'Escalators, Beverly Center,'
Five Pints and a Hummingbird
After we made love, she got out of bed and walked from the room on wide bare feet. She came back holding a spoon in one hand and a pint of Cherry Garcia in the other. I watched her push the spoon into the carton and then push the spoon into her mouth, repeating the motion without looking up. Her single-mindedness disturbed me, as did her unwillingness to share. The latter surprised me, because less than a half hour earlier she had been a selfless lover, pleasuring me with her pierced tongue.
I sat up in bed to get a better look at her. The fat on her digging arm quivered as she shoved into the pint. The hummingbird on her forearm opened his beak for a taste, but she ignored him like she ignored me.
I smacked the pint out of her hand.
“Hey!” She narrowed her eyes. “What did you do that for?”
“You don’t need to eat that,” I said, feeling spiteful. “You’re big enough as it is.”
She got out of bed and walked to where the pint had rolled across the floor. She picked it up.
“You don’t understand,” she said, cradling the ice cream in her hand. “You’ve probably been thin and pretty your whole life.” She looked into the Cherry Garcia as though its fruits and nuts understood better than me. “You’re just a lipstick lesbian,” she said.
I got out of bed and stepped into my panties. The rest of my clothes were in the hall outside her bedroom. She followed me there.
“Why did you come here?” she said, her hands on the bumps of fat where her hips should have been.
I forced air through my nose, thinking of how useless I’d felt earlier that day. Before Wal-Mart I’d been watching Friends reruns alone on my couch. I wanted to tell her that I needed sex the way she needed ice cream. Instead, I finished getting dressed.
She stood opposite me in the front doorway and I scanned her forearm for the bird. I hoped to see its tissue-paper wings flutter invisibly fast or hear its sweet high-pitched chirp. But all I saw was flat ink over mottled skin, and the last thing I heard was the door slamming in my face.