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"We didn't really care about my Mother's selfishness or cruelty. She was someone we couldn't reach, so when we talked about her we sighed and ho-hummed but generally we had accepted the loss of her..."

the good and perfect thing
fiction from laine perry


His hands were more Hollywood than Hollywood, and that is how I knew it would be safe to hold them. I saw his hands on the bar and knew he needed to lay them on me. I knew it before he did. He told me he wanted to come over after his band practice and then he walked out the door. I waited for him to come home to me and only fell asleep twice. When he came in my door I felt a lot better about everything I had lost in my life prior to meeting him and about what would or wouldn't come of things. That is just the way it was. We lie down together after awhile and felt each other a little here and a little there. Suddenly he said, “You have a cute pussy.” He might have even said it twice.

The good and perfect thing about a soul mate is the way a person's life makes the kind of sense it never could in that person's absence. But that is the bad thing about it too.

In the last days of my Grandmother's life I had moved to Oregon, and rented a house up the street from hers. I would spend my afternoons at her place talking about all the trouble I'd been and discussing my Mother's lack of affection for me. We didn't really care about my Mother's selfishness or cruelty. She was someone we couldn't reach, so when we talked about her we sighed and ho-hummed but generally we had accepted the loss of her. Occasionally we felt the hit of the loss like a punch in the kidney. When that happened to either one of us the other one recognized it right away and fixed a quick couple of drinks.

We were close the way I never want to be to another human being. I did things for my Grandmother that I would never do for any other person. I did my Grandmother's laundry because I knew she wouldn't get around to it often enough, and I had the machines at the house I rented. The weekly ride up the street with that laundry was three solid blocks of hell and though it was winter, I rolled all four windows down preferring one kind of blast to the other.

One of the last days I spent with my Grandmother, she complained of a sore on her upper thigh near her private parts. I knew she was worried and uncomfortable so I decided I should take a look at it. I pulled up her dress and pulled down her underwear and knelt down to check the area that had been bothering her. In front of me was something I hadn't ever thought to imagine; my Grandmother's vagina. It was youthful, cute and belied her age and the six children she had borne. I laughed at myself for being surprised by this. I wanted to say something to her…I wanted to say, “You better see this!” and pull up my dress and compare because it was undeniable that we had the same vaginas, my Grandmother and me.

That night in the dark, when the boy said what he did, well, I already liked that boy, but now he was like family to me.

(illustration: dee sunshine)


Laine Perry grew up on the road with her mom, making music and telling stories. Many more of these stories from Laine can be found in the Smokebox Archives.

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©2013 Laine Perry • Smokebox
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