"In Knots" by Sherrie-Lynn Maze
Sherrie lives in Brooklyn Center, MN.
© 2006 Sherrie-Lynn Maze
am exactly where I am supposed to be.
It is okay that I am lost.
It is okay that I feel insecure." -
The wife and lover of fourteen
years needed to know why he continued to steal away to his mistress near
the Wisconsin border though he swore that it was over. "It is because she is so pretty.
She has to be more cheerful."
This wife knew that she had always been rather serious -- that she
spent fourteen years pointing out to her husband all that is wrong with
humankind, as if he did not see that for himself.
He knew who she was all those years ago when he married her that
her burdens lay on top of her skin. And
this wife knew her husband was the man who once purchased surround-sounds
and creamy leather before descending into a blue station wagon.
is a boy made up of one hundred percent confection. My prayer is that he stays very close to God's initial
creation. He is quite
willowy, an aspiring dancer with a fondness for walking on the very tips
of his toes, with beautifully extended arms, head slightly tilted as if
he's being lulled by his own subtle movement.
If anyone should ask him what he wants to be, he will tell them
that he's an amazing dancer. Once,
after picking him up from pre-school, he asked me if I thought he dances
like a girl. I asked him why, and he told me that Christian, another
preschooler, laughed at him and said that
dances like a girl. I told
him that that it gives me to joy to see him dance with the fullness of his
The wife knew that the lover
near the Wisconsin border drank MGM Gold because she saw the receipts
discovered while searching through the pockets of his buttery leather
jackets smelling of smoke. She
imagined him sitting at bars with his girlfriend who probably sat
comfortably wherever she sat. This
wife would never sit at a bar with him or anyone else, except for when she
is waiting for her take-out order at a neighborhood restaurant.
Then she would sit uncomfortably on a high stool, hating the
cigarette smoke, and pretending to be interested in the Vikes.
watches her brother and applauds, "Yay Kirby...Go Kirby..."
She is not built like her brother.
She is taller and thicker, with bigger feet and hands.
People tell me that girls develop faster than boys, which is why
there is this size difference between my twins.
We take her to an Endocrinologist because the fear is that if her
body begins to prematurely function like a woman's body, her height
could be severely stunted. They
drew blood from my little girl and found that she will be just fine.
Black girls develop faster than most other children, we were told.
At almost six, she will tell me that she wishes she were skinny
like her brother and sob into my lap because she can no longer fit into
her favorite "fancy pants" and because a boy at school called her fat.
I curse the world that would give my child body image issues at
lovemaking is always passionate," he confessed to his wife.
This he says is what brings him back to his lover near the
Wisconsin border. "I mean
with you, it takes so much to get you warmed up.
With her, I just touch her and she goes crazy.
She just trembles." The
wife remembered when she was in her freshman dorm.
She remembers guiding his head, angling it in the opposite
direction of hers. Kissing
him slowly -- it was a demonstration on how to kiss -- and months later,
it was she who took his left hand and put it on her right breast, and
later it was she who guided his hand underneath her shirt telling him that
it was okay to touch her. It was okay to touch her wherever he wanted to touch her.
has frightened her Daddy more than once with her perceptiveness.
Her eyes would be luminous in the darkened room with only a small
area of the small room lit by the miniature lighthouse I purchased to
match the blue, yellow and red in their blankets.
"Hi Daddy," she would say.
"Hi little girl,
watcha thinking about?"
Sometimes the small
child would say, "I was thinking that shadow looks like Thomas the Choo
Choo train." But on more
than one occasion the knowing child would scare her Daddy straight out of
"God sent me
here," she told her daddy one evening.
"I will never leave you."
Though this wife was a fat girl
who momentarily sold out and went skinny, she still had her mother's
African ass that trailed behind her like a train of glory.
She purchased two dresses, one black and one green, both tight.
She was going to surprise her husband with a hungry man's lunch
of her spicy chili cooked with bloody-Mary mix and an excessive slice of
homemade cornbread. But most
of all, she wanted to surprise him in that tight-ass dress with no goddamn
panties underneath. Her
panties that she "accidentally" left in his lunch bag with an awfully
filthy note saying something about finding dessert between her thighs.
"He wanted sex," she thought.
"How hard can that be between consenting adults who are also
husband and wife?"
Afterwards, she would crawl up into injured gathering of
bones and naked flesh to sob from beneath her gut.
"Somebody kill me. It will be a mercy killing."
don't want to put you through this anymore."
The wife stood and listened as he talked. He talked about how much he loved her, which is why he needed
to leave her. He talked about
being messed up, sick, sorry. His
eyes watered. He held her by
the shoulders and talked about how hard this was going to be.
It was Saturday morning and a
Fourth of July weekend. She
chanted Elizabeth Bishop's words eight, maybe eighty, times. "'The
art of losing isn't hard to master,' 'the art of losing isn't hard
to master,' 'the art of losing isn't hard to master.'"
Then packed a picnic lunch and took her twins to the zoo.
that first year of her becoming my daughter, I would often hear of the
alternate universe known as the Pink House.
There was a pink Mommy and Daddy, a pink car, a pink church and
pink babies. She would tell
me, as a matter of fact, that she had to go to her Pink House and that she
would be back for dinner. I
would try to redirect her attention to something else. "Have a cookie." "Let's
play a game." "How about
you help me fold clothes?"
"Mommy, I will go
by myself. You stay here and
I'll be right back," she decided one day. I watched her grab her sack,
pack a drawer full of underpants and some toys (including her first doll,
Lucy), and head for the door.
"Okay, honey, but
I have to go with you. It is
my job to keep you safe.
on Kirby. We're going with
Kinsey to the Pink House."
"We are?" He was happily flabbergasted.
And out of the house we went.
"You lead the way babe." I
stayed a couple of steps behind my three-year-old daughter as she
traversed across the lawns of our neighbors.
We walked halfway down the block with Kinsey out front.
Abruptly she stopped, saying, "Mommy, I think we should go
another day. It's kind of
declared, "I have a blue house, you know."
"Do you?" He is
a boy often inspired by his sister's strength of will.
"Yes. And in my blue house I have blue dresses that I can wear
whenever I want!"
played Duck Duck Goose in the basement and laughed and laughed that day.
are all asked to do more than we can." - Madeline
All work is copyrighted property of Sherrie-Lynn Maze.
© 2006 SubtleTea Productions All Rights Reserved