Me and Theodore Are Trapped in the Trunk of the Car with Rags in Our Mouths and Tape Around Our Wrists and Ankles, Please Let Us Out.
by Mary Hamilton Read author interview June 25, 2009
I built a bridge and named it Samuel. I built a bridge out of tongue depressors and cotton swabs stolen from my doctor’s office. I built a bridge out of paper gowns and syringes stolen from my doctor’s office. I built a bridge out of soap dispensers and air hoses stolen from my doctor’s office. It took me seven years to build my bridge. I visited eighteen doctors. I stole from eighteen doctors. I waited in eighteen exam rooms. I looked through eighteen sets of drawers and cabinets. I had a sore throat. I had an ear infection. I stepped on a rusty nail. I stubbed my toe. I broke my arm. Influenza. Yeast infection. Shingles. Lyme Disease. Breast lump. Strep throat. Poison Ivy. Hair loss. Swollen tongue. Glaucoma. Concussion. Herpes. Hangnail.
I built a bridge and used it to cross. I built a bridge and used it as shelter during storm. I built a bridge and skated in ice and snow. I made my ice skates out of razor blades and rubber bands stolen from my doctor. I cut my nails and made a mirror. I grew my hair and made a rope. I cut my hand and made a river to run under. I cut my hair and made a mattress, a shirt, a rug to shake and beat over the railing.
I built a bridge for strong and sturdy. I built a bridge and named it Doris.
Not done. I needed a tree. I needed a road. I needed a car to move me faster. To make me crash. To throw me free. I followed my doctor home. I chased his Honda. I put a flag on his bumper so I could see it from far off. I kept my distance. I followed my doctor. I followed my doctor home. I waited outside his house. I waited for him to sleep. I waited for him to eat dinner. Do the dishes. Read a magazine. Jerk off. I waited for him to take a shower. To watch the talk shows. I waited for him to sleep. For him to R.E.M. For him to toss and turn. To dream of children. To dream of pre-pubescents fighting a war using elephants and camels instead of horses. Waited for him to dream of children firing guns and throwing grenades and building bombs. I waited for him to snore.
I stood in the moonlight.
I hung from a streetlight.
I broke down his door.
I rearranged his furniture. I made an omelet for my hunter. I washed my clothes. I tore the curtains and made a dress. I made shoes from the door handles and earrings from the soap. I made a garden salad from paint chips and used batteries.
I found his room I said his name, Doctor. I moved closer and said his name louder, Doctor. I moved to the bed and said his name louder again, Doctor Doctor. He rolled over. He pulled his knees to his chest. He nuzzled his pillow. I moved to his bedside. I sat next to him. I kissed his forehead. I stole pieces of his hair. A corner from his blanket. His right slipper. His four front teeth.
I found his attic. I found his workshop. I unlocked the door and I found a model airplane. The size of my upper half. Wingspan my wingspan. I found an airplane made of skin samples and hair. Blood cells and Petri dishes. Propellers made of charts and hair roots. Wings of x-rays and phlegm. I found maps made of bed trays and goggles made from rubber bands.
I took the plane to the roof.
I made the plane fly.
About the Author:
Mary Hamilton is a writer, teacher, and optician living in Chicago where she is also the co-host and co-creator of the QUICKIES! reading series. Previous work has appeared in Fiction at Work, Eclectica, Thieves Jargon, and Storyglossia, among other lovely places.
About the Artist:
Eddie Hamilton's work can be found online at http://www.painteddiepaint.com.