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  • Marie Smysor Watson

Cornfields: A Dialogue

I am sick to death of picking up after everyone! I’m about ready to burn it all down.

You say this every time you clean. Why don’t you just hurry up and do it?

I will! I WILL! You just watch. One of these days you are going to come home and there’ll be a smoldering pit of ashes where everyone’s shit used to be. And I’ll be long gone, so no chance of pinning it on me.

Oh yeah? Where are you gonna go?

I don’t know. Maybe Puerto Rico. They take American money there and I don’t need a passport, you know. I’ll live on the beach and eat coconuts and drink cheap beer and not have to worry about picking up after a dog pack of ungrateful American assholes.

Well, considering you don’t like beer or coconuts or the WATER very much, that scenario sounds a trifle sketchy to me.

I might like them. I might like all of it. I might, if I was ever able to get out of this godforsaken place. Nothing but flat land and trees and cornfields. I bet there aren’t any cornfields in Puerto Rico. I’d be glad to never see a pissing cornfield again.

Listen, what’s really the problem? Do you think I’m gone too much? Or is it because –

I DON’T KNOW, OKAY? I don’t know! Maybe I’m just sick of everything – of this house, of the kids, of the goddamn dog, of you –

What exactly did I do?

You’re just so, so, so, YOU. Happy to plod along, happy to clean up after these goddamn kids, happy to do the same thing week in and week out. It gets a little depressing.

What the hell’s wrong with being content?

Nothing. But you don’t have to revel in it. You’re like a pig in a mud wallow.

Jeez, thanks. You’re always so flattering. A pig? Really?

You know what I mean. I’m just tired of it all and here you go, poking along like there’s nothing to ever get excited over, good or bad. It’s depressing. And annoying.

Jee-zus, you sure know how to make a person feel loved. Christ, let me know how much the plane ticket to Puerto Rico is. I’ll buy the goddamn thing for you.

Forget it. It doesn’t matter. They probably have pineapple fields there. And that’ll be worse somehow.

You know, for someone who grew up on a farm, you’re pretty anti-agriculture.

I didn’t grow up on a farm, you know that. Our neighbors were farmers – we just lived in the goddamn woods.

Still, that attitude will get you shot in certain circles. Your people are the salt of the earth.

Shut up. I’m just tired. We travel in the same circle all of the time.

I think everyone does that. Even rich people. Even Elton John. Because, you know – Death? 'We die only once and for such a long time.’

Is that an Elton John quote?

No, Moliere.

Hmph – sounds more like Yogi Berra.

Listen, hon. If you’re feeling out of sorts, maybe you do need to go away for a while. I can manage. And the kids aren’t babies anymore.

Nooo, but they act like babies. No, worse, because babies are at least cute. And only shit in their diapers and not all over the entire house.

Forget about the kids, okay. They’re maggots. They’re dust on my non-existent boots. They’re that bad type of tree fungus that your dad bitches about. They’re worse than the varicose veins on your mother’s inner thighs.

That’s a picture I’ll never unsee.

I knew insulting our children would make you smile.

You’re an asshole. But a funny one.

Listen, just go. You need a break before you break.

I don’t know. I guess. Yeah, that might be good. But not Puerto Rico.

Why not? You're right - you don’t need a passport to get there. And there’s no currency exchange.

Yeah, but it's too sunny. I’m tired of the sun. I’d like to someplace where it rains. I’m in the mood for rain.

What about the Northeast? Seattle? Or Portland?

Portland? Yeah, maybe. Portland might be nice.

And you know what? I’d be willing to bet a dollar that there aren’t any goddamn cornfields in the entire city limits of Portland. I’d even bet those maggot-y kids on it.


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