Posts Tagged ‘Emily Ramser’


Tomorrow is a New Day for Secrets

Emily Ramser

 

The boy turns the pages with curious fingers. He runs them across the glossy photos, lingering on the women’s faces and pouty red-painted lips. They are all so beautiful, he thinks. That is the word he should use, isn’t it? Beautiful? They steal his breath from his tummy and lite him on fire.

 

He can feel if racing through his body. The flames tickle his palms and make the crevices between his fingers sweat. He flips too another page, and his eyes widen. So lovely. She looks like his mother, he thinks. He strokes the model’s deep brown hair and pale skin. So pretty.

 

From beyond the bathroom a door slams. He drops the dirty magazine in fright. It slumps against the bathroom’s tile floor. He stuffs it back in the pile of magazines resting on the back of the toilet. Tomorrow. He would look again tomorrow.

 

Across the hall the girl presses her thumb against the lock of her door, assuring that no one could enter. Not like anyone was home. Her house was a ghost town expect for her younger brother in the bathroom.

 

She sits on the edge of her bed. The purple comforter spreads out like a mystic sea behind her. Her mother had picked it out. She would have preferred a red or green, but her mother thinks a girl should be interested in purples and pinks, not boy colors like reds and greens.

 

The letters on the brochure match the blanket, she thinks. Maybe her mother designed it. Her lips tilt up in a smirk. As if. She reads them again, holding her breath as if they might have changed since she picked the paper up at the clinic.

 

“Trans youth, we’re here to help you.”

 

They haven’t changed. Her breath flies out in a woosh and she unfolds it to read the information inside. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll go back and talk to the clinic counselor, she thinks.

 

Outside her window her father’s car idles. He sits in the front seat with his hands holding a pack of papers to the steering wheel. He reads the same line over and over again.

 

“Am I doing this?”

 

He whispers aloud to himself, filling the quiet car. He rereads the divorce papers and turns off the car. He fingers the key, nervous energy keeping him from being still. Might as well get this over with, he thinks. Is she even home?

 

He walks inside his empty home. Were his children even here? His daughter was never home, for she was always out with her short-haired friends smoking cigarettes. His son hid upstairs more often than naught with his video games. He often finds himself wondering if he even has a family.

 

He lays the papers on one of the placemats his wife had laid out earlier. She will see it whenever she decides to come back, he thinks. Then she can leave without having to worry about arranging placemats ever again. He smirks. When she leaves he will light these plastic things on fire on the garage floor. He can see them now, twisting and dancing in the flames.

 

He collapses on to the living room’s overstuffed puke-green couch. His wife had picked it out, so when she left she could take it. He would get something a little less puke colored and a little more leather colored. He would finally be able to make his own choices. Tomorrow, he thinks. After tomorrow I can do anything I want.

 

The house shifts on its foundation, sending a creak through its halls. The girl looks up at the noise and stashes the pamphlet under her pink pillow. She uses the remote on her nightstand to turn on her ipod radio. The boy turns up the volume of his game in the room opposite hers. Downstairs their father turns up the tv so as to hear the actors say their lines. Tomorrow. At least tomorrow it will be quiet, the house thinks.


“A Buncha Cruncha Date”.

He looked over at her. She was fixated on the screen; her face was awash with the flashing of the onscreen police cars. She bit her lip, waiting to see what would happen. He loved it when she did that, when she scrunched up her nose and chewed on that ruby red lip glistening with his favorite cherry gloss. It was the most adorable thing he’d ever seen. When she bit it like that he just wanted to thumb it out from under her teeth and kiss it.

“Hey, stop staring at me and watch the movie.” Her hushed admonishment only made his desire to kiss her that much stronger. She turned back to the screen, her eyes widened with fear and surprise at the new twists and turns. The main character whipped out a gun, a toy one from the looks of it. The fear disappeared from her eyes, but remained in the way her body was squeezed together and how she clutched at the soda.

“The New Age Medusa; Dragazilla.” The commercial had screamed the words in vibrant purple underneath the image of a multi headed dragon. When she had seen that, her age-old love of dragons, retro Godzilla movies, and greek legends had come whirling together. Since that day she hadn’t been able to stop blabbering about the movie.

Her fingers had latched onto his hand, a squid’s tentacles clasping its prey with its suckers. She had drug him to this out of the way theater with crackling lights and sticky week-old popcorn. The clerk behind the glass had a mustache leaking with styling grease and pimple goo. The teenager hardly knew how to work the cash register, he’d wondered if he was even passing his high school classes. The boy would probably be here for the rest of his life. Maybe that was why he’d slipped him an extra buck as some sort of tip.

The tickets had been nine bucks plus that extra tip, way too expensive for an everyday trip to the movies. The place was a rip-off, but it was worth it to see her bite that lip while she smiled. He couldn’t deny her anything when she smiled like that. Her hand dipped into popcorn bucket, stealing another piece.

When they’d got here, she’d slipped a box of Buncha Crunch out of her purse and dumped it in the popcorn. While he admired her resourcefulness in sneaking the candy in, he didn’t understand her obsession with mixing chocolate and butter together. She couldn’t watch movies without it. It was like a blanket for a toddler or a pair of lucky socks for a runner. He turned back to the screen, wondering what was keeping her so enraptured.

Onscreen the dragon was using its head to turn the New York cops to stone. What drugs had the writers been on? Why did this interest her so? He imagined a bunch of old has-been directors sitting around drinking coffee and smoking joints. Their thoughts and conversations filled with wonders of what their next big blockbuster would be. With eyes red and dry, their pencils started scribbling doodles of random creatures and writing half-thought out jokes. They’d ended up with an angry Medusa-Hydra-Godzilla hybrid and stuck it up on the big screen.

The creature’s head appeared in the window of the main character’s apartment, causing her to jump. Her hand slipped onto his, her fingers wrapping around his. Her teeth went back to that lip and he couldn’t help but squeeze her hand. If overpriced crappy flicks made her happy, he wouldn’t mind making a habit of eating stale popcorn and Buncha Crunches every Saturday for the rest of his life.


Period Pants.

I had these Smurf PJ-pants
fuzzy, black, white and blue
then I started leaking
turning those white hats pink.

those pants left, they stuck their
blue thumbs out, vagabond forest
creatures catching a ride on
the garbage truck

now I’m alone, my little blue men gone,
and stark naked, goose-flesh and pimples
waiting for the shower to turn on
and wash away this blood and innards.

This furry I met.

a coyote,
no a coyote-man
one inside the body of a yote
at one with that which is unknown
for he himself is one unknown

confused children of the moon?
He, himself, shares your
conf-oos-ion
for he knows naught
what is known

the things he says, spill out
in loops and giggles,
winding ways around his tongue
saying words
tainted with alcohol
dripping out
and down his
ton-gue

howling at the moon,
wait wolves howl, as in
his “mate” of the moment,
howling words of alcohol
al-co-hol
slipping down his
ton-gue

say hello to him, friends
as he slips his words,
fumbling for an adjective
or a noun with which to call
the things he wishes to speak of

say goodbye to him, friends
as he falls
slipping down, his words of
al-coo-hol