A Boy, Having 10 Things
These are the ten things the boy has:
1. 4 wives - one for each mood. Here are his moods:
1a.) She was born in Russia; when she impersonates men she swaggers; her house has a lot of glass in it; she is obsessed with the following:
a.) Small, personal regimes, like when people are in denial about certain things, or work too hard.
b.) How to have a burgeoning spa business
c.) Learning how to enjoy winter
d.) Slips of the tongue
1b.) She was born in southeast Brazil; has never learned to dance; approaches homeless people in a very giving type mood, keeps her glasses in a sock; has never wanted the following:
b.) A purse with more than one pocket
c.) To know what people look like when they are sleeping
d.) A picture of herself standing near a monument
1c.) Is from Bryn Mawr; her teeth hurt; has written two books that are quite boring, as they are plotless, ties her sweaters about her neck in order to make fun of others who do so; thinks the following are sinful:
a.) Poorly kept nails on hands that hold things in cold weather, rendering the entire hand chapped, stubby
b.) Taking stories about people who are selfish too seriously, i.e. being morally moved by things, but in a way where you feel superior c.) Swimming in medium-warm weather
d.) Cheating at games
1d.) His friend Brent, who does not know he is a wife, nor that he does not have enough obsessions. Brent has never worried about the following:
a.) What mailmen think of him
b.) A good way to spit
c.) If his cat has any pattern-recognition
d.) If he likes the tapestry that covers his window
2. A sack of diamonds. Brent and No. 2 do not want it, No. 1 does; No. 3 thinks she deserves it.
3. Two parents, almost dead, with shy hair.
4. A scholarship to West Point, because he is the fastest runner you've ever seen, and you might cry to see him run, it is the only beautiful thing about him.
5. Wonderful sneakers- they are holey, grey and maroon, smell like death. They are wonderful because he runs in them; they are transformed by the elegance his body attains, in the way of ordinary objects they take on a surreal importance when considered from the perspective of loss. Because we are up to 10 things, but this boy lost his feet, perhaps because of the diamonds, perhaps because of a chill fall, so now he only has 8 things. Here are the last two:
a.) A picture of himself at a hockey game, circa 1987 or so, one tooth fucked, his dad has coffee, he has some - wait for it - Sunny D; they are cold at the ice-skating rink, and are wearing puffy coats.
b.) A self-important cat with eyebrows, a bit off tail, clipped nails