NEW YEAR’S KISS
The clock strikes down.
Ten, Nine, Eight
We get the glasses out,
Fill them with the sparkling
We gather around
Five, Four, Three
The couples hold hands,
They look each other
In the eyes
Except for me, still waiting
New Year’s Kiss
THE COFFEE SHOP
Sarah looked at the guitarist, who was setting up. He placed his guitar on its stand, and took a chair from the front table. He placed it in the center, and tapped on the microphone. She pushed her blonde hair back, behind her ear.
“Hello, everyone and welcome to The Coffee Shop’s Music Thursdays.” He took a seat and strummed his guitar. He started to play, a song Sarah has never heard of, and sang.
His voice was beautiful. It’s a shame the only costumers in the coffee shop were Sarah and two guys.
She looked over at them. It seemed that they both got the same drink, and that they came here many times before.
The cashier knew both their names. A tap at the window broke Sarah’s gaze.
It was her brother and she jumped up when she saw him. He rushed inside and picked her up for a hug. She held on to him for a while.
“Adam. I’m so happy you made it!” she said, as she took her seat.
“What are you drinking?” he asked.
“Some mocha raspberry thing.” He stood up and ordered, looking back at his sister that he hasn’t seen in three years. He came back, looking at the table with the two men who were now holding hands, eyes locked on the guitarist.
“Why couldn’t we meet at your place?” Adam asked.
“Because its music Thursdays! How are you?” Sarah said.
“Happy to be home. And you?” Adam answered, taking Sarah’s hands.
“Same old, same old. Dad wants to see you.” The guitarist changed songs, this time to a more upbeat one.
“Come up and dance if you want to,” He urged the crowd. Sarah looked over at the couple. One of them led the other to the space in front of the stage. They started dancing.
Sarah looked at them.
“That’s disgusting.” Adam said, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Two men shouldn’t be together. It’s unnatural.” Adam said, looking at the couple.
By now, the guitarist changed songs. A slow one, with no vocals. The couple began to slow dance, keeping up with his beat.
“I think it’s adorable.” Sarah said. She caught the eye of one of the men and waved. He waved back with a small smile.
“Don’t smile at them. They’ll think it’s cute.” Adam said.
“Adam, they’re not animals.” The guitarist ended his song and placed his guitar in a holder. He walked off the stage, walking to the cashier. The couple came back to their seat. The coffee shop became quiet. “Why didn’t you come home?” Sarah asked.
“You knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t just leave my post because mom died.”
“Are you at least going to see him?” Sarah asked. Adam looked at her.
“I figured I would stop by the house and make sure he’s okay.”
“You know he doesn’t blame you. Mom’s death was natural,” Sarah said.
The couple laughed and one of them placed a kiss on the other. Adam looked at them.
“Do they have to do that in public?” he said, raising his voice at the last word. One of them looked over at him.
“Adam, they can do whatever they want. They aren’t brothering us.” Sarah said, looking to the couple and shaking her head. She mouthed I’m sorry.
They waved it away, like they were used to it. Like they were used to the looking, the laughing behind ones back.
“No. They are bothering me.” Adam said, walking toward their table. “Why don’t do that in private? This is a place for normal people, not faggots like you.”
“Adam” Sarah said, standing up and knocking her chair over. She stomped over to him. “I am so sorry. He just came back from Iraq…” Sarah took Adam’s arm. She led him to the door.
“Tell me. Would it be okay if two girls made out? I’m sure someone like you would like that. Why can’t we?” one of the men said as he stood up. He looked straight at Adam.
“We dance and laugh the same way you do.” He walked closer to Adam. Adam looked at him, not saying a word. He looked back at his sister.
“We love the same way you do. Tell me what’s so wrong about that?” the man was now face to face with Adam. They stared at each other.
“Can we leave?” Adam asked as he opened the door and stepped out. Sarah looked at them and followed after her brother. She couldn’t force herself to say anything.
The man went back to his table. He took the hand of his partner. The guitarist, walking back to the stage, set up for another song. This time singing to his only fans.
I look around this house,
This house with its white drapes,
It’s crystal silverware,
Plump, creased in the middle -
Why do people do that?
The white couch,
Who lives here? Maids?
The white tile,
Cold, so cold, to the touch,
I’m walking on ice,
Spotless, drops of crumbs,
Freeze or we will shoot.
I laugh to myself.
The kitchen, also white,
Am I blind? – has placed the fridge,
against the far end of the wall,
On the left.
Wasn’t ours on the right?
And speaking of placements,
We never had yellow bananas
In years it seems.
I scratch my head and face the table.
And the four faces looking back at me, mouths open,
Forks, with runny eggs dripping onto not burned toast,
And I finally realize,
That this isn’t my house.
Then whose house am I in?
MY MOTHER’S RING
My mother’s ring had two diamonds on the sides and in the middle a bigger diamond. She wore it every day, even the day she died.
She loved it, even more than her own kids. Supposedly. I was running late to the lawyers office because Rebecca, the girl I wasn’t supposed to be with, wanted to go to breakfast. And because Shelly, the girl I was with, wanted to meet for lunch.
I walked into the lawyer’s office at 1:05, an hour and five minutes late. My sister was sitting, with her brown hair in a tight bun and wearing the tightest black dress I have ever seen, in front of the desk. I didn’t know why she was wearing it, the lawyer was over seventy and trying to impress him wouldn’t work.
“Glad you finally made it,” Joanna said, making that typical sneer face everyone hated.
I sneered back at her and took my seat. The worn leather cushion making a soft puff sound.
“As you know, your mothers will was very extensive and trying to get everyone together was very hard,” the lawyer said, removing papers out of his briefcase. He set them down and took out a pair of glasses. He cleared his throat. “Half of the estate went to your father, who said he was going to bestow it to his children.”
“What about her ring?” Joanna asked, crossing her legs and putting her hands on the desk.
“Her diamond ring?” I asked.
“Yes her diamond ring, idiot. What else?” Joanna answered.
The lawyer shuffled through the papers. He cleared his throat again.
“It doesn’t say anything about rings in the will. Maybe…”
“Because I should get it. I am the oldest” Joanna said, looking at me.
“But I’m the only boy,” I said. The lawyer shuffled through the papers, stopping and looking every now and then. He brought one piece up to his face.
“And what are you going to do with it? Wear it?” Joanna asked.
“Oh, gee I don’t know maybe give it to my fiancé,” I said.
“Yeah when, and if, you even find one,” Joanna whispered back.
The lawyer looked at us bickering, like a tennis match, his head turning to the left and then to the right.
“Ah yes. Here it is ‘my diamond engagement ring, given to me by my husband’-” he said and was soon interrupted.
“Where can I pick it up?” Joanna asked. I looked at her. The lawyer looked at her, dropping his papers.
“The ring wasn’t given to you, Joanna,” the lawyer said. He looked over at me.
“See I told you she gave it to me,” I said.
The lawyer shook his head again. “I’m afraid she hasn’t given it to you as well,” the lawyer said.
“Then who did she give it to?” Joanna asked, standing up. The office was quiet as everyone looked at each other. I just wanted the ring to give to Shelly, or whoever I was seeing this week. Joanna wanted it because it made her feel beautiful, which she needed because no one told her that.
“The ring was given to Ellie,” The lawyer finally said, breaking the silence.
Joanna stomped over, taking her place in her chair. I put my fingers against my head.
“Ellie…” Joanna finally whispered.
The lawyer shook his head up and down.
“Our ugly sister?” Joanna asked, starting to tear up.
“Yes, the ugly one idiot,” I said. “It’s okay. I’ll just ask her for it when she comes,” Joanna said, head sticking up in the air. She looked toward the door.
“Ellie already came by and picked it up this morning,” the lawyer said, picking up the papers. Joanna stared at him, her mouth wide.
“Your mother did leave you two something though,” The lawyer said. We looked at him, our eyes wide like it was Christmas morning. Maybe she left me all her cars. Maybe she left Joanna all her clothes. We crossed our fingers.
“She gave you both three hundred and fifty dollars. And she signed it with ‘Love, mom’” the lawyer said, putting the papers back into his briefcase and taking out an envelope. He dashed out the money and we took it, looking at each other.
“I can’t believe she gave that ring to Ellie,” Joanna said. We left the office together and as we reached the elevator my cell phone beeped. I took it out.
Ellie sent me a picture of her driving, her right hand placed over her mouth, the ring shining in the sunlight. I laughed, silently, to myself and wondered what Rebecca was doing for dinner.
We all want to
The blonde, curly hair.
The perfect physique.
A perfect beauty.
We all pain like her
See how other’s
Can’t find that
Piece of happiness.
We were all
Happy Like her.
But it takes
Covers you up.
Like all she see