BOY - irene mcgarrity

It’s the spoon I like to gag myself with, the wooden one with “boy” carved into the handle. I found it in a junk shop just hanging from a hook by a dirty piece of twine. I thought it would be splintery but it was smooth. The guy who made it sanded the hell out of it like my dad would have. Dad was always in his shop all hours of the night drinking Buds. I could see him making a spoon like that when my mom was pregnant with me. And I could see mom hanging it from the wall, then jamming it into the back of a drawer after I was born.

Lately, it’s my favorite spoon to throw up with. I keep it on a shelf with my razors and pills and lighters, other things I use a lot. After dinner, I tie my hair back and go into the bathroom with the spoon, thinking maybe I’ll be luckier than my dad. Maybe I’ll make a boy. I lift the toilet seat with my foot, and my gags sounds like laughter echoing off the bathroom walls.

Irene McGarrity
The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen