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The Subterranean Quarterly 2014

January 14, 2014



The return address on the package was from a woman I didn’t know and a town inWyomingI’d never heard of but never-the-less I opened it. Of course I thought of x-rays and dunking it in water but my visions of a great freebee outdid my defensive thoughts.

There was the requisite bubble wrap wound tightly around something heavy. Finally, with the aid of a knife and scissors I was able to unwind the bubble wrap but couldn’t resist popping the bubbles as I went. I love bubble wrap. I stomped on some with my bare feet and bit a few to pop them but mostly used the official two finger bubble wrap pop.

There was a note card sized envelope and a brick. The brick was old, had a few tiny chips and some paint smudges but was otherwise a decent brick. A brick with character—the kind I’d keep on my desk or bookcase.

I popped a few more bubbles and opened the envelope.


Dear Shithead—Did I ever properly thank you for saying you’d pull out in time? No, I guess not, but me and little Shithead here are both happy he’s part of my life and you are not. We want nothing from you—no money, no presents, no visits, no return responses to this fake address—no nothing. The little guy is between one and three so you can work on your Johnny Appleseed thoughts and try to figure out where you planted him.

Why the brick? Because it’s substantial and hopefully will always remind you of your giving up on substantial.

Remember your promise to pull out? I didn’t realize you were talking about town in the middle of the night. Duh! How stupid of me. I woke up filled with you but otherwise an empty apartment—no note no nothing.

Keep the brick to remind you of your solid character.


The Happy Mother


PS: Whatever you do—do not pop the bubbles—it’s possible that danger lurks inside each innocent looking (like I was) bubble.

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