Johnny America


He Was an Ass, Man


The toi­let flush­es and the bath­room light turns off. The woman makes her way back to the bed, where she lays down, face in her pil­low. Even if she were go­ing to work to­day, Kris­ten would have at least an hour be­fore she need­ed to get up. But she can’t sleep.

Tits, cans, jugs, rack, Kris­ten thinks. That’s what they’ll be called af­ter to­day. To re­place boo­bies, mos­qui­to bites, nub­bins, chest. They could still be called breasts — a catch-all. From ba­by birds’ breasts to the nur­tur­ing breasts of a volup­tuous Moth­er Earth.

Surgery isn’t un­til af­ter­noon. By one o’clock her boyfriend will come by to pick her up. He’ll be qui­et dur­ing the dri­ve to the hos­pi­tal, care­ful not to spoil the deal. Be­fore the sun­rise creeps in­to her room, she falls back to sleep.

When she came to, her par­ents and her boyfriend were wait­ing to see her. They had pre­vi­ous­ly made it clear that they were go­ing to sup­port her de­ci­sion, ei­ther way. They were cau­tious when she was un­sure, and there for her when she de­cid­ed to go for it. They talked to her in whis­pers and hugs.

Af­ter he stopped com­ing by and no longer re­turned her calls, Kris­ten looked to her par­ents for cheer. “What hap­pened be­tween you two?” and “Do you think he’ll come back?” they asked. What did I do wrong, she thought. And what can I do?

The sore­ness is gone and the scars are hard­ly vis­i­ble. The toi­let flush­es and the bath­room light turns off. Kris­ten lays back down, stares up at the ceil­ing. She has at least an hour be­fore she has to get up for work. Be­fore the sun­rise bursts in­to her room, she falls back to sleep.

Filed under Fiction on December 14th, 2005

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