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Me and Theodore Are Trapped in the Trunk of the Car with Rags in Our Mouths and Tape Around Our Wrists and Ankles, Please Let Us


by Mary Hamilton


I built a bridge and named it Samuel. I built a bridge out of tongue depressors and cotton swabs stolen from my doctor's office. I built a bridge out of paper gowns and syringes stolen from my doctor's office. I built a bridge out of soap dispensers and air hoses stolen from my doctor's office. It took me seven years to build my bridge. I visited eighteen doctors. I stole from eighteen doctors. I waited in eighteen exam rooms. I looked through eighteen sets of drawers and cabinets. I had a sore throat. I had an ear infection. I stepped on a rusty nail. I stubbed my toe. I broke my arm. Influenza. Yeast infection. Shingles. Lyme Disease. Breast lump. Strep throat. Poison Ivy. Hair loss. Swollen tongue. Glaucoma. Concussion. Herpes. Hangnail.

I built a bridge and used it to cross. I built a bridge and used it as shelter during storm. I built a bridge and skated in ice and snow. I made my ice skates out of razor blades and rubber bands stolen from my doctor. I cut my nails and made a mirror. I grew my hair and made a rope. I cut my hand and made a river to run under. I cut my hair and made a mattress, a shirt, a rug to shake and beat over the railing.

I built a bridge for strong and sturdy. I built a bridge and named it Doris.

Not done. I needed a tree. I needed a road. I needed a car to move me faster. To make me crash. To throw me free. I followed my doctor home. I chased his Honda. I put a flag on his bumper so I could see it from far off. I kept my distance. I followed my doctor. I followed my doctor home. I waited outside his house. I waited for him to sleep. I waited for him to eat dinner. Do the dishes. Read a magazine. Jerk off. I waited for him to take a shower. To watch the talk shows. I waited for him to sleep. For him to R.E.M. For him to toss and turn. To dream of children. To dream of pre-pubescents fighting a war using elephants and camels instead of horses. Waited for him to dream of children firing guns and throwing grenades and building bombs. I waited for him to snore.

I stood in the moonlight.

I hung from a streetlight.

I broke down his door.

I rearranged his furniture. I made an omelet for my hunter. I washed my clothes. I tore the curtains and made a dress. I made shoes from the door handles and earrings from the soap. I made a garden salad from paint chips and used batteries.

I found his room I said his name, Doctor. I moved closer and said his name louder, Doctor. I moved to the bed and said his name louder again, Doctor Doctor. He rolled over. He pulled his knees to his chest. He nuzzled his pillow. I moved to his bedside. I sat next to him. I kissed his forehead. I stole pieces of his hair. A corner from his blanket. His right slipper. His four front teeth.

I found his attic. I found his workshop. I unlocked the door and I found a model airplane. The size of my upper half. Wingspan my wingspan. I found an airplane made of skin samples and hair. Blood cells and Petri dishes. Propellers made of charts and hair roots. Wings of x-rays and phlegm. I found maps made of bed trays and goggles made from rubber bands.

I took the plane to the roof.

I made the plane fly.
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