Amanda #7

Author’s Note — This will be the last Amanda post for awhile.   Enjoy!

***

The days before Jim and Amanda were quiet, almost too quiet.   Richard and Dahlia, two young lovebirds, cruising around in a convertible, listening to the sound of wind crash into their eardrums.   At sunset, they’d find a spot off the California freeway, set up camp and start a fire.  After a canned dinner, Richard would pluck his guitar while Dahlia dreamed of a warm place with wall-to-wall carpeting.   Kids would roam the house, books in either hand, a smile planted upon their faces.   After a hard day’s work, Richard would come home, leap upon the trampoline with the kids, then once the rest of the house had settled in, the couple would slow dance to either classical music or jazz.   The next morning, the entire family all dressed in pajamas seated around the breakfast table with an array of smoked salmon, cereals, pastries and tea.   Unfortunately for Dahlia, this family never existed…trouble from the get-go.

Jim possessed the most irritating brilliance to Dahlia.  He seemed to know the answers to rather complicated matters long before her.   It would just blurt right out him.   Dahlia, of course, as his mother, refused to accept that perhaps he was onto something.  Kids, she’d rationalize, what could he, they, any of them know?   Yet a fortnight later and many dollars tossed into the pockets of too many strangers, there arrived the answer.  The same one Jim had blurted out.  He’s a smart one, Dahlia surmised.   Then a week a later, a new problem would arrive and the whole cycle would start over again.

When the problem of Amanda arrived (otherwise known as her birth, according to Jim), neither parent knew what to do.   Even Jim was perplexed.   After many attempts at getting to know and care for his baby sister, five-year-old little Jim suggested drowning “that bitch”.  This would lead to “Jimmy, where’d you hear that word from” but Dahlia knew; from the mouth of a man on the other end of the sliding glass door smoking a cigarette out on the decaying deck.  A hundred and fifty therapists in, not a single one knew how to tend to her raucous daughter.

After one wild lovemaking session, Richard proposed, “It’s time we accept Amanda for who she is.”

“Richard,” moaned Dahlia, “who the fuck is she?  I mean, I don’t know what to say to her half the time.  She freaks me out.  Doesn’t she freak you out?”

Richard groaned, “Sometimes.”

“Sometimes! Sometimes?   She’s impossible.   Maybe Jim was right.  Maybe we should drown her.”

“Are you fucking loony?   Dahlia, seriously…you really think we should drown our own daughter?”

Roaring in laughter, “It would make life easier on us.”  Tears coated Dahlia’s face, “I don’t know how to deal with this, Richard.  It feels like I’m in a madhouse every day.  This isn’t the life I dreamed of.  You know that!”

Lost for words, Richard ran his finger up and down Dahlia’s spine.

Amanda #2

Poor little girl, lost as ever.   Between her brother’s insidious ways and Zack’s wandering eye, Amanda paced to and fro in her bedroom.   She wondered whether it was chocolate or vanilla ice cream Zack had consumed with his apple pie.   Created some sort of rationalization that if it’s chocolate then perhaps he’s sexually charged.   In some woman’s magazine, perhaps Elle, Amanda read that men who consume chocolate on a regular basis have a high sex drive.   But chocolate ice cream and apple pie?   Yuck, thought Amanda.   Vanilla ice cream tends to combine better with apple pie.   Vanilla, according to this article, when consumed by a male, signifies low sperm count.    “Subconsciously,” Amanda read, “a man eats the vanilla thinking that it’s his own sperm.”   Although those words scattered across her brain, Amanda saw something else—

Zack in a midnight blue robe, its belt dangling at his sides.   He mouths the words, “Ready for it?”   Amanda licks her lips.  He extracts his forty-foot penis whereupon a laser beam of vanilla ice cream sprays her in the face.

Crash baloom!  Jim didn’t even bother knocking or hollering.   He just knew that Amanda would pull some maneuver.   Either that or he saw through the windows, dining room chairs pushed up against the doorknobs.  All of them.

Once inside, Jim dragged the dining room chairs under the table and stormed into his room whereupon he filled a plastic bag with dirty clothing.  Amanda watched him.

“Going somewhere, Jimmy?”

“Like you care!”

“You stick around here and yeah I care!  Doing laundry?”

Jim shoved his middle finger into Amanda’s nose and then marched out the house like a spoiled teenager.

A mad grin took over.    Amanda figured with Jim possibly gone she can invite Zack over.   There’s that beat-up MG in the garage.   He could come by, check under the hood and while he’s leaning into the dusty engine, she can grab his ass.  If only she knew his number.

“No Blueman a hundred miles from me.  Dat’s nuts!”

“Can I help you with anything else, madam?”

“Madman?”

“No,” the operator laughed.  “I said ‘Madam’. M-A-D-A-M.”

“It’s spelled B-L-U-E-M-A-N.”

The operator hesitated, clearly doing everything in her power to contain her frustration, “Let me repeat, the nearest Blueman is one hundred miles from you.   Have a good day.”  Dial tone.

Amanda #1

Something tol’s me that he secretly wants me.   Seen dem wandering eyes as he fixes de ‘ngines.   So strong, I seen him bend things without a sweat drop going anywhere.    Maybe one sizzled on a rock beneath him once.  Been watching him for too long.   He’s five years older den me.    He may been in the same school as my older brother, Jim.

The first I seen him was playing basketball.   He wore no shirt.   Made me wanna jump over the bleachers, push him to the ground.    Dat was so long ago.    Now, he don’t play any ball games.   Just fixes cars and maybe reading dem books.

Musta been when I was in tenth grade, few weeks before dropping out, Jim saw some scribbling on a napkin – Amanda ‘N Zack foreva!   He laughed and laughed saying, “You think Zack wants you, Amanda?  A simple little girl.  Fahget it.  Just fahget it.   He goes for hot hot girls.   Get out of those sweats and maybe he’ll take you.”    Take me where?   To his bed?   To the zoo?   To the movies?    Jim just laughed.   Made me feel shitty.

We was at the diner, Jim and me, when I saw Zack came in.   Jim musta forgotten about the napkin scribbles.   My eyes only saw Zack.   He looked so skinny yet strong.   Wore a muscle shirt.    On his arm’s a tattoo of a baby dragon dancing on a building.  The artist was so good you can see far away fire burning.

“You okay,” Jim snapped.   His fingers snap when he gets mad.   I nodded but looked back at Zack.    Zack Blueman.   Amanda Blueman.  Sounds prettier than Amanda Jenkins.   Shit, do I got the name of a banker or what?   When I marry Zack Blueman, I gonna be his receptionist.   Gonna answer the phone, “Blueman Motors.  Dis is Amanda.  How can I help you?”

Those days will come soon, I tell ya.   He and me gonna get all naughty and stuff when we shut down for the night.  Do it on a broken BMW.   Screw till the sun comes out again.

Jim’s voice started rising in the diner.   People stared.  I don’t know what Jim be saying but boy did my cheeks get all red.  Even Zack looked over.   He was eating an apple pie with ice cream.   I tol’ Jim to be quiet but he just kept saying over and over again, “What are you looking at, girl?  Why’s you stupid all of a sudden?”   I got’s angry back saying, “Can’t I look at what I want?  All day and night I hear yur stupid voice.   Shut up for once, Jim, and eat yur food.”   Dat don’t settle Jim at all.  He just get all worked up.  Smacking the table.   Throws ketchup at me.   People surrounded the table thinking we gonna start a brawl.    We both apologized and stuff but when alone he whispered some mean stuff.   I so embarrassed I just left.   Took a glance over at Zack who be slurping some chocolate milk.   Damn, he look so good!

The heat burn my skin as I walk somewhere.  Anywhere.   Thought of a garden, a pretty one growing blueberries and ginger.   Nah!  Too far.   Thought of an ice cream shop that plays nice music.   I’s already eaten.  Home sounded nice.   Home where I can stick chairs under the doors so Jim don’t come in.   I’ll sit upstairs laughing at Jim’s hollering and banging as I touch myself thinking of Zack.