Fiction

Thanks for Nothing

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 FICTION









Thanks for Nothing by Karen Finley  


It started as a waking dream. The four glasses and teapot you gave me crushed in the rusting My Little Pony lunchbox with the words “the tortured soul of a misogynist” written inside of the lid by me. I woke up with a startle as I dreamed I gave him his lunchbox back. I decided to wait for the meaning later. And I could not call my therapist, for it was Thanksgiving. A grin came to my lips and I spoke loud, “HE’s back in town.”

Of course, HE is in town. HE always came to town on Thanksgiving to see his first set of children at his Aunt Tilly’s house.


    

Now let us go out of the story for a moment, away from my own personality disorder, so I can get up to speed on this national holiday of bird roast and stuffing. My six-year-old daughter puts the day into perspective. “Who cares about Thanksgiving? You don’t get any presents!” Exactly. It is just a holiday where we stuff our gullets and give thanks for our good health, our good fortune, our family and friends. And that is why I yearn for this time of year because I prefer to set myself up with as many losses, inadequacies and rejections, real and imagined, as possible. I prefer to work myself into despair, loneliness, a wretched feeling of helplessness, of being unloved, unwanted, undesired. A desperation just short of panic so I can relax into the sensation of sheer abandonment. A feeling without anxiety for the anxiety takes too much energy from the emotional choice of rejection.


    

Don’t blame this equation on my father. He never made me feel this good.


    

As I told you, I woke up with a depressing feeling and I knew HE was in town. It was 5:30 am and I knew that if I grabbed a cab I could watch him at American Airlines getting off the red eye.


    

Being Thanksgiving, JFK was congested.


    

I made my way into the baggage area and spotted him quickly. HE walking in his olive green corduroy jacket with matching leather trim. His hair spiked copper. HE was barrel-chested. HE was walking with a woman who I named THE DOG who followed him everywhere loyally, licking his envelopes. I swear you could smell the envelope glue a mile away. I wasn’t jealous — quite the contrary. She

amused me, for I just wasn’t the kind of woman who sets up a man’s schedule to get his attention.


    

While I was waiting for his wits and luggage to return to him I sat on the heater against the window. My tush got warmed fast. I was wearing my full-length black alpaca coat with nothing underneath. Mostly for saving time but also I have a reputation to protect. After retrieving his luggage HE made a mad dash through the crowd with THE DOG licking a manila. THE DOG was wearing her Sunday best, rather Thanksgiving holiday best, and for a second I attempted a smile. I was happy for THE DOG and sincerely hoped that he was regularly banging her. Just to keep the machine greased.


    

My ass was burning from sitting on the heater so I leapt in his way. His first reaction was to act like he just saw me yesterday. But for greater effect he dropped his luggage and grabbed me like a man seeing his wife after returning from war. I kissed him like a woman who is turned on by a man who would die for his country. My coat opened with my hot naked ass available for his pleasure. I wanted to undo his belt right there in the style of JFK but decided to make it tantric and wait for pleasure. His hands felt my body, nude, and a thrill rushed through him, pulsing. HE whispered how much he wanted me. And I felt his cock hard in our embrace. HE sucked my tongue until it hurt. When HE released my mouth I said, just loud enough for THE DOG to hear, “You’ll have to shave before you eat my puss.”


    

HE slapped my rump and grabbed it for safe keeping and said, “You’ve always been such a goddamned hot piece of ass.” I slapped him back, half-teasing, half to keep up the tension as he slid his fingers into my pelt. I looked at THE DOG while his head rested on my shoulder. I faked an orgasm for her to contemplate, for I had a soft place in my heart for THE DOG. I like animals.


    

“I’ll be finished with turkey at Aunt Tilly’s and the kids by nine. Meet me at the Mercer Hotel soon after.”


    

The rest of the day was shot. I went home and kept the Macy’s parade on while I obsessed with whether he’d show up. It was Thanksgiving and I couldn’t even get my nails or hair done.


    

After the Macy’s parade was over I watched the Scooby Doo marathon. I obsessed if he was seeing anyone else at Tilly’s, romantically, sexually. Perhaps Tilly had a new neighbor.


    

I wore a fishnet body stocking with an opening in the appropriate place. The fishnet irritated my nipples to keep them at attention. I wore something velvet

and flimsy, something easy to get out of.


    

When I got to the bar I was early by an hour. I spotted him with a chiseled blonde who had been 27 for ten years. The blonde looked better in black than I did. For a moment I didn?t go any further in self-doubt of my ability to handle black nonchalantly and on command but then remembered that I once was married on Thanksgiving and had not worn white but gray and now I was wearing black. If it were different circumstances I might have shared this with her, him. And perhaps that was the problem with the relationship after all. I made sure my Fendi bag was on my arm and walked the block.


    

While I was walking I reassured myself that I was an adult and he was an adult and why can’t I just relax and pretend I’m in the seventies with free sex. I looked in the deli and saw the bottles of Evian and thought because no one drinks from the goddamned tap anymore. I’m sure it doesn’t make sense to you but it took away my need to smoke. I didn’t want to smoke. My mother died the month before from lung cancer and I hadn’t made her funeral. I hate holidays. With that I turned back toward the Mercer Hotel.


    

I walked around the entire block with my fishnets rubbing my nipples furiously. I rather liked it. By the time I made my way to the hotel, the blonde was gone. “See, things turn out,” I said to myself.


    

I walked up to him at the bar. HE kissed my neck and held my waist as I tried to ignore her perfume. HE ordered champagne. HE toasted to my beauty. I wasn’t listening, for I could see a blonde hair on his lapel.


    

We melted and giggled. Pawed and purred. We made out like teenagers who couldn’t wait. HE ordered the check. “I don’t think we’ll be wanting anything else except each other,” he said while looking at me intensely and handing the waiter his credit card. I excused myself to pee. I made my way to the lobby of the hotel to the ladies. I spotted the blonde coming out of the elevator. I hesitated but only for two beats. On my return I saw the blonde approach him at our table. I stood, emotionally frozen, incapable of doing anything as they walked through the lobby and entered a waiting elevator. I watched the elevator go up and stop on the third floor. I waited in despair and rejection as the elevator door returned and opened empty.


    

HE probably had her on the floor pressed against the door furiously fucking her. I can’t remember walking back to the table or how long I stood there but the waiter returned his credit card and receipt to be signed. I forged his name. I put the credit card into my Fendi bag, for tomorrow was Friday and the busiest shopping day of the year.





©1999 Karen Finley and Nerve.com, Inc.