Genevieve Anna Tyrrell
Piece by piece. My cells retreat. Lost my production gig. Reality TV show job. Makeover series. Makeover. If anyone needs a makeover. I need a makeover. A do over. I'm so sorry I tell them. It came on so quickly I say. There's just no way I say. I can't do the shoot this week I say. They sigh. They ask me for an alternate. A replacement. A recommendation. Someone to take my position. I'm now on their shit list. Of lazy assholes. Flaky bitches. Screw ups. For a week I wake and sleep and dream in a blur. My pillow. And pillows for my pillow. With my tissues. Thermometer. Water bottles. Anti-virals. Anti-biotics. Anti-Mucous. Blood pressure cuff. Ricola. Vitamins. Nasal Spray. Dirty dishes. TV remote control.
And now I
stand in the kitchen.
Cookie dough chocolate swirl dream in cardboard cup. Mom says give half to Dad. Half to Dad I repeat. My cousin watches the scene play out. I'm a scene again. Like in the hospital before. C'mon, Mom says. Give some to Dad she says. Share she says. Didn't they teach you in kindergarten she says. I'm already sharing. Half of myself. All of myself. To illness. Disease. Disruption. Disorder. Destruction. Inside. Organs. Systems. Cells. Capillaries. Nerves. My nerves get on my nerves. She says give him just a little. What's wrong with you she says. This is mine I say. Mine. I fumble. Spoon. I push into the solid block. Ice cream won't budge. I tremor. I always tremor. But today I tremor more. What kind of a daughter are you that you can't share some ice cream with your father. Frozen Yogurt I say. Part of why I picked it was for the bacterium I say. Bacterium. I realize I sound like a fucking biologist. You know, because of the Anti-biotics I say. Have to combat the diarrhea I say. Whatever she says. So I try again. And Puuuusssshhhh.We argue. I push. My hand. Keeps slipping on cardboard cup condensation. And I push the spoon in. And we argue. I push. And she pushes me to my edge.
A big chunk.
Into the Air.
Onto the floor.
My cousin leans back. Applauds.
A slow, LOUD, deliberate, cupped clap.
Well that was smart she says.
Mom says Oops! like I'm in kindergarten.
And neither one have noticed how hard I tremor.
The spoon. The ice cream—Frozen Yogurt. The wet cardboard cup. Thepressurebuilding. Neither one knows the day I can hold my hands steady. The day I can make myself all my meals without being Miss Dropsy. Miss Mishap. Miss Spills. Miss Burn Myself on the Stove.
The day I'm none of those.
So there I am in the kitchen.
For few seconds all I can get out is silence.
Well, I say. I guess Dad certainly isn't getting any ice cream now.
But I could scream.
Over ice cream. Staring at my career on the kitchen floor.
Genevieve Anna Tyrrell finished her MFA in creative writing at the University of Central Florida. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, Hippocampus, and Niche. Her art has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly and Animal. She was a Pushcart Prize nominee and received an honorable mention in the Hot Street Emerging Writers contest. She lives in Oviedo, Florida and has taught both composition and creative writing in the Orlando area.