Authors: Christine Zolendz,Angelisa Stone
“Tell me you’re kidding? I don’t even know where to start? So, you had a sex dream—a sex dream—about a fucking plunger?” Christine questioned, as we sat by the pool drinking mimosas and painting our nails and toenails. I was still shocked that I could actually bend over and reach my toenails to paint them.
“It’s not my fault. You were yelling ‘fucking plunger,’ so I took that literally and started humping a plunger in my dream,” I explained, honestly, still in disbelief myself. “You can’t blame me. We’ve been cooped up night after night alone in a hotel room for three months. Three months! For three months, I haven’t gotten anything—not even my own self-loving if you get my drift,” I admitted, dipping my brush into the polish bottle. “I’m a little pent up, built up, and anything phallic is looking pretty damn good these days.”
“So why’d you run from Shaft Boy?” Christine asked.
“Because I’m… I’m…”
“Married?” She probed, blowing on her fingernails.
“No! I’m not going to hook up with some random guy for kicks and giggles—or for oral and orgasms. I don’t do that,” I said.
“And you’re married,” Christine added.
“Only on paper,” I admitted.
“I bet I can scroll through at least fifty text messages and pictures that prove it’s a lot more than just ‘on paper’ as you say,” she argued. “Pictures and messages… I catch you reading all the damn time.”
“What about you? Why were you flushing—or trying to flush—all those pictures of Scott down the crapper?” I questioned, redirecting her focus.
“Because that’s where
marriage belongs—in the crapper,” she stated, confidently.
“Why’d you have those pictures with you on this little trip in the first place?”
“I wasn’t ready to let go when I left New York. I wanted to be ready, but I wasn’t. After his phone call, I realized that I’m definitely ready to… to… ummm… take the plunge and let him go,” she said, laughing.
“Can we stop with the puns?” I said, shaking my head. “I don’t want to hear that word one more time on this trip.”
“Oh babe, I’m not even close to being done. You can’t tell me you humped a plunger in your dream and expect me not to talk about it—forever. That’s what friends are for,” she goaded. “Wait ‘til you see what I put on Twitter and Facebook already,” she joked.
“What the Hell was that?” Christine said, waking up.
“I… I… hit something,” I confessed, pulling over on the side of the road.
“What?” she freaked out, looking around.
“I don’t know. It ran. It was big though—like a buffalo or some shit,” I said, getting out of the car. I walked to the front of the car and almost passed out at the sight. “Holy crap! Jake is going to murder us—more—if that’s possible.”
“Jesus Angelisa, what did you hit?” she asked again, looking at the huge dent in the front of the Jag. “The whole right side of the car is smashed in.”
“I don’t know. I said it was like a buffalo or something.”
“Was it one of those?” she asked, pointing to a whole herd of animals on the other side of the mountain. I nodded, biting my lip. “That’s like a yak or a mountain goat—shit, I don’t know. Where the Hell are we?”
“Mountains. Colorado,” I said, shrugging and walking back to the car.
“I don’t get it. How could you hit something that big?” she said, following me back to the car. I shrugged, avoiding eye contact.
“Were you on your phone?” she questioned, raising an eyebrow. “For God’s sake Ang, you’re a terrible driver. The last damn thing you need is a secondary distraction. You cannot text and drive.”
“I wasn’t!” I said, truthfully. “I wasn’t texting and driving. I don’t do that.”
“What were you doing then?” she pried.
“What are you, my mother?” I evaded the question.
“Answer me,” she ordered. “Now Angelisa!”
I lowered my head, and mumbled, “Reading.”
“Excuse me? We’re driving on the side of a fothermucking mountain, and you’re reading? Is that a joke?” she yelled, pacing back and forth. “You could have killed us. You
“We’re fine. Nobody’s dead!” I countered.
“We were almost yak-splat, because you were reading. You should not be allowed to have a driver’s license. I swear to God. You are the worst driver I ever met.”
“Hey! That’s not nice,” I whined, pouting. Christine opened the trunk and got a yogurt out of the cooler. I shoved my phone at her. “Read this. Matt sent me this article.”
I watched as Christine skimmed the article, her eyes bugging out of her head. “Is this—?”
“Yep,” I nodded, “Pete, my neighbor.” Her laughter pounded my eardrums and echoed throughout the mountains. “He was arrested two days ago, and it’s in our local newspaper.”
“I told you! I told you! Dude’s a total perv,” she squealed, laughing hysterically. “Pete McFeet jerks his meat!”
“Stop it! I feel badly for him,” I admitted. “He’s obviously got a problem.”
“Angelisa, he was jerking off during a pedicure and wouldn’t stop until the police had to come in and order him to stop!” Christine laughed, shaking her head. “Oh my God, this is so going in a book. You were right—he definitely has some kinky ideas—that all center around foot fetishes.”
Laughing and relenting, I nodded my head and said “I should’ve known it was over the top when he admitted that he got pedicures twice a week. I just figured he had crusty feet and a vanity problem.”
“Twice a week? Shit, this is classic,” Christine said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“Thanks for agreeing to this,” I stated, feeling grateful. “We’ve been friends since third grade. We only see each other when she comes to Ohio. I’m glad that I finally got out here to visit her.”
“Hell, it’ll be nice to eat in a house—with real food. It’s been a long three months. I might even take a bath while we’re here,” Christine said. “Would that be weird if I took a bath in a stranger’s house?”
“Yes, it’d be weird,” I said, knocking on my friend, Rosie’s, front door. “Let me warn you though, she’s a little whacky.”
“Whacky how?” Christine asked, just as the door opened. Rosie stood before her in garb that probably came straight out of a Seventies’ Woodstock thrift store, complete with Birkenstocks and John Lennon sunglasses. “Ohhh, I get it.”
“Rosie!” I squealed, hugging her tightly.
“Angel-ease-ah, you look so centered, so full of peace and rest,” Rosie cooed, petting my hair. I glanced at Christine, who covered her mouth, hiding a chuckle. “You look like you’ve dropped some weight too. Wonderful. I do hope your time of travel has treated you with respectful glory.”
“It’s been great,” I said, shrugging and giggling.
“Ebony, Ivory, come say ‘hello’ to your earth mother’s friends,” she instructed, as her two daughters pranced into the room.
Whispering so only I could hear her, “Ummm, her daughters are both white. I don’t get it.”
Apparently not quiet enough. “They are both white on the outside, but Ebony carries the spirit of the Africans on the inside. She is the Yin of Ivory’s Yang,” Rosie educated us.
“I thought Yang was the masculine as well. How can a girl be the—” Christine began to argue.
“You thought wrong,” Rosie interrupted her. “Many people from your part of the country are very uneducated and lack the evolution of thought. I’m not surprised you know so little.”
“Excuse me—” Christine tried to interrupt. I nudged her quickly and shook my head. The last thing Chris wanted to do was get Rosie in one of her long-drawn out lectures about the East Coast’s evolution of thought.
“Shall we go out to the patio for the lunch I prepared? I hope it held well—seeing as how you were over 140 minutes late,” Rosie said, escorting us through her house.
“I’m sorry about that. I hit something—and we got a little lost,” I explained, following her. I eyed the strangest items, items that should never be on display, items like a large canvas painting of one of her daughters emerging disgustingly from her birth canal. I pointed it out to Christine, who gagged back a laugh.
“I made us some organic tomatoes and cucumbers that I grew in our bathtub.”
“So much for my long bath,” Christine mumbled, under her breath.
Rosie and I had been friends since early elementary school, but when we went off to college, she drank the Kool-aid and became the Queen Granola of the hippie-come-lately world. Ever since then, she’d been living in Colorado, making over 200 grand a year in the sales of Hemp products, but pretending she was dirt poor and living off the land.
This is what Rosie morphed into in college. Rosie used to be a cheerleader, party-girl, with more tolerance for alcohol than any guy I’d ever met. But then she went “au naturel,” and became part of the world’s earthly existence.
Whatever the Hell that meant.
Sometimes, she teetered between who she was and who she was trying to be. It was confusing—to say the least.
I knew Christine would have a problem with Rosie’s “holier than thou” mentality, but Christine promised to bite through her tongue and cope with an overnighter in Rosie World. When Christine realized that lunch was really just a plate of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, she took her laptop, cell phone, and the Jag to a nearby coffee shop to “write.” Who was she kidding? I knew she was going to eat cupcakes and call whomever she’d been closet-shacking with for the past month.
“I’m so glad you came to see me. You do look beautiful. You seem to have lost a bit of unwanted pounds,” Rosie said again, after Christine left. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you, though, about your—ummm—lifestyle.”
“Angel-ease-ah, it is important that I say this—as your lifelong friend. I feel I am the only one courageous and confident enough to do so. People are such cowards,” Rosie began, patting the back of my hand condescendingly.
“The earth is made up of so many wonderful things—beautiful things, like your eyes, for one.”
“Wow, thank you,” I said, feeling flattered. Rosie wasn’t one to compliment anyone—for anything.
“You’re welcome,” she nodded. “And well, sadly, the world is also made up of ugly, displeasing elements,” she said, frowning. Rosie shook her head and squeezed my hand. “I am so very sorry to say this, but Angel-ease-ah, you my lovely friend are becoming one of those very displeasing things—you are quite visually repulsive to the human eye.”
“What? What do you—?”
“Your appearance is still taking on that of a poor, beached manatee,” she stated with finality. “I fear that with each bite you gorge yourself on that you are coming closer and closer to the soil of the earth and that soon you will find yourself at one with the worms.”
“Now, I know you are a weak, weak woman, with no self-restraint or respect, so allow me to show you what I have in mind for you,” she stated, standing, smiling painfully.
Why did Christine leave? Why am I here alone with this ridicule and degradation? Christine would put this crazy-ass woman in her place—tell her to go eff herself and shove these rotten tomatoes right up her wrinkly rear.
“Please know, I only say all of this, because I love you—care about you. I care about those boys of yours who are going to find their earthly mother right back from where she originated,” Rosie stated, dropping her eyes in despair.
“Listen, I appreciate your concern,” I said, not knowing really how to defend myself. “But recently, as you’ve noticed, I turned over a new leaf, a new lifestyle—”
“Oh Angel-ease-ah, how many times have you lied to yourself before? You’re the alcoholic who promises to never drink again. The heroin addict who will quit on demand—and dearie, it never, ever happens,” she said, shaking her head. “You are a foodie, and unless you follow this lifestyle makeover I’ve created for you, you will always just be ‘Angel-obese-ah’ to everyone who knows you.”
“Nobody calls me ‘Angel-obese-ah.’ I’ve never heard that before,” I said, staring at her in disbelief.
“Well, I call you that,” she clarified. “Always have. Many of my sorority sisters did as well.”
Then it hit me.
It hit me all at once.
I have always let people talk to me this way. I let people treat me this way. I always have. I’ve never stood up for myself. The low self-esteem that I have was brewed by those around me who treated me with disdain, tore me down when they should’ve been building me up. This was one of my best friends, my childhood
, and she ridiculed me like I was a worthless piece of crap. And I let it happen. Let it happen.