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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Antenna


Antenna
by Jerry Carpenter

Love will lead us, alright
Love will lead us, she will lead us
Can you hear the dolphin's cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It's in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us, she will lead us
--Live, “Dolphin’s Cry”

White noise, snowy television. It didn’t help the room was so goddamn cold. He stood by the rotor box. He turned it left. Buzzing. The snow drifted to the right. Nothing. He turned it to the right. The snow drifted left. Nothing. More white noise. He felt it in his fillings. Why is this room so goddamn cold? He slammed a shaky hand down on the box. Blood ran down his leg. The last painted seagull, this one painted blue with red spots, fell off the wall and behind the TV.
TV’s getting nothing. He whispered as he peered down the hall. The gray door at the far end of the hallway was only opened a little bit. I think the rotor box isn’t working. It’s called a rotor box. Why do you have to make me feel stupid? Whispers got softer. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME FEEL STUPID?! I JUST WANTED TO SEE YOUR HEART! He fell over.

I love you. She smiled as she said it. Half her hair caught the red pillow in its thin brown tentacles. I love you, too. She leaned in and grabbed his face and kissed him. She pulled away. I wish you could see my heart.

An antenna crashed off the roof. He had pushed it. Some of the thin metal bars broke off. He stared from the roof at the broken antenna. It might still work. I don’t need those little pieces. Just the big thing. Just one of the big rods.

She was crying, he was shouting. What’s the, I mean, how the name of sweet fuck all could you do this to me? Huh? I was so fucking good to you! So fucking good, and sweet, and gentle, and all the fucking piddly ass shit the books told me to be. I was your textbook fucking mate! Is he bigger than me? Answer that question goddammit! How big is he? She was crying, wouldn’t answer, too proud to answer, he thought. Are you too goddamn proud to answer me? You got nothing to be proud of, you cheating. Fucking. Whore! I wish you could see my fucking heart! I was your fucking textbook boyfriend!
He ran out of the room. Her sobbing filled the room. He loved her so much. He loved her sobbing. He was an idiot. He walked outside, grabbed the ladder, walked to the roof. I want you to see my fucking heart. How many wavelengths are in a fucking heart beat?

She giggled. It’s called a rotor box, sweetie. Not a rotator box. You’re cute. He looked hurt. I’m not a goddamn kid. Her brow furrowed. Don’t take it that way. I was just saying. Well, Miss Smart Woman, I set-up this damn “rotor box” while you were finishing your ohsospecial seagulls. He wanted to hurt her. He didn’t want to feel stupid. I just wanted something special above the T.V. It doesn’t matter how they look, we painted them together, I wanted them above the T.V. What’s on that screen isn’t always as important as what’s around it. She was crying. She walked to the kitchen.

He lay in the middle of the living room. The large conductor stuck out of his side. He bled on the floor. The carpet soaked up the blood. It spread out in front of the TV. He blinked. Where’s my heart? I can’t see it.

I don’t love him. But I don’t love a textbook either. And I didn’t ask for this shit, and I didn’t ask for you to put a fuckin’ antenna on my roof, and I don’t want constantly be reminded of shit I didn’t ask for. I love you. I don’t love a fucking textbook. What is that fucking rod in your hand? Am I supposed to be scared of you knocking an antenna over? Or threatening me with that? Don’t fucking come near me!
They had wrestled and fought and in the thick of it all she had stabbed him and she hated herself for it and ran to the bedroom to call the cops.