December 21, 2019 by The Citron Review
by Savannah Slone
Today I meant to go to the post office, to reapply for state insurance for my son, whose insurance I let lapse. My wallet is stuffed with receipts I should have left at self-checkout for someone else to take by accident. My wallet has rewards cards, punch cards, maxed credit cards, expired coupons, and a wadded up collection of flattened pennies and $2 bills. Over the past five years, when I’ve gotten tipped a $2 bill at work, I tuck it into my coin pouch knowing that $2 bills would be cool gifts from the tooth fairy when my infant son would start to lose teeth. Now he’s lost two, but I had to use all of my $2 bills last month when I was overdrawn in my bank account and needed to get him food for his lunches. I cried in the parking lot because going to the bank after I got paid next and getting crisp $2 bills wouldn’t be the same. I stacked up change outside his door instead. Five quarters, five dimes, five nickels, five pennies—five for five years old. It’s probably rude to make him set his pulled out baby teeth outside his door rather than under his pillow, but he’s the lightest sleeper I know and I want a little bit of magic for him. I sprinkled glitter over top the coins. Fairy dust. Let’s hope he doesn’t get sick or hurt before I hear back from the health insurance people, once I fill out the application that is. Today I meant to make time to initiate sex. To try and get something going for the first time in a month or so, but she handed me a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven and I fell asleep on the couch with one bite left, the best bite, rested on my lap. I woke up and it wasn’t day anymore. The house had been cleaned and uncleaned. The best bite on my plate, now fossilized. My libido, also now fossilized. This is the sexual drive of a person on high doses of mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications. I crawl into bed. We face away from each other, still in love, but masturbating in our own separate solitudes. After I come, I notice she doesn’t finish. I would have felt her body tense and release in the springs of the bed but I don’t say anything. And I don’t do anything. In the mornings, I used to listen to audiobooks while driving to work. Last year, I listened to over 100 audiobooks. This year, I discovered podcasts and now audiobooks feel boring and I can only stay awake with the authenticity, presence, and humor of podcast hosts. There used to be mornings where I’d nod off and cross over the solid yellow line and would swerve back where I belong before a head on collision that didn’t happen, but maybe was supposed to happen. I don’t know, though. I’m not god. I don’t think I believe in god, but isn’t a “Big Bang” just as random as a guy in the sky waving a magic wand? Sure, science, but how could this book of life create such perfect, thoughtful geometry and systems? Anyway, podcasts probably saved my life. I want to start a podcast but I don’t have time or anyone to podcast with and I don’t think anyone would want to listen to just me and I don’t know who I could remotely interview and what if they didn’t have a good microphone and it ended up sounding like a call-in radio show instead of what might or might not be a side by side conversation. Is our back to back quiet sex life a call-in radio show? Soon, I’ll go to the post office. I’ll start a podcast. But maybe I’ll keep letting things fall apart in my open, ungripping palms because sometimes feeling guilty and afraid is the only way to feel something.
Savannah Slone is a queer writer, editor, and English professor who currently dwells in the Pacific Northwest. Savannah is the author of An Exhalation of Dead Things (CLASH Books, 2021), Hearing the Underwater (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and This Body is My Own (Ghost City Press, 2019). She enjoys reading, knitting, hiking, and discussing intersectional feminism. You can read more of her work at savannahslonewriter.com.