Fiction: Ryder Collins’ “The weeds is us”

Not the fates or the furies but they flew in bad asses just the same.

The land was already writhing roiling burning fighting so you’d think no one would notice these bitches blowing in but … everything stopped. Everyone stopped biting, peeing, fucking, eating, snoring, snorting, dicking; every sweat pore stopped sweating, every bead of sweat hung on every big fucking nose, every cartoon roadrunner hung suspended midair, midstride. Even the Wall Street ticker stopped mid-tick all fiery red like Satan’s cum but didn’t tick on. For that moment. That leather clad all shapes all sizes all ages all races bitches moment.

They came down like that and we all noticed and then we all forgot because we are dumber than the dumbest squirrel that forgets the burning hair-rubber smell of its tail caught up under tire tread so slow it still could yank itself free & hobble to the other side of the road.

We’re all hobbling to the other side of the road. All of us but the ones who rule us & now these bitches we’ve already forgotten.

The ones who rule us may have had something to do with it because patriarchy because money because well, we don’t remember what all else and that thing about patriarchy, most of us like Father Knows Best and think Mommie Dearest is the scariest truth ever.

Daddy Dearest would be its antithesis. In Daddy Dearest, there’d be no cold creams, no beauty masks, no bloody steaks. There’d be wire hangers and all the birthday presents any kid could want. All the wire hangers for kids to play with; they could whip each other and throw scouring powder at each other’s eyes. All the wire hangers for back-alley abortions and bathtub bleedings even. Daddy don’t care about no mess.

 

THE FIRST BITCH WHO CAME DOWN WAS JEAN GENIE WHO RULED THAT VESTIGIAL PART OF OUR HEARTS CALLED THE EIGHTIES THROUGH DENIM & JOURNEY BALLADS

She had little impact on this mess except we all missed David Bowie a little harder and sang extra sobby when “Little Drummer Boy” came on in the Starbucks lobby.

Plus, our hairs all got a little longer in back, a little shorter on top.

Even the Starbucks mermaid sported a mullet on the holiday cup.

 

THE SECOND WAS PREMONITIONED IN THE FIRST. THE SECOND WAS AVENGING FOOD SERVICE GODDESS.

Burn an apron; lose a child.

Tip < 15%: tennis elbow for life.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Not my circus, not my monkeys, is what the customers always chanted when things went wrong like Mr. President Combover calling up Russia again for more KGB tricks & hookers & caviar & torture secrets or when the espresso machine stops working.

We are all fucked’s the true mantra of the food service avenging goddess. She has seen the weeds, she has been in the weeds, and the weeds is us.

Our hearts are silent and gravy.

 

THE THIRD GODDESS WAS THAT MOMENT … YOU KNOW … THAT MOMENT

That moment when you should have said something like when he was standing right behind you on your break at work and you were sitting down and his penis was right there and you could feel the warmth, you could feel the want or even earlier when that other one wanted to play thumb war and you should have just taken his whole hand and pulled it to you, pulled him to you.

That moment when you could have looked him in the eyes when he smiled at you or he could have looked you in the eyes when you smiled back

or fuck why does this shit have to be hetero

another missed moment.

 

THE FOURTH WAS THAT REALLY BIG MOMENT THAT COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING

every time we remember it’s like a nightmare.

every time we remember November it’s like we just woke up.

we want to burrow burrow deeper into flannel, into down, into our sheets and comforters but a lot of us don’t have beds anymore a lot of us don’t have blankets a lot of us know the street intimately because we’ve been punched and thrown down or a lot of us just sleep there because our houses are gone our livelihoods are gone our love for eighties ballads are gone and even our teeth are gone.

we’ll never love steve perry’s hair again/we’ll never have platinum grills.

this makes us sad in a way we’ll never understand.

 

THE FIFTH BITCH THAT CAME DOWN HAD NO NAME & NO FACE

Somehow she sang songs like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” like JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Fifth bitch can’t stop the feeling & her hair’s all pastel blue and pink straight up & she breathes her happy breath on our necks but her happy breath is not an aphrodisiac and her happy breath’s not a happy breath really. It reminds us of things we don’t want to remember like the Klu Klux Klan, like inequality, like swastikas the night of & hereafter, like seigheiling white boys, like hateboys marching, like someone trying to pull your hijab off, like a subway full of combat boots and now you know each raised square of steel on a subway car floor.

Fifth bitch can’t stop the feeling: we feel the American dream eating our babies, dingoing our future, fingering our roses. The rosy fingers of dawn but not in a good way. Her pastels aggravate the war efforts; our pastels aggravate everything. Birds eat what they think is cotton candy. Ice picks are handy.

We all want lobotomies.

 

THE SIXTH WAS ALL PERSEPHONE WAS ALL POMEGRANATE SEED WAS ALL STUCK SOMEWHERE & THEN FREED

We REALLY didn’t want to remember by this point. We just wanted to go to our jobs, however shitty they were, however indebted to the corporation we were, however fucked people below us were, however, however, however. We didn’t want to know what was up with the nightly trucks coming through and “cleaning” up our hoods. What was up with never seeing the nice immigrants down the street or John the IT guy again. What it meant to know someone who was disappeared.

That was some James Bond Daniel Craig without his shirt off shit & we are not suave enough to hold a gun the way he does and we are not suave enough to wear a tux and the way we hold a gun is just to pretend to kill & the way we hold guns is just to kill ourselves.

We know no better, and like Persephone, we know no way out.

Unlike Persephone, our mothers won’t save us.

We want to blame our mothers.

It’s easy enough.

 

THE SEVENTH THAT COMES DOWN’S ALL LIKE I’M GONNA SURPANAKHA THIS SHIT & FIX IT BECAUSE DEMONESS BECAUSE TEETH BECAUSE TOOTHSOME DEMONESS’ BETTER THAN COMBOVER ANNIHILATION BUT WE ARE STUPID LIKE I SAID

She says, Where is your Rama?

We say, Ramalamadingdong?

She says, Your savior; your golden one.

We say, Gold is good, yes?

We say, You want gold? You want our golden one?

She says, Yes.

& we turn her in for being a foreigner, for being in disguise, for being a woman who eats, for being a woman who pursues, for being a woman who snores, for being a woman who desires. We know no better because we are stupid because we are xenophobes because the Xtian god of commerce says so. She is so beautiful that we notice her again and turn her in again and then we forget.

We forget everything and go to work; we forget everything and come home; we forget everything and watch the televisions; we forget everything and Facebook and Rickroll and Twitter. We forget and go to bed; we forget and wake up in the morning and have coffee and doughnuts or coffee and creamer or just plain water or nothing at all because we have no monies and the water’s all dirty death and then we turn everyone else in and start all over again.

***

Ryder Collins has a novel, Homegirl! Her chapbook, The way the sky was now, won Heavy Feather Review’s first fiction chapbook contest, and she has two chapbooks of poetry, i am hopscotch w/out hop and Orpheus on toast. Her work can be found in DIAGRAM, Corium, Juked, Southeast Review, and Beecher’s, among others.

What’s HFR up to? Read our current issue, submit, or write for Heavy Feather.

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