April

This month’s fur-free top­coat.

Fashion (Canada) - - The Mar­ket | Moments - By Me­gan Gail Coles

NORA REACHES BE­HIND HER­SELF

to place her hands on her ass cheeks. The in­side of her belly but­ton beats against the white-ter­rycloth-cov­ered ta­ble as she in­hales through her nose and ex­hales through her mouth. She looks to the far left of the room, away from the near-stranger dip­ping tongue de­pres­sors into a wax warmer. Its tan­gled elec­tri­cal cord... Nora can’t bear to look on this grue­some side.

There is a cir­cus bor­der half­way up the wall. It is split­ting the deep blue bot­tom from the ris­ing yel­low top. Nora fix­ates on the car­toon­ish char­ac­ters parad­ing around her naked­ness: a ring­mas­ter hold­ing his coiled whip high while tip­ping a crim­son top hat, a ti­gress hot on his heels, lick­ing her lips, fol­lowed by a pair of scant­ily clad ladies, trapeze artists per­haps. Nora thinks they are drawn falsely merry—that the cat best eat this gaudy front-line fel­low be­fore it’s too late. Free them all from this de­ceiv­ing im­per­son­ation of an en­ter­tain­ing prom­e­nade.

Or she is be­gin­ning to think these thoughts when the wo­man launches into a di­a­tribe about men. Her ex-hus­band. Words knot around Nora’s throat like a noose stran­gling her body pri­vacy. Evening sun flashes through the base­ment blinds, light­ing and dim­ming the room. A tree waves new leaves like a child boasts about a new tooth.

Nora catches a glimpse of the wo­man twirling wax around the tiny wooden pad­dle and turns back to her ti­gress. She will not watch the wo­man make slow honey-coloured wax rings in that gummy pot.

The room is full of hot words and air fresh­ener. Both are in­tended to cover any trace of pussy.

Big-top ring­mas­ters pre­fer ti­gresses. Nora read this in a chil­dren’s book once. They made the best ti­gress leap over the backs of her cat friends who were forced to stop steady and en­dure the fright­ful hu­mil­i­a­tion. If the best ti­gress fell, the ring­mas­ter would drag her away by her tail to pre­vent a blood­bath. Later, he would beat her for dis­ap­point­ing him be­fore re­plac­ing her with the next best ti­gress. (Nora learned this last bit in adult­hood.)

Nora feels light­headed now, try­ing to fo­cus on these mod­ern cir­cus tricks as the wo­man roars that her ex cheated on her with some skinny bitch. Left her in this poor­house. Skinny bitch and poor­house loop Nora’s skull cir­cum­fer­ence as she re­calls ev­ery time a wo­man com­mented on her sharp parts or some mone­tary value. She feels that ma­li­cious envy has been sewn into her ev­ery fol­li­cle, and she wants it shorn clear. Nora wants to raze this in­grown jeal­ousy and stride sheer into a new spring. She wants more than any­thing to claw her way through her fear of the other ti­gresses. She is start­ing by trust­ing this hurt wo­man with her most vul­ner­a­ble bits.

The hurt wo­man growls, “Can you be­lieve that fucker?” And Nora can. Nora can to­tally be­lieve that some man ripped out this wo­man’s heart and fed it to the next best cat. She doesn’t rightly know how to ar­tic­u­late her full sup­port and ut­ter com­pre­hen­sion so she hisses back “To­tal fucker” in re­sponse. They are both eased in their agree­ment as the wo­man slides in over Nora and whis­pers, “Ready?”

Nora shakes her head yes be­cause she is ready to be ready. She pulls her ass cheeks apart and bares her teeth un­til it’s over.

EVE RY MONTH HAS A MOOD, a feel­ing, some com­bi­na­tion of mem­o­ries, mo­ments and nos­tal­gia. You know it—you feel it—even if you’ve never re­ally thought about it. To help en­cap­su­late the moods of the months, we’re ask­ing nov­el­ists to take on the cal­en­dar and evoke the feel­ings of each sea­son through fic­tion, mem­oir or some mix of the two. Me­gan Gail Coles is a writer and play­wright in New­found­land. Her lat­est novel is Small Game Hunt­ing at the Lo­cal Coward Gun Club.

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