Living with Molly
by Sam Fishman
One time Molly grabbed my face in both her hands and said: One day you’re going to get bored of me because I’m fucking boring, Sam. One day you’re going to send me away from you because you’re a scared little boy who never had to learn better, and I’m gonna live with my parents and get a shitty job and you’re gonna go on with your rich boy life and I’ll never see you again. You’re going to miss me you dumb fuck, and by then it’ll be too late.
Molly, you thought you were so fat, that’s why you ate popcorn all the time. You’re not fat, the truth was right there on the mirror. But I liked that you were always eating popcorn. It made me feel like I was a movie worth watching.
I got mirror problems too, Molly—I see my dad’s face and a heart attack coming soon. I know it wont matter how many good things happen to me because it’s already been settled—I’m going to end up in a very still and brutal place: You’ll be fat and I’ll end up dead on the floor of a mental asylum. You’ll need a ladle to wipe your ass and I’ll be discovered by an orderly who will find our son’s number under a puddle of barbecue sauce. He’ll get a phone call early in the morning just like I did.
So thank God for Molly and thank God for Molly’s butt too. Thank God for Molly’s brother, who is the school janitor reading in the utility closet. Thank God for Molly’s mother who is sitting, right now, behind the bar of a bowling alley outside Cleveland, Ohio. Her name is Lisa if you want to say hello.
Thank you for being in my life, Molly. Thank you for being the nicest face to turn to while I’m driving. Thank you for being scolding hot and burning holes in my plastic life. For turning all the music into Molly music. My bedroom to Molly bedroom. This square is my life and it belongs to you.
I’m still here with all your ghosts, Molly. I’m just a sitting memory of you. These days, the only thing that’s my own is the garbage covering my desk: the hot sauce packets and big plastic cups that used to hold ice-cold Cherry Cokes. I’m still in the room we made together but you aren’t here anymore.
One day I’m going to step on the baskets you wove. I’m going to mangle them beyond recognition. When I’m standing before the biggest garbage can there is I will hold them high above my head. I will feel so wrong but not know what else to do but throw them in. Very soon I’m going to be free and it will make me so lonely.
I wish I hadn’t been on my computer all the time, Molly. I wish I’d closed my laptop when you were sitting next to me. I wish I hadn’t spent my life nursing all my anxiety and pain. I wish I knew when I needed a hug. I’m almost a fully-grown man now, Molly, and all the shitty little things I did to get by have cauterized and become my personality. I’m just a courteous piece of stone.
Why didn’t anybody say something? Why doesn’t anybody stop anybody?
Good stories are attached to your voice like arms, Molly. They are sprawling and dexterous and never stop coming out of you—How the Amish used your grandmother’s garden like a vegetable bank and kept coming and taking shit from her big backyard in the name of God and never gave a dime or a thank you, how they paid her in pastries she hates because they don’t bake with sugar.
Molly, it seems like every second more good shit is leaking out of your pretty head.
We were living in the same room for months, drinking the coffee I made and eating the lasagna you did. When you left you packed the freezer full of lasagna. After a while it grew eyes, Molly. I can no longer touch that door—I absolutely refuse to open it.
Right now, you’re sitting on the bed we made together. You’re lying under the mustard linen sheets we slept on and you’re just like these linen sheets because you’re one more nice thing I’ve never had before. You bought me a duvet cover from IKEA and a pillowcase made of satin to prevent the styes I get so often. You prevented all the bad things from happening to my body that I’ve never tried to stop before.
You turn the lamp on because it’s nighttime, Molly. The big ugly ceiling light is off and I’m getting ready to join you for bed. I take off my t-shirt and my sweatshorts and my boxers. Then I stand there naked and tell you a joke, Molly, and you don’t even laugh, not even a little bit.
You only start laughing after I am standing there for a while. You blow bubblegum snot out of your nostril and point at my body. You’re laughing because my breasts are puffy and my belly is big and gentle. You’re laughing because I look maternal. You’re laughing so hard that it makes me want to be a mom.
All I want to do is dance for you, Molly. So I let my hand down behind my back, so you can’t see my next move. I slowly uncurl my index finger and become the mother who is growing a wormy little boner. I make heinous sounds of arousal because I love you. I am dancing naked just for you.
I wish I could be silly with you all the time because I never can but look at me go it’s happening right now—I’m becoming someone I’ve wanted to be my whole life. I am a shameless lover who has opened up to you.
When I lay down next to you we kiss like people are meant to be kissing. Molly—When I am here with you, I don’t have any secrets. It feels like the first time.