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My sex drive walked back in the door with a broken suitcase. Her name was Zelda. She was sort of the new me. I called her Zelda, as though I were a maniac with two selves. During the pain syndrome, the real me had slipped away. My husband had stopped noticing that the me was gone. I bored myself to tears. The real me was unrecognizably plump and asexual.
Not Zelda. She wanted my physical therapist's body, the one named Brian.
Sirens were often bursting past our window, ruining people's lives. In the paper, a letter about how people were getting hit by cars just crossing the street to collect their dog's poop. That was exactly what had happened to the real me. I had been hit by a car. I didn't remember it, but that was what happened. I cut out the article about drunk tourists and put it on the fridge.
"It is more dangerous to cross your own street than to fly over the rocky mountains in a two-seater," the article said. The real me understood and empathized.
Zelda said, "so what?"
That's what the physical therapist said too, on my first visit to him months after the accident where the drunk tourist nearly took off my leg. The physical therapist was "upbeat" about recovery
"So what?" he said. "Here you are now. You are you in this moment of being you."
I told him my marriage was dead meat. I should not have said it, but I did. I cried on the massage table. He rubbed herbal oil on my neck, gave me his "overview" about husbands. I was enjoying his fingers, and the sensation of warmth.
"Husbands suck when wives are seriously hurt," Brian said. Zelda was somewhere nearby, listening.
Brian said he liked my damaged leg, liked the shape of it, named it "Matilda".
"How's old Maddy today?" he would say.
I refused to look him in the eyes, as doing so once had given me a red face. Even though I couldn't exactly walk, I was still very shapely.
My sister brought over corn everything and flirted with my husband. Corn dogs, corn cakes, corn bread, corn chips, corn litter for the cats. She believed that corn meant good luck. She had both kinds of arthritis. The long term kind, and the surgical kind. She popped Advil and always carried something made with organic corn in her big purse. Her last boyfriend hated children, would not walk within a block from a school or playground. She had finally left him, but now her knuckles were purple, and she couldn't find work. My husband called her a "champ". My husband said her attitude "rocked".
There was a heat wave the day my sex life came back wearing glow-in-the-dark underwear. My sister had long stopped bringing corn and was now bringing soy this and soy that. It had been a year and a half of sitting and crying. My husband was likely jerking off every time he took a shower.
One day I said, "you better start scrubbing that."
I heard the shower running and knew my husband was either cleaning it or showering and Zelda made me call Brian on his cell. It has been six months since I'd seen him.
Brian said I should come back for a follow-up ultrasound, and that he had one very late-afternoon opening.
He said, "ultrasound is delicious". He said he had just been thinking about me and Maddy. He also said he'd order some pizza.
Zelda, picked me up in her convertible. I imagined a pizza with everything. The old me hopped in next to Zelda and said nothing. Zelda drove. It had been long enough.
Meg Pokrass is the author
of "Lost and Found" a chapbook edited and illustrated
by Cooper Renner. Megs stories and poems have appeared
or are forthcoming in Gargoyle, Gigantic, Annalemma, 3AM,
Monkeybicycle, The Pedestal, Matchbook Lit Mag, decomP, Pank,
JMWW, Mud Luscious, Juked, Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly,
Wigleaf, Elimae, Keyhole, FRIGG,Wordriot, Thieves Jargon, Eclectica,
Kitty Snacks, Rumble, and various upcoming anthologies of
flash. Meg serves as a staff editor for SmokeLong Quarterly,
and is currently mentoring with Dzancs Creative Writing
Sessions. Meg's story "Leaving Hope Ranch" in Storyglossia
was selected for Wigleaf s Top 50 Flash Stories, 2009.
Her story, "Lost and Found", in elimae, was chosen
in May 2009 by Storyglossia for Short Story Month anthology.
Meg was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her story
"What the Doctor Ordered" by Monkeybicycle.
You can view Meg reading some of her stories on video here: http://www.youtube.com/megpokrass1
Her blog, with prompts and writing exercises can be found here: http://www.megpokrass.com