by Phoebe Wilcox

Why is there a heavy weight and a chain and a padlock in her woodstove?  Because, she says to herself, slightly hysterically, because this is yet another thing that you must carry.  Why?  Because life is full of chains and padlocks and heavy weights.  Heavyweight Wrestlers.  Hollywood makes movies about them.  Movie stars play wrestlers.  She plays a person too, it's like a "reality show," except real.  Every day is like a reality show and she is playing Houdini.  One day it's weights and padlocks and nearly burning the house down and almond butter sandwiches for lunch, and another day it's eating the sky, speading it very very thin with a butterknife.  She makes a budget and realizes that nothing is affordable and then the cops arrive with Valentines instead of guns.  It feels like she should be loved immensely.  Like the sky with stars pulled taut and glittery across the universe.  At this point, the woodstove would have to be painted crooked--a Van Gogh painting padlock.  The padlock would be exaggerated in size, done in gray and white, a selfish cubic monstrosity, an outward manifestation of inner pain, jutting and angular, silent and grim.  Uh huh, uh huh.  And her heart would be, oh, just a few red gashes in this particular painting.  This is not the way I was supposed to be loved, she screams in her head.  Oh no, no, no!  I am way too impressionistic for this! 


This life is not a light life, not some kind of special vegeterian breakfast sausage.  No.  This is not a light life.


she has only just realized that Hitler was a vegetarian.