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..:: CONTENTS ::..
   Volume IV, Issue II

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..
..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I

Ramen Noodles
Paul Kavanagh


The sky is so black. It's a huge maelstrom I tell you. There are tornados, cyclones, hurricanes, the whole deal. If we had cable I am sure I would see my own face on the television. I can't stop gesticulating. I am sure I am on the television. I have to control the grimacing. I can't see the lovely blue sky, that lovely azure that reassures the soul. It's so scary. I drag Kitty outside and point up into the violent soup. I am in such a febrile mess. Kitty looks sick. This is not incongruous, everybody has the façade of sickness. It is the fear. I could be looking in the mirror. That hue of green and yellow, the furrowed brow, the chapped skin, the dry lips.
     I am going to kill myself. I practice with a red crayon. I draw two lines across my wrists. The line on my left wrist is tenuous, it makes me mad to look at it, by contrast the right wrist looks so beautiful, so full of pathos, I cry when I look down upon it, I truly feel like Petronius. I flop upon the couch, I huff, I emit, I smell flowers, I saunter lazily around the apartment. Kitty says, "Now go and wash that off!"
     I use spit and my old jacket.
     "Look at the clouds!" I scream. I'm waiting for the thunderclap. "Those are not clouds they are—" here Kitty stops and gawks fatuously. I don't know what she means. I can't think straight. The sky is swirling.
     There are around one hundred and twenty of them flying through the air. Maybe more, I can't compute, I'm terrible with numbers, I can only count using coins and notes, with the concrete, I get lost in metaphysical labyrinths. There are debt collectors, sin collectors, dirtydream collectors, all kinds of collectors, even stamp collectors. The fat ones are having trouble, they're the sex collectors, fat and slobbering, they barely hover over the ground, the weeds.
     Before they can assault us we make it to the door but locking the door is a waste of time, we're up shit creek for the pride collectors are top notch when it comes to knocking down doors and invading a room like a bunch of Vikings with a thirst. We hide behind the couch, leather, expensive, but they see us, those vanity collectors, they can see through it all, nothing's concrete, everything's invisible.
     "Kitty make a run for it!" I shout out. She runs like a man suffering from piles that are ready to pop. I can't help but laugh. This winds up Kitty and she turns and slaps me right across the face. Well, this gets the dirtydream collectors coming straight for me and in their hands are broken bottles, sharp, serrated, deadly.
     Seeing me laugh Kitty, now irate, turns to me and says, "if you laugh at me again I'll slap you!" I don't believe her, violence is antithetical to her nature. I think our marriage is falling apart.


When you are unemployed in America the jackals appear, in Britain they make you confess to your crimes, in Russia you get vodka, in the Cameroon you train to run marathons, in France they teach you to cut up garlic, in Belgium you get fat, China you juggle rice, Greece you have to read out loud both The Iliad and The Odyssey while stuffing olives into your mouth, North Korea you have to write Kim Jong-Il a million times on the black board, Australia you stand on your head, in Patagonia, down in Patagonia I heard that when you defecate you do it standing on your head. I want to go to Patagonia, I want to get away from all this worry, worry about money, debt, insurance, immigration, the bomb, outsourcing, the INS, AIDS, black holes, obesity, global warming, global cooling, lead paint, in Patagonia I won't have to worry about China, about India, terrorism, Wall Street, Microsoft, the monopoly, heart attacks, dog fighting, the football results, dishonest referees, the house prices, the economy, who's number one, which star is in rehab, who's going to win the Oscar, I want to get away, I want Kitty and me to escape, because sooner or later cancer will get us.


"You can't get out of it," says Kitty. I hate it when she's steadfast. Out of the window I see the taxi pull up. It is a yellow cab with black writing. "The taxi's here," says Kitty feigning excitement. "I don't want to go," I say putting on my coat. "Stop being a child," says Kitty, opening the front door. "We need to eat." "Please," I plead, "let's stop going to the Borgias for dinner." The blood has coagulated and my snot is brown. I feel as though I am standing on top of that metaphysical mountaintop. If I slip and fall down it will be the end of us. Kitty says, " We are not walking over egg shells, we are living on egg shells." Kitty is always on the move, I truly believe it is because our marriage is metaphysical that we are still together. We sit on the floor. The couch has been repossessed. We have no television. We sit in darkness. A bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, a fart, singing in the ear, a puerile giggle. I've heard it all. I no longer have any pride. Even our friends won't call around, they are embarrassed of us. We have no friends. My life is no longer fragmented. The taxi is outside. We eat only Ramen noodles. Pork flavor is the best.


//   Advance   //