The Royal Edge
Real Mom and Saskatchewan Sharon stopped to pick me up on the way home from your funeral. I was standing in the park with all of the old and broken sculptures in it. Neither of them asked me where I'd been for the past three days or why I had been lying there at the foot of a headless marble woman, not even trying to get warm.
My chauffeurs were too busy reflecting on how great of a time all of the guests had at your funeral after party. Their phones chimed suddenly with a mass group message from someone that wanted to thank everyone for attending the service.
As she formulated her response, Saskatchewan Sharon wondered aloud as to what was in the cocktail they’d had at the bar afterwards. I didn’t hear what she said as I slid my hand into the front pockets of my pants and touched the gum wrapper that was balled up inside of it.
The material was soft in my fingers as I unrolled it. The map that Moody Marcel had drawn was barely there.
The address is quite far from here, Moody Marcel had explained as he sketched the route back to my studio sublet on the inner fold of the wrapper.
His legs were stretched out long across the rug of his then-furnished living room. He looked so much thinner with his winter layers removed.
As he crossed the room, his eyes passed from my casted leg to my face. His fingers lingered on my palm as he placed the wrapper in my hand.
“Are you sure you want to walk in the dark?”
I jerked forward as Real Mom slammed on the brakes and brought the car to a screeching halt. The object threatening the vehicle was a plastic shopping bag that, at just the right angle, looked kind of like a stirring animal. Activated by the movement of the car and the soft breeze, the bag proceeded to put on a brief show for us - into a shape that resembled a cat that Saskatchewan Sharon had nursed back to health as a teenager, the facade of Real Mom’s university dormitory, and finally a wicked worm in the bottom of a cocktail glass (That’s the drink! Sharon shouted). Finally, the bag assumed a rapid sequence of positions - a prediction of the weather forecast for the following week.
Momentarily united in our delight, Real Mom, Saskatchewan Sharon and I applauded respectfully as the bag curtsied, somersaulted, then floated smugly out of view.
Hardly even home, we pulled over and got ice cream at Real Mom’s insistence. She got two scoops of Madagascar Mint Martyr and a kid’s-sized scoop on a pita chip for Sharon because the place was out of cones. The ice cream was too freezing to eat and I was trying to starve anyways.
What’s wrong, Sharon asked me and when I joked that the ice cream reminded me too much of Moody Marcel’s general disposition, Sharon assumed I was talking about a tv show and rolled down the window.