“A friend of mine is a plastic surgeon.”
- sip, swallow of a dry martini.
“Yeah? You thinkin’ of getting new tits?”
-sip, swallow, “I love you. Don’t say ‘tits.’ He’ll see you for free.”
“I don’t want tits.”
- sip, swallow, cough, sigh, sip, swallow . . .
“You know what I mean. I think he can help you.”
Help me? I hold down a full time job, put in some significant overtime, in fact, drive, pay my bills, pay my taxes and file for a tax return, so why, mama, do I need help? Look better? Improve my outward appearance? most of it, by the fucking way, I inherited from you: color of my eyes and hair, shape of my nose, fullness of my lips. True enough, daddy gave me his height and his cheeks and his hands but my face . . . all scar-tissued and rough . . . goddamn, better than service stripes to serve as evidence of service in war . . . its features came from you. Short, thin you with your peroxide blonde hair and permanent makeup (don’t bitch ‘bout my ink, woman, you got lipstick and eyeliner and blush inked into your face) and your small delicate soft so soft ever motherly hands with their goddamn manicured nails and ain’t you named me a manicured name? Not definitively feminine and neither bonafide masculine, somewhere in between and ain’t you and sissy the only females who address me by that femuline name? Daddy doesn’t call me by any goddamn name.
Point blank period.
You’ve been blessed with a dick, son, use it.
Defend your mama and your sissy and all females, son, they ain’t equipped to defend themselves. Salute them if their rank is higher than yours, carry out their orders, “ma’am” them and open doors for them and know you were born equipped to protect them.
And protect them.
Not commandments mama’s plastic surgeon had, safe bet, but I don’t know him from Adam and for all I know he’s a gentleman and an upright citizen, pays his taxes, roger that, contributes to charity, uh fur muh tiv, is kind to nonhuman animals (unless he’s eating em), and he might have no designs whatsoever on mama, just a nice guy who who’s agreed to do her a favor: fix her son’s face. Fix it so hair grows everywhere it’s supposed to grow on an unmaimed man. Fix it so he doesn’t feel obliged to wear sunglasses and a hat all the time to shield cover diminish the fucked-up’dness caused my heat and bullets. Fix it so his smile doesn’t look crooked, scanted, off-kilter. So he doesn’t shake hands without eye contact.
looks like the son who deployed and not the son who returned after three tours.
“He’ll just look you over, that’s all” – sip, swallow – “just in case.”
“Much obliged, mama, but I don’t believe anything that’s gonna happen can be prevented if only scar tissue didn’t keep hair from growing” – swallow of beer – “fuck that.”
“I love you. Don’t say ‘fuck.’”