meticulous as an avid masturbator, she is fingering the waxed thread. she is tying a knot which will tighten with the pressure of a raised leg. she will fasten six around his ankles, three on each, and one from each shin. she will stitch herself into the hairs on his leg. she will pluck a shy few out with he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not grace.
there are six different knots available for her choosing, up to and including the noose she taught herself with the business end of a shoelace. she opts for the box knot, somewhere between a sailor and a slip, easy to tie, hard to loose. she is a lady in the living room, a chef in the kitchen and a boyscout in the bedroom.
the window's latch-pursed lips drop pennies softly as she loops the string through the holes in the metal. the lively taste of rust mexican jumping beans over her fingers, and she loses flakes of ancient sweetcorn can, 22c bean tin, folgers coffee jar to the hungry floor.
the first is always the easiest. she simply slides string through slit and drops the twisted metal down onto the duvet. for every can that follows, danger will increase exponentially. she uses metal that both reverberates and conducts.
she has measured each item carefully with the blind scales of semantics; empty two oz jar for that insensitive remark on thursday, sixteen oz for asking her to talk dirty in bed when he knows that makes her uncomfortable, twelve for his limbs sliding from hers on the couch. 22 oz, and awkwardly dented, for his ability to sleep through anything.
he has legs like a chevy fender. she has no problem distributing the weight. each can hangs just right, no strain, off the curve of his calf and the crook of his ankle. the only challenge left is sound.
they have a natural inclination towards donk and bing, but neither will do. both are too tongue heavy, too wet. she is looking for a stop plosive, consonantly musical, a jingle bell melody. she tries hanging a fat can highest, but it knocks boing against the empty bean tin, bitter for the lack of 1,252 summer peas. she then takes the coffee tin down an inch, but all she can retrieve is shhh, the silence of a recovering caff-addict. finally, it is hanging them sequentially, in order of importance, that yields fruitful. a symphony of cheap shots and short retorts. she brushes her hand against them and they sing. he lets out the whimper of a fart, and snores. this makes her smile.
she stares at the work. one side of the bed drips with leveled cans, tied navy tight to his legs. the train of his dress, the trail of his star. he will shoot down the street with ease, man on his flying tin trapeze. she is pleased.
she goes to bed. she lays next to him and pushes up close, jangling herself onto him, feeling his every movement. now, she will hear him everywhere he goes. she will vacuum him into the room with the clinkclank. she will hear him from half a city block away, the equivalent of four flights of stairs or the length from the kitchen to the basement bathroom.
he will wake up in the morning, dress for work, and make music down the stairs that only she can hear. of course, he will notice nothing.
About the author:
griffin jaye epstein doesn't own any pink clothing, but she only just noticed this, meaning it is not an intentional avoidance but merely a coincidence. she vaguely enjoys the pink song "get this party started" and hopes this will make up for any hue she lacks. griffin works at the munster literature centre in ireland, is temporarily a new york (and nyu, and theatre) ex pat, and is currently mounting a play and studying arts at UCC in cork city. she writes plays, poems, short stories and notes that she leaves on people's pillows.