- Katie Smoak, and: Browsing Ranch Houses While You Dream of Estonia, and: Once I Thought I Was Going to Die in the Desert Without Knowing Who I Was, and: For Big Logos, in Hopes He Will Write Poems Again
- Katie Smoak
Dearly beloved Katie Smoak, cheerleader at Hickory High, on-again-off-again best friend. How did she smell like that? I saw Katie Smoak with the roll-on bottle of essential oil though she refused to tell me which oil was essential. “Get your own,” she said. I saw her roll it on her wrists, up her arms, down her shirt. Katie Smoak bought hers from the head shop where her boyfriend, a lanky guy named Beef Jones, bought his bongs. Katie Smoak was rumored to screw the gym teacher in his Mazda Miata before the bell for first period. That early in the morning? “Katie Smoak is always raging for it,” they said. “What I wouldn’t give to do Katie Smoak.” “I’m calling because I heard you were friends with Katie Smoak.” “I’d never cheat on you with that whore Katie Smoak.” “Are you going to the party at Katie Smoak’s?” “I might have cheated on you with that bitch Katie Smoak.” She smelled like musk, vanilla, magnolia, cinnamon and none of these. I tried a dozen oils and still never smelled like her. “I like to think,” she said, “that one day Beef Jones will be walking his wife to the Victoria’s Secret, getting something to spice up their defunct sex life, and he’ll smell a woman who smells like me, and he’ll think of me, and remember with deep sorrow and regret how I used to afford him the pleasure of sitting on his face.” Katie Smoak was lovely. [End Page 44]
- Browsing Ranch Houses While You Dream of Estonia
At first it’s cool like winning Final Fantasy IV. I find one that meets all my requirements— waterfront, hot tub, little winding path into woods for totally expected infidelity. Then I’m looking closer at the jpegs, wanting to call the carpet mauve but never being entirely sure what color mauve is, and each time I ask you won’t give me the straight answer, always somewhere between pink purple brown which is about as definitive as your future plans, Estonia Escanaba Escalator, and do you want a future that sounds like the beginning of a sneeze? I’m in a slide show walking around the nice people’s house who live on Whisperwood Lane, who chose to deco with ducks, who hung flower pots on hooks in the master suite, who have a king-size mahogany sleigh bed begging to burst out of its 10 x 12 confines and dash properly down the mountainside. O neat. They’ve taken this shot in an aerial sort of manner, which makes me think the Husband perched atop the TV cabinet while his head bumped into a potted airplane plant. Is that a type of plant? O blasted. Am I going to buy a ranch house? What will I do with Jack-and-Jill closets, his-and-her sinks, a two-car garage with a workman’s dormer shed? What could I possibly want with a third bedroom? What would I put in there? A box of e-mails? A speakerphone? A statue of yourself? I saw—forgive me—I saw in the adult toy store plaster of Paris and instructions for making a dick mold. For a few seconds I was thinking—snap, snap, we better [End Page 45] get to work. We have a lot to do setting you up and keeping you frisked until the timer buzzes. However, I think it might look lonely sitting on the mauve carpet under the airplane plant. I think it might detract from the overall cozy feel of the ranch house. So I’m on a two-acre lot now that backs up to a creek. I think on this lot it might blend in more, like a rock, or some felled timber, and it...