SL 050108 DEPRESSION GLASS - Pablo Picasso

When the alarm goes off he is bereft. His dream broken, lost once more. A line of girls costumed as fifty-dollar bills had been dancing for him.  The prettiest looked like the girlfriend he’d had in second grade. The one who’d kissed him as they flew together down the slippery-slide at the park. The dancer’d even worn a pink rhinestone necklace like he’d given to his girl that day. What was her name? Mary? No. Marley. Marley Fortis.

The dancer, he remembers now, had awesome breasts. Marley had been flat-chested but she was only seven so she could be stacked today. But there had been many girls since that first one with the sparkling eyes and Captain Marvel sneakers. So few that he can remember which is the problem, after all, with girls–interchangeable, like cinder blocks or plastic forks.

With resignation and dread he slowly approaches the window. In all his dreams life is new and he possesses an innocence that is absent now in even the youngest girls he meets. They are soft and dewy fresh but he is old. Not really old but he feels ancient like a sequoia that has a hole at its base that cars can drive through for five dollars apiece.

The moment cannot be put off. There’s work to do and he will need the light. With deadening reluctance he steps toward the window and shuts his eyes. He pins a vision of that dancing girl on the backside of his eyelids and regains a memory of being in that young boy’s body on the playground slide. Small and cheerful. Yes, that’s the state of mind he’s searching for. Cheerful. It is elusive but almost . . . almost there.

He takes hold of the curtain and snaps it open but his eyes are still shut tight. He is sightless except for the scenes within his mind. Holding these memories as fiercely as possible he opens his eyes and sees the same scene that he has been seeing for the last seven months and twenty-six days. Nothing ever changes. The sunbather with her huge misshapen breasts, her half-gallon testicles, and her tiny head. Mangled and yet healthy she is still floating upon the water, with no boat between herself and drowning. She stares at his window. She never attempts to look away. She waits for him. Willing, it seems, to wait for however long it takes to break him.


The Shadow” painted by Pablo Picasso in 1953 in the Musee Picasso, Paris, France