May 12th, 2004

Mask

Two Car Garage

Ronald McCloy is falling asleep, his stomach full of ravioli and his hands full of wife, a combination he finds pleasing.

His wife, Victoria, always tries to spice up her ravioli, adding sweet red peppers, freshly sliced tomatoes, garlic, cream sauce, whatever she imagines will help to make the dish less boring. Her husband, flattered by her effort, does not tell her that his favorite method of preparation is from the bag to the pot to the dish, with nothing added at all, something she only does on especially busy days. Ronald looks forward to busy days with unspoken pleasure.





Smudge, the yorkie with the black spot on his nose, cannot be kept off the bed and curls between their feet, happily snuffling through the night. Ronald bought him a doggie bed from L.L Bean, a cottony barrel shaped item, which rests, unused, in the corner of the master bedroom.

Six years ago, Ronald was promoted to a salary which for the first time allowed them to consider children. Now, a five and three year old later, they are blessed in a way that the American Dream promised; healthy children, a good job, a beautiful house, two cars and a yearly vacation.

Joanna is just old enough for nightmares, and dependably once a week will come tottering into their room asking for a place between them. Her blond curls are just now beginning to fade to a chestnut brown. She wears Scooby Doo pajamas and is going though a stage of adoration for everything in a pastel shade. Tonight she is resting peacefully in her yellow room.

Bennie, only three, is captivated by trains. This obsession is fed by Victoria’s father, who gives him plastic train sets and musical train videos unconcerned that it is Ronald who will find the pieces in his shoes and who must listen to the same music for days.

Victoria’s hair, like a cloud, smells like strawberries and ravioli. Ronald hugs her tighter to him, much to the dismay of Smudge, who whimpers his disappointment at his displacement between their feet. Ronald kisses her bare shoulder. She does not wake, but snorts, and Ronald finds himself filled with love for her sleeping form.

The floorboards creak downstairs and sleepily Ronald thinks that his new house is settling. He wonders how many years it will take until it sinks into place.




Photos By Planetx

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