FALL 2011




Solidus Online

Jayce McCarthy


                                                           this will be a story,



                                                                                                                      my biography

                                                                                                                  dedicated to my mom



j c mccarthy

Jordan Milowski.

Lansing, Michigan.

April 13th, 1976.
A Wednesday.



                                                                                                                  I don’t know.

Touching was something I was never good at. Whisper-
ing, too. What else? Following along with TV shows. I never
remember. Saying I love you. Figuring out a tip or percentage in
my head.
              What am I good at? Oh, well I’m not very sure.
              I do like gardening, and cooking. And. Wrapping gifts.

        So I’m just lying there. On the table. Cucumbers for eyes, and she says it.
Right then. No warning. No preface. No conclusion. Just “the end.” Curtain down,
lights off. My face lathered in some white cream. I wiggle my nose holes around
trying to get rid of the tickle. I don’t move. Except my nostrils. Slowly expanding
and contracting. I wonder what this cream tastes like. The Chinese girl will soon
come in and realize she’s missing a client. My girlfri – ex-girlfriend’s body imprint
slowly rising from the mat she left from. I can see it. Or the cucumbers can.

       The little Chinese girl comes back in and gives me back my eyes. “Thank

I’m sorry – I just can’t con-
centrate – what kind of toothpaste
do you use? I know it’s a strange
question, but I have been smelling
your breath this whole time and
have fallen in love with it.

       I walk by the mirror. I see this huge thing on my face. A pim-
ple. A barnacle stuck to a rock at low tide. And the surprising thing
was that the mirror is usually my good friend. There to say hello in the
morning. There to say goodnight. Must be dirt on the mirror. No. This
rock on my face is brown and green. After I shower its red. Changing
like a stop light. I want to pop it. Mom always said not to.
        I pop it.

        My home was a flower
shop. The reason for my enjoyment
of gardening. My dad was a horti-
culturist. Not a flower man. Not a
florist. A horticulturalist.
        Whatever, dad.
The only thing I remember. And I don’t remember
much. He was married on a tractor. Rode up to the
altar. It was outside – he didn’t come barging through
the church. And she stood, wide-eyed and young. Said
I do. To a hick on a tractor.
Oh yes. And I do remember the reception. Again, he
got there by his favorite mode of transportation. But
it took them an extra hour to get there. The tractor,
twenty-seven years old, crawled. Crushing cat tails by
the swamp. And ruining white Wild Baby’s Breaths.
Ones my father planted. The genius drove him and his
newly-wed from the field to the reception. By tractor.
And it rained. On her dress. On her white dress.
The ring bearer saw his aunt’s nipples though the satin.
I guess it’s good luck, though, right?

        The fucking dog would hang the garland, too. Not me
though. I’m not joking. They would wrap a cookie up in the gar-
land. Feed it to the dog. Then parade him around the tree until
it got stuck. When I did it, it was wrong. “Too much slack.” Or.
“Too tight.” Fuck it then. I’ll sit. Drink my eggnog. And watch
the dog eat tinsel.
        You’ll be the one to pull it out later.

        I thought it would be funny. Under the suit. I
would only be able to show them off once I was drunk.
Which would be the same time I’d want to take my coat
off. So the parties going well. I’m making great connec-
tions. I’m pretty drunk. No, I am drunk. I’m hammered.
Even that lamppost looks foxy. Anyway. I take off my
coat to make the grand reveal. Wearing a small smile.
Knowing it will be HILARIOUS. I go onstage. Under the
spotlight. Under everyone’s individual spotlight. I take
my coat off. So cool, I’m thinking. The exact opposite.
My clown suspenders don’t make a hit. I’m shit-faced.
And still even I notice my mistake. Coat back on.

        I never got a call from anyone at that party.

I’ve never been. But it seems to fit. “A Plethora of
Pizza” it was called. I laughed at the sign every time.
Real creative, guys. I can imagine the co-owners.
Two brothers. An eighth Italian. The rest Jew. Open-
ing a pizza place. “What do we call it?” “I dunno…
whaddabout ‘so many pizzas’?” “Uh…No.” So in-
stead he goes to theausurs.com. (Luckily google knew
he wanted thesaurus.com.) And he types in ‘many’.
Then. Boom. Bang. P. and P. Alliteration. “Oh that’s
                                           good!” Plethora of Pizzas.

And she’s going on about her anal seepage. And at
this point I’m totally into her. Looking down at my Borscht. Hearing her story. Appetite gone.
“Check please”

Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe a leopard. I thought it
would be funny. We go as zoo animals. Cat-like zoo animals.
And Pat and Matt would go as Tarzan and Jane. Pretty funny right?
I found this great leopard leotard online. Don’t think
I’ll wear it though. Might show off some sections of me I
prefer to keep hidden.

        I’m finding I’m beginning to change. I don’t know how. Not in
this huge way, but small-ly. I’m just beginning to like different things.
I’m finding myself caught up in scandals. With my friends. I’m steal-
ing pins. Dumb pins with cross bones on them. I don’t know why. Why
spend 2 dollars on a pin. Then again. Why steal a pin that’s 2 dollars.

        She shook me as a child. I’m positive. I’ll nev-
er forget the time my mom asked me if I did drugs.
She’s calmly cutting cucumbers. “You’re behaving
very strangely.” Yeah… and, mom? I’m a teenager
get over it. I remember telling her. Being sarcastic.
Because that helped. And she would call me a mag-
got. Close but no cigar, I would think. My mom just
had a hard time. Feeling what was not hers. Not her
problems. My problems were hers. Her motherly
duty. Her problem was wanting my problems to be
hers, but not being able to understand my problems.
“Yup I’m doing drugs.” Close my door. Music up.
        And now as a 30 year old. I’ve never smoked pot.

        Another time, with (I now call her) “handcuffs.”She’s crazy. And this wasn’t even
the same seepage-girl. Everything went great. I paid for dinner. Went for a walk. She invit-
ed me in her house. She got into something more comfortable. I sat. She came out in this trans-
lucent dress. No bra. No panties. I was thinking of dead dogs to hold my erection down.
        She fell to the bed. I laid next to her. Afraid to get on top. She would initiate that. We kissed.
Then she went to her top drawer. To get condoms? Lube? A vibrator? Nope. Handcuffs. I went
along. She tied me up. Hooked me to the bed. I was squirming. She asked me to. I didn’t like it.
        She stood on top of me. Took off her dress. The dead dog trick suddenly stopped working. Rack-
ing my mind for horrible images. My mother. Didn’t do it. The guy from ‘Radio’. Didn’t do it. The guy
from ‘Radio’ having sex with my mother. There we go. She’s on top of me. She bends down close to me. “you’re going to get wet.” “yeah?” “So wet.. a puddle on your chest” “ohh-“ wait, what? I was not into it.
        All I wanted to do was get off, but now all I wanted to do was get her off. Of me.

        It’s a TV show. I don’t remember
the name. Or who was in it. I remember
one scene in particular. That my sister and
I would try to recreate. I remember the
sinking sun over a jetty. Rocks. And sand.
On a beach. With people walking along.
        When we did it. It ended up
with us searching for periwinkles in the
rocks. Skipping rocks. Skipping. It was
simple. Nice and simple. Tucked away in
a shell. A whorled shell. Periwinkles got
it right. Only the rhythm of the waves.
Only the worry of getting sand off
your feet. Hiding in the tide pools. Never
drowning. Simple. Nice and simple.

How do you know when you have it? Is 20 drinks a week count as alcoholism? Then sign me
up for AA. I feel like it’s when Intervention starts
following you around. With cameras. Documenting
your every move. Then you can say you’re an al- coholic. I’ve never done something terribly stupid
drunk. No, I take that back. I once jumped off a
bridge. Or the time I wore rainbow suspenders to a
business party. Or when I punched my ex. Or when
I puked on my cat. Went to the hospital. Drew a
permanent sitcom on the TV screen. Fell in love.

I’m Alice in wonder. Fallen through a crevice in the pavement. Shel Silver-
stien shit. Yeah, the sidewalk ended. Right under my feet. And now I’m falling down
a hole. No white rabbit. No caterpillar. No Cheshire Cat. Only a queen of hearts. Trapped in
this hole under the concrete.

              Deadly sins. Ha! I’m alive. I’ve
committed all. To memory. Pride. Sloth.
Vanity.   Gluttony.   Wrath.   Lust.   Envy.
And            boy       do         I         envy.

See           you                       tomorrow.

                                                                                                                 the end


JC McCarthy
graduated, class of 2011
communication studies
born in africa, spent life learning and perfecting english grammer