WHAT HE NEEDS
john oliver hodges
“I’ve read about this,” Mom said. “They hide under your car when you go to the mall. Listen. I’m telling you. Whenever you get in your car, look under it to see if a man is there waiting to cut your ankles.”
“No!” I told her. “Just return them, okay? Throw them away if you want. I don’t care!”
I see her. She goes to the mailbox. It’s filled with his letters, all personal and friendly looking, some with pictures or stickers on the envelopes. Mom takes the letters inside, smells them, puts them on the kitchen table, telling herself she won’t, no, she won’t open them, they do not belong to her and, “Why didn’t anybody send me letters like this when I was in college.” I know Mom has opened my letters. She has opened my letters and read shit like: Please, just one word from you. I cannot get you out of my mind. If only I could touch you now. You said you loved me, remember? You said you wanted to be the best fuck I ever had.
Oh, the crap never stops. Is he trying to lay a guilt trip on me? Does it sound like he loves me? What he needs is another piece is what. It’s not my fault. What he needs is a blow-up doll is what. If I send him one, will he leave me be? I’ll get a whole case of blow-up dolls. That way I might avoid this junk in my future dealings with men. I’ll get two, two cases of blow-up dolls so that I’ll never run out. I’ll drop a blow-up doll on the ground and kick it under my car whenever I go to the mall. That way I won’t have to get down and look to see if a man is under there, waiting to cut my ankles, every time I get in my car.
John Oliver Hodges