erupture no.8
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he's big! he's huge! he's
david foster wallace!

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Pitch by Mel Whitehead; A Train to 207... by Marie Mundaca


ŅfictionÓ by Mel Whitehead

A conversation overheard while on line at Toys R Us waiting to purchase my "Teen Skipper Sister of Barbie" doll, later to be converted into Elizabeth Wurtzel, Bitch, as part of my PoMo InAction Figures Series

Boy 1: I love New York City!
Boy 2:....
Boy 1: I really really do! We're coming back on Monday
Boy 2: I'm not..
Boy 1:C'mon! It's only $8!
Boy 2: I don't like it.
Boy 1: I love it! What do you mean you don't like it?
Boy 2: I just don't like it.
Boy 1:What's not to like?
Boy 2: I just don't like it.
Boy 1:Well, I'm coming on Monday. Alone.
Boy 2: You can't come alone, You'll get lonely.
Boy 1:Why? You don't say that much!
Boy 2: You'll still get lonely. You can't walk around by yourself.
Boy 1:Yes I can!
Boy 2: ...
Boy 1: Can I come over tonight?
Boy 2: Jerry Springer?
Boy 1: Jerry Springer and the pool?
Boy 2: I don't know about the pool. My brother...
Boy 1: Oh. I wanna buy that system off your brother.
Boy 2: All the games?
Boy 1:Well, I just want Zelda...
Boy 2: I was gonna rent Dark City tonight
Boy 1:...
Boy 2: You wanna watch Dark City?
Boy 1: No.
Boy 2: You wanted to see it. Remember?
Boy 1: No. I didn't want to see it.
Boy 2: Yeah! We were going to go see it in the movies! When it was out in the movies?
Boy 1:Yeh? What's it about?
Boy 2: It's about a city? A city that's really dark?

A Train to 207 St, 12:40 PM, August 28

Marie Mundaca

I am fortunate enough to snag a lucrative 3-across, all empty row of seats on the uptown A train, but one stop later, at 34th Street, a 350 pound man enters the train and decides to take the other two seats. And when he sits he mis-times his crouch and bends his knees just as the train pulls out of the station, causing him to fall on me, effectively crushing my just-purchased purple basil. He mutters an apology but I feel like he did it on purpose out of some sort of vague sexual aggression. I say nothing and go back to Thirst.

The purple basil was an absent-minded purchase made at about 12:30 at the Union Square FarmersÕ Market. I had seen it there last summer and half-regretted not buying any. I had nebulous plans of making a purple basil pesto over black pasta, but the plans were infused with some free-floating anxieties with regard to the morality of extracting ink from a squid to color pasta. And who would I make it for anyway? Jon lives in Seattle and I donÕt know if purple basil pesto could make that trip.

At breakfast, 10:20 at the Jones Diner, Mom asked me what was up. ŅNothing...,Ó I replied.

ŅYou sure?,Ó was her response. And I was sure. I was sure I was lying. I wanted to tell her, but what could I say? Mom, IÕm in love. I mean really really, not like ever before. I mean, as in IÕm looking for a job and IÕm going to move to Seattle in love. I mean as in I think about being your age mom and waking up next to this guy. And I want that. IÕm happy about that. As in, heÕs perfect in his imperfections, in how they exactly match mine. I want to grab her and shake her by her shoulders and say heÕs fucked up just like me ma and he writes and he knows a ton of things I know absolutely nothing about. And we talk about having a house and going to the supermarket together. And I know IÕve never met him but it doesnÕt matter because itÕs the weirdest thing but like for a month before I ever even knew him every morning I would wake up and the first words in my head were I love you and I was thinking Who? Who is it I love? I never thought that every morning when I was with Erik. Mostly I thought , damn I gotta get up and make breakfast for him before work. Mom, itÕs all over. IÕm gone. ItÕs like IÕve died. All those times I tried to commit suicide and all I really had to do was wait for Jon. ItÕs every clichˇ you can imagine. He makes me complete. I love him unconditionally. HeÕs my prince charming, my soulmate, my doppelganger, the yang to my yin. HeÕs the cream in my coffee, the cane sugar in my kosher-for-Passover Coke, the Barbie Dream House I always secretly wanted but was too embarrassed to ask for. Mom? Mom?

ŅYeah. NothingÕs new. I told you about the rooster, right?Ó

I bought the purple basil with no actual intention of using it as a food item. It was more for decoration. Along with the dark plum leaves the bunch had little violet colored flowers. I thought I could keep it in a jar with water on the table, the aromatic basil odor filling the house for a few days. Now the leaves are crushed. The bruised leaves release basil fragrance throughout the train. I touch a leaf and the oil scents my fingers. The fat guy gets off the train at 42nd Street. Left on his vacated seat is one pink flower. I pick it up and roll it absent-mindedly around my fingertips, basil oil perfuming my skin. In a few more days IÕll be on a train taking me to a plane taking me to Seattle.

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