(Excerpt from None So Distant, novel in progress)
Cherry steps out of the bathroom, soaking wet. She has just gotten out of the shower, having showered in her white bra and torn dungarees. She drips onto the floor, the urgent pap of water splashing hardwood.
I am a mermaid in torn jeans, comes the only line Cherry will speak during this dramatic skit. First she informed me how it would be—I will come out of the shower dripping wet and I will say to you I am a mermaid in torn jeans and you will say nothing and you will do nothing even when you see me on the floor writhing in agony and going through my death-throes … you will do nothing, which was how we rehearsed it, and now it was happening, the mermaid in torn jeans had fallen to the floor and was writhing convulsively, in the fever-grip of a seizure, and as rehearsed, I went over to the flopping mermaid and stood over her, wishing I could do something, doing nothing, I felt powerless, she was dying right in front of my eyes and I couldn’t help her, couldn’t even hold her hand or cradle her, nothing, I had to, as instructed, watch the life leave her body, and after the spasms ended, stillness, absolute stillness, the mermaid was dead, I felt useless, ashamed, and needless to say my favorite part of this skit was when she opened her eyes and said I was just playing dead and then I’d kiss her mouth as if it were the newest thing ever.