They do not know who I am because for so many years, I stand by the man with the grass skirt. He smiles, he invites the ladies over for parties, to drape flowers around their necks. He tells them about his rippled sixpack, about the grass under his feet, about how difficult it is to keep the grass skirt smooth, and how much he would appreciate their help in this matter.
Always, with the smile. The smile of a man who knows you can’t help looking up his grass skirt right now, and doesn’t care. It takes a special man to be that comfortable in that skirt.
Me, I’m the one that carries the basket of fruit to the party, that sets the tables, that blushes furiously when he squeezes my orange and asks me if a tender fruit is ripest. I’m the one that wore two petticoats, an overskirt, a head-scarf and a heavy linen apron to a luau, because that’s the way I roll.
Everything is stitched together. My worried frown, shining with second-hand embarrassment that he somehow reflects from his bronzed skin. My mouth is a thin line of gathered stiches, lest I tear my face open and howl at the moon for pain, for the aching joy of finally making a noise, of breaking out of this endless moment of service to finally, joyfully, bite into an apple of my own, dare to eat a peach, shame the world by tearing his skirt off and wearing it myself, proud flowers against shockingly white skin, breaking my stitches in shameless, selfish happiness, and he can grin like a fool all he wants, because that skirt’s not going to hide either of us anymore. Today. Today. TODAY, by God. Just as soon as I find a platter for these grapes.
Savers, South Lamar and 290