Cover Photo: Blue Lady by burt rashbaum

Blue Lady

She was doing this out of love, but she was also doing it out of hate.

She’d planned everything. Being an architect, she knew a thing or two about plans. How to create them, how to execute them.

She was also an artist, so knew how to make a statement with her music and her painting. This was going to be a kind of statement, wasn’t it?

She didn’t want to think of her son, but he was part of her plan. She’d put him on a plane this past Friday and he’d get back tonight, Sunday. A stewardess would escort him into the terminal, and they’d stand there for a while, waiting for her. At some point he’d be asked if he could call his mom, and when there’d be no answer, he’d be asked if he could call one of her friends.

She’d said to him, every time he’d flown to his father for the weekend, “If I’m not here when you get off the plane, wait ten minutes. Then call, and if I don’t answer, call Sherry,” who was her friend at the firm, the one woman she felt she didn’t have to hide with. Sherry saw all her hurt, all her anger.

So it would be Sherry who would come get him, take him home, and Sherry who would find her.

Her parents were out of town this weekend. She’d known of their trip for months. She couldn’t have them here. Let them get back first and then they could deal with her plan.

She needed everyone gone: her son to his father, the son-of-a-bitch; her parents at some conference; her sister up in Maine living her life. She needed to know they were all away. She wanted the feeling of being the only one in the city who knew her.

Her flute was on the bed. She picked it up, brought it to her lips, but didn’t make a sound. She didn’t want music of any kind. She noticed her guitar in the corner, leaning against the wall. Should she tune it one last time?

She took a sip of wine. It was a crisp white, and she found herself licking her lips, which made her laugh. Such culture! Don’t forget to lick your lips!

There was a pad and pen on the bed. She thought she’d write a note, but what would she say? Her husband – no, her ex, she thought as she laughed again – knew what would be in a note. She’d told him every time they had to talk how betrayed she’d felt, how low he was for his sneaking around, for lying, for his empty relationship with his son. Nothing she could have written would give her parents any solace. They would never understand.

She thought of her shrink, who she stopped seeing months ago, calling now and then to ask how she was doing. She came to hate the sessions and the drugs. She hated feeling like she was underwater half the time. She finally stopped the drugs and said she’d find someone who could help her with nutrition. She was simply out of balance.

The human condition is like an equation, she realized. All the variables have to be in harmony. When there’s an imbalance, it affects everything.

Well, she’d tried. She didn’t think she was capable of balance. Or, maybe she wasn’t worthy of balance.

That explanation made more sense. Can one be unworthy of one’s life? Why not? Maybe some of us don’t deserve the life we’re given. We make too many mistakes, we never find balance, we leave behind a trail of misery, and sow discord like seeds of hostility.

She’d decided she was unworthy. Once she’d come to that conclusion, it seemed easier to devise a plan that would take care of the imbalance. It wasn’t hard. It seemed easier than designing a building.

She’d put a towel on the clock radio. She didn’t want to see the time. She didn’t want to know if her son was on the plane, or at the airport. She surely didn’t want the phone to ring. But he wasn’t due back for hours.

When she’d told her shrink a year ago that she was having a horrible time sleeping, she got the prescription she needed, and began hoarding pills. She took one, once, but hated how she felt the next day. A month later she told her shrink she was out of pills and needed a refill.

She noticed the wine was half gone.

There was a canvas leaning against the wall. She’d hoped it would be a self-portrait, but it didn’t look much like her. She knew it wasn’t finished. The only thing that seemed true about it was that all the colors were shades of blue.

The blue lady, that’s what she called it.

She had the pills in a little zip lock bag, which she unzipped, and then emptied the contents onto the bed.

She sipped her wine.

She licked her lips.

She had tears in her eyes, most likely because of her son. He was the only part of her plan that made her ache in a way she detested. She hated feeling this way, she hated what she was doing to him, but she hoped he’d eventually come to the same realization she had now: that she was not worthy of being his mother.

Maybe he’d end up with a new mother. Maybe he had one now. Would her son-of-a-bitch ex let her son call that whore Mom? Would he?

There wasn’t a sound from the street below. Not a car. No wind. No dogs barking. A dog was always barking somewhere in her neighborhood.

She picked up a handful of the pills.

The world was now her handful of pills and the glass of wine. Maybe she was worthy of this world right in front of her, the wine, the pills.

She’d give it a try.

Here’s to the blue lady.



been writing forever it seems studied with corso & burroughs at naropa sukenick & dorn & brutus in boulder don't believe in traditional narrative arcs anymore created a fictional kaleidoscope whose whole is greater than its parts and is now an experimental novel born in brooklyn now at 8300 ft above sealevel gigging with the cbds (thecbds.com) when not wrestling with verse or waltzing with fiction words are oxygen suffering the divine affliction of creativity turned down the vaccine good thing too now working on a fiction whose first part is all questions and second part is all the answers