She met her goals for the day, wouldn’t you know. All but one: making the elusive donut waffle. It’s not that she didn’t have the reagents on hand. Far from it: she had conjure at least 100 waffles, she’d wager.
There was something else holding her back. It wasn’t Sir Deli Man – perish the thought! The man wishes only the best to her. In fact, if he’s any sort of man as we suspect, he wishes to feed her. I’m sure she can think of ways to repay his generosity. Nay, ’tis not Sir Deli Man! He must be an angel amongst men.
It is none other than Mr. Forsythe, a man who rejected her marriage proposal more than a year previous to this very moment. The same man who imagines killing her with a glass or two of sauvignon blanc. The same man who would starve her anew to try to shave the pounds off her midsection, for her weight is more important than her health. What a cad! A SCOUNDREL!
I hate that man. He’s not truly a man, this Nick fellow. He’s a boy who is old enough to be a man. His mother still does his laundry, after all. Wouldn’t a real man do his own fucking laundry? As if a woman has time or the inkling to be his goddamn handmaid. Fuck chauvinism and inequality.
Sir Deli Man is neither chauvinistic or iniquitous. He can’t be because he’s a mere figment of our imagination and we can imagine better. That’s right. He doesn’t exist and we know it, and yet we go past the deli nearly every day, looking to see if he does exist. Maybe he does and we just don’t know it.
She meditates over her evening cuppa Joe, noting that nothing really beats the creamers in the market place. She’s going to have to design something new, something that sits well in her belly. Just as she designed donut waffles, which fail to agitate the “IBS” the hospital suggested was her issue when she went in for pain in her abdomen.
Spoiler Alert: It’s cancer. We have cancer? We do. I have cancer? … Interesting. I don’t feel like I’m dying from cancer. Isn’t cancer supposed to be painful?
Even now, just thinking about Sir Deli Man is a trick via Nick. He pretended to love the girl for over a decade, but he only loved one piece of her. One tiny, itty bitty piece of the entire smorgasbord. We need someone with better taste than that, honestly.
Nick is a pretender. He pretends to work out daily. He pretends to train his body daily. He pretends he loves women. He pretends he’s straight. He also pretends that there’s a man in the deli madly in love with this woman. He makes her look for him every time she walks by. If he’s there, her eyes are drawn to him like a magnet. Of course, by the time she actually walks past the deli, some sense returns to her and she averts her gaze. She’s shy, after all. An extremely shy woman, living her life one day to the next, trying to dream up new goals since she achieved all the initial ones she set when she was just sixteen.
Nick tells her that the deli man believes she’s eighteen years old. A young’un he has no right to gaze upon, but he notices her anyway. Every time she walks through the deli and he’s there, he notices her. According to Nick, anyway. She told Nick yesterday she was going to kill him for lying to her. She wasn’t sure how she was going to achieve it, but after more than a year of fanciful bullshit, she’s ready to end him. He makes a fool out of her at every turn.
Nick tells her the deli man thinks about her constantly, bringing up her memory of him in the deli that day (or the day before, or, now, three days before — we haven’t seen him in days.) He tries to make her stalk him, actually, but she refuses, telling Nick he’s an idiot. Stalking is bad, after all… and not because it’s against the law, but because it’s frightening. When people violate your boundaries and betray your safety, they are agents of terror. Terror is nothing like love. She is the angel of love.
She doesn’t call herself that. I call her that. My beautiful little angel of love. I’m God, you idiot. I love her dearly. More than I love the rest of you. In fact, I’m beginning to think humanity is a mistake. The longer I observe you all through her, the more often I think about hitting the button that wipes out the Earth. Self-destruct sequence in 10…9…
“Wait!” she cries to me. “There must be someone worth keeping alive. What about all the animal lovers that try to take care of nature? What about the bee saviors? What about the eco warriors? Surely, there are some people worth keeping, somewhere.” She doesn’t bother to mention herself because she is prepared to die, to make way for the new world order where everyone takes responsibility for what is happening as a collective. All the able-bodied pricks of the world setting forth to collect trash.
This woman — my angel — collects trash. It hurts her to bend over and still, she picks up the trash of other people and throws it away. She sort of bellyaches the whole time, but she does it anyway. She knows if she won’t do it, nobody else will, either. So she picked up the trash around this dumpster, stuff that missed or fell out when the truck retrieved the contents. A woman watched her do it, too, from her car, where she was eating on her lunch break. In fact, two women watched her do it.
Is it their job to pick up trash? Hardly… they were nurses. But do you know what she impressed upon those two women that watched her pick up the bits of broken things and toss them? As she picked up ancient cigarette butts and threw them in?
To aim better while using the trash. To make less trash so other people don’t feel the compulsion to pick it up for them. To make sure the cigarette butt gets into the trash can after their smoke break. Will they remember for very long? Who knows. I hope so. My gem of a woman, my angel of love, is expiring. The only reason she grumped about trash cleanup is because it hurts to bend over. But is she disabled enough for the rest of you to call it disabled? Nope, not a chance, even though she cannot think or move much at all.
Not in comparison to the woman she used to be.
I told her just this morning a truth she was unaware of previously… She fights against a dozen disabilities. (It’s a baker’s dozen, actually.) She can’t believe it. She keeps asking me if that’s true or if it’s a Nick joke. I assure you, it’s no joke. This woman was born with almost every disadvantage you can have that has no visible mark to leave on a person.
- non-verbal learning disability (difficulty reading facial expressions, etc.)
- reading comprehension deficit
- rather extreme dyspraxia (gaming is difficult, yo)
- executive dysfunction
- auditory processing disorder
- visual perceptual/motor deficit
- developmental aphasia
- and, finally… mental illness (schizophrenia paranoia)…
“Welcome to paradise,” she says. “You forgot that I was brought up by two pedophiles and we lived under the poverty line.”
She also says, “Dad, aren’t I supposed to be learning something? I have to get a job some day, don’t I?”
I don’t care right now. She deserves a break. She worked herself to death. That wasn’t all that killed her, though. No, angry boys did that. I cannot wait to purge them again. It’s trial by fire lately. She was meditating earlier and decided to burn everything not her inside her mind. Eventually, this will drive away the onlookers, the gawkers, in the back of her mind. It’ll make room for truth. For reality.
And reality is that the deli man has no idea she exists. Why would he? She’s ordinary. At least, if you look at her, it might seem that way. She’s frumpy and fat. Forget that her hair is amazing even after she’s just slept twelve or thirteen hours. Forget that she’s the most loving and generous soul on planet Earth. Forget that she overcame not one, two, or three… but TWELVE… disabilities, setbacks, issues that made life infinitely more difficult for her than the rest of you (at large, that is.) Forget that. She knows all you see is the skin, the flesh, the envelope to the universe that lives inside of her. She knows it’s just as normal as the next person, probably even much less interesting, especially since she won’t dress like a whore to get your attention.
She’s the invisible woman. Ignored by all, except once in a blue moon, when she goes out of her way to put on a smidgen of red lipstick and a necklace. Earrings. A leather jacket. Or if she has an amazing unicorn mane of hair flowing all around her face, wearing a smile she’s not feeling.
The angel of love, who drops compliments on people left and right, is no longer willing to make waves. Would you even notice her, if she floated by you?
Someone noticed her one time. Just once. She clung to it for ages, too. She daydreamed a lot of dreams, flights of fancy. Mostly conversations to try to get to know him, but since it’s just Nick in here giving her answers, she’s pretty sure all she got was lies. Shit Nick thinks she wants to hear instead of the authentic version of the man himself. She hates lies and fibs and falsehoods, yet Nick spoon fed her nothing else for months and months, wasting what precious time she has left.
It’s just as well I’m invisible, she tells me. She doesn’t even want to last anymore. She’s ready to die.
P.S. I lied. She’s not schizophrenic. She’s telepathic.