Issue XXX

30.


The following selections are from our 2014 printed journal.

*

Editors:
Kaz Alberts/ Aaron M. Anderson/ Sabrina Brandt/ Cory Chambers/ Stephanie Dwyer/ Lauren Emery/ Justin Enea/ Jessica Funaro/ Sylvia Malan-Gonzales/ Melissa Wood/ Shawna York

Advisor(s):
Wendy Bourgeois

*

in print CONTENTS:

  • Moose Rescue….. Sean Lause
  • Monarch….. Sylvia Malan-Gonzales
  • Queen Figurine….. Lauren Emery
  • For Love and Hate….. Sabrina Brandt
  • Ghost Town….. Doug Bolling
  • Outhouse….. Ella Weil
  • Sonic….. Cory Chambers
  • The State Is Too Much with Us….. Justin Enea
  • Atypical Evolution….. Shawna York
  • 6 Mademoiselles….. Jeni Emery
  • Her Correspondent….. Scott E. Thomas
  • Maryanne in Maryland….. Jessica Funaro
  • Santiago’s Footprints….. Steph Dwyer
  • My Neighbor’s Internet….. Kaz Alberts
  • To Jack Kerouac….. Mellisa Wood
  • And I Have Known Darkness….. Aaron M. Anderson

Selections


6 Mademoiselles
by Jeni Emery

2014

*

Maryanne in Maryland
by Jessica Funaro (excerpt)

“Miss, sit down over there and don’t move.”

I do as the plain-clothes officer says while the uniformed men are apprehending my younger brother Tommy in his old bedroom. The sounds of static-y walkie-talkies chiming in and out are lulling to me. I’m not the one getting busted. I’m just stuck here on the couch, taking it in. Maybe it will make for a good story later? I absurdly imagine myself holding court at some schmancy part somewhere, “Oh, ha ha, that reminds me of the time my darling old mother’s house was raided by the police…” No way, I’m never saying that at a party. Why on earth would I say that at a party?

I’m jarred out of this ridiculous reverie by the sight of my brother being dragged past me in cuffs. It’s a pretty agreeable drag, no struggles, no COPS style hijinks or flourishes. His head is down in the criminal way, not in the remorseful way. Figures. I can sort of see the officers taking him across the front lawn and into one of the squad cars parked out front. Everything is pretty lit up with all the flashing lights outside. Still, there is only so much I can see. It’s dark and the blinds are closed in the living room where I am quarantined while they search the house.

I sit quietly and marvel at how unexciting all of this is. My childhood home is swarming with police officers but everyone had been so clear and decent in their conduct that I have to admit some degree of admiration at their efficiency. Good on you coppers.

I consider the surprises of the last fifteen minutes. I make a mental list of them:

1. Police do not necessarily bust down the door in a drug raid, sometimes they simply line up outside the door and ring the goddamn bell.

2. Police are not a bunch of showboating vigilantes swinging billy clubs left and right at everyone in their path; in fact, they are just putting in another day at the office. Even if that day is a night and the office is actually the home of a drug addict and/or dealer.

3. After barely bugging me about coming home to visit for almost a year, my mother asked me to come home this weekend.

Thank god she isn’t here for this, she would undoubtedly get all Scarlet O’Hara, and by way of that, get all of us arrested. God, this is a mess.

Still, I’m cool as a cucumber. Just sitting quietly, behaving, in the living room while a bunch of cops sift through each room of my mom’s house, collecting evidence against my brother. I admit it; I saw this coming. It’s why I came back here. It’s why I’m here now. It’s also why I’ve been away, I can’t handle this bullshit. How can I handle this bullshit? I stare out the window. I can’t see out of it now, too dark, the flashing lights are gone. I want to feel relief but I’m not sure if I feel anything. I’m not sure if I’m going to break. This could break me.

“Officer Cooks here is going to ask you a few questions.”

The plain-clothes cop says this to me, drawing me out of my self, while motioning to someone coming up the hallway from one of the three small bedrooms that make up the other half of the house. The bedrooms are over on that side, with the kitchen, bathroom, and living room over on this side, where I sit now. I linger on the words “Officer Cooks” for a moment and try to make sense of them, Cooks? Sid Cooks! That’s right, holy shit- he’s a cop now. And goddamn this town is SMALL.

I blurt out, “Sid Cooks cow foots?!” Ugh, I see Sid for the first time in years and immediately revert back to being a bratty kid chanting a schoolyard taunt; I have no control.

The plain-clothes cop makes a face and turns to Officer Cooks with an exasperated huff. Ol’ plain-clothes doesn’t know that I’ve technically known this “Officer Cooks” since he was seven and we were both in Mrs. Clifford’s second grade class, or that we lost our virginity to each other at sixteen in this very house. Sid Cooks cow foots, indeed.

“Hello Maryanne,” Sid says with considerable professionalism while adjusting his posture.

“Okay, well, I guess you two know each other, great.” Ol’ plain-clothes seems to be rolling his eyes, through his teeth. “Like I said Miss Russo, Officer Cooks is going to ask you a few questions.” And like that he walks away, shaking his head and sighing an I’m-too-old-for-this-sigh.

“Hey Maryanne.”

“Hey Sid.”

Oh god, don’t burst into tears, don’t burst into tears, you made it this far. Dammit…

“Hey, hey. Here, take this.” Sid hands me a tissue from the box on the table, he sits down next to me as I take it. I feel his weight slightly displace mine as he sinks into the couch cushion next to me. I resist the urge to burrow a hole into his lap where I can hide out. This is what crying reduces me to, I guess, but I don’t know. It’s been years. Oh, and my junkie brother just got arrested, I suppose I shouldn’t count out the effects of that little detail either.

“I’m sorry you have to be here for this. When I got the call I had no idea you were in town. I have to ask, when did you get here?” Of course the Boy Scout is a good cop. Sid was always the kitten-rescuing kind of guy, please and thank you, pardon me, ma’am- that type. What the hell is he doing at my baby (twenty-five year old baby) brother’s drug bust? This is unreal. I notice that I have stopped whimpering at about the same moment that I start to fixate on Sid’s mouth, still so soft and kissy looking. That mouth ruled every curfew that I broke between sixteen and eighteen years old.

I make my way back up to his eyes (yup, still brown) and answer.

“I got in about three hours ago. My mom hadn’t left for work yet and she was nervous about leaving him here alone but decided it was okay because I was here.”

“So he hasn’t been living here?” Sid is getting the facts. It’s calming to me. He asks questions, I answer them. it’s kinda like swaying.

“Um, I thought he was, but I guess he’s been a bit out of control lately, that’s why I’m here, I guess. I mean, it is. It is why I’m here. Yeah, yes. I got here today.” This is really happening. I’m giving a report to my high school sweetheart.

“So where are you living now?”

This catches me off guard. It sounds a little…. accusing?

“Off the record, that is, um, it is not necessary that I know…” He looks down at the small pad of paper he has on his knee to take notes. His hair is still very dark but now it is cut so short that you can’t tell, given the opportunity, it will curl in little rings around his ears and at the nape of his neck.

“Sid, it’s fine, we know each other. I’ve been living a couple hours away, in D.C., I guess about six years now, before that, you know, I lived in Colorado for a couple of years.”

“Right, of course.” He still doesn’t look at me when he says this; he’s looking past me, around me, making eye contact with other officers instead. A pang of rejection hits me, but I feel like I deserve it.

I lean into his line of sight. Despite my intention, I am caught off guard by the look he gives me. He looks solid and I feel empty. I am an insatiable brat, and he is handsome and content, capable. His look removes the last eight or ten years that I’ve been gone in an instant. He is looking at me like he did when I broke up with him.

“So, how is your mother? You mentioned she’s at work. She still works at the diner, right?” A small, nostalgic smile creeps onto his face as he asks this in a mostly formal way.

“Can you possibly imagine her doing anything else?” I meet his slight smile with another slight smile.

He looks down and laughs a little. Looking past me again, he says, “Remember how we would go there after parties in the middle of the night?”

“Of course I do, I never got away with anything. One of the night waitresses would always tell my mom they saw me.” Whoa, where is he going with this?

“Ya ‘know, I still park outside that diner on Saturday nights… but now I’m in a squad car.” He says this with no shortage of mischief. I think to myself, oh my god, this guy is such a COP.

And then I say a little too loudly, “Oh my god Sid, you’re such a COP.”

The two officers in my line of sight look up when I say that. Sid loses his grin and straightens his posture again while looking past me. I turn around in time to see ol’ plain-clothes look in from the kitchen and shoot Sid a look.

“Cooks, I need you in here, pronto.” It’s clearly a command, only cops use the word pronto, and Sid obeys without a second look toward me. Yeah, this guy is seriously a cop.