Tonic water. A bitter biscuit, too stale to cook and butter. I thought I might make it better for her to pick up a pen and write a letter, but of course her sisters would throw it away before she ever read it, or twist my words around into something perverse and wrong. Why do they have to go and treat her so bad?
It must be easy being your mother’s favorite. Monica never felt that way. It’s why she moved up here with me. I hadn’t thought about her in a while, but Monica’s family was getting chattier and chattier about us possibly moving down there, at least for the summer… I don’t fancy it at all but who am I? Just a rooster. Just a rooster and his habits, and I don’t suppose Monica’s family would be more amenable all these years later, especially to me… but I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Swallow my pride for my wife. Our plane leaves tomorrow. I don’t think I can bring the motorcycle.
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