Thursday, October 22, 2009

She sat down heavily, so close that I could smell the stale perfume on her pantsuit. On her lap she held a battered boy scout tin full of pictures, and between nicotine stained nails dangled the one I’d come for.

“This here, this is your motha.”

Partially hidden behind coffee stains was a picture of a mother and infant, the mother with a thick, full beard that fell just on top of the baby’s rounded belly. I wondered if I thought hard enough if I would remember what that felt like, the tickle against my skin.

“One of the best sideshow workers we evah had, God bless her,” she coughed violently, dislodging ancient phlegm into her hand. “You look just like her, if you cover up from here down,” that same hand pressed down under my nose, presumably where a beard would be, if I had one.

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