Friday, August 10, 2018

Make it all rise up in smoke

The moment I come out of the bedroom—trying to forget what’s just happened between Ben and me—that’s the moment I see Lenny standing there, next to the entrance door. He takes a step forward to reach me, which alerts me at once to a threat, ‘cause I’ve seen him jealous before.
Me, I can tell how he must be feeling right now, ‘cause I’ve been there myself. From time to time, I would drive myself crazy thinking about him and Natasha, about her coming back here, or him going away with her. Then like, I would fly at him, with fire in my heart, crying that I hate, hate, hate him, and that I couldn't take his secrets no more, and whatever! And no matter what Lenny would say, I would end up going into a jealous rage. 
Rage, it can like, scorch everything around you, and make it all rise up in smoke, till you don’t hardly know who’s your friend and who—your enemy, so you can’t really trust no one. And most of all, you can’t trust the one you hold dear.  
At such moments I find that I miss being with my ma, who threw me out of her place long ago. I miss her, because inside—where no one else can see—I’m still a child, and because with her I’m at ease, and I don’t have to torture myself, and I don’t have doubts about nothing, ‘cause she makes things cut and dried, even if she has to slap me for it. 
So even though we’re married now, I don’t really feel I belong here, in this place. An outcast: that’s me. 
So I storm past him—but Lenny lays his hand on me. Grabbing me by the shoulder, he brings me to a standstill. 
Stop! Stop, Anita,” he says. “We have to talk.”
“Whatever,” I say, “I’m done talking,” even though we both reckon that like, the only thing I’ve swapped with him since this morning was my silence for his. 
And he goes, “Maybe you are—but I am not.”
And I don’t say nothing, ‘cause like, what’s the point? Between his son and me, I bet I know whose story he’s gonna believe.
And so he presses on, “There is something, Anita, something I must tell you.”
“What,” I say. “You leaving me again, Lenny?”

Anita in My Own Voice

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The complete series: 

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"So much more could be said... but that would be robbing the reader of the joy of discoveries that Poznanasky accomplishes in this profound novel." 
Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME reviewer

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