Sylvia Plath hits the town in the first of what we hope is a successful series of renowned writers’ party testimonials.
The sin. The sin. What are we to do here but wrestle with each other’s bones? Radio echoes through my skeleton and yours, too, but its pulse is too quick. Our bodies grow greasy soon from the soiled dance. Darling, this is a party. I am so tired and it’s been only ten minutes. I am too pure for these dances.
My friend Annette approaches me with a cool tumbler of a drink, brown. “Want to play Cards Against Humanity, Sylvia?”
I shake my head, no, my nose wagging before me. Sneering. Annette turns around and I am alone. My blond curls, slightly displaced. I want to be tended to but I want to be by myself. I always want to be, to be by myself. No one can measure my tongue but me.
“Can I get you a drink, Sylvia?” I find Carlos asking me as I lose my head.
“Please,” I say. “Please, yes. A drink.”
He mixes up some brown liquid for me, too, with other tonics more ambiguous added — I watch — and he returns. The drink runs through my mouth, into my throat, through my throat, well into my tubes and veins and blood and everywhere no one can see. I feel it hit my dinner and I sway toward my cup for more.
Does this liquid purify me further? It is detoxifying, this wretched stuff. Everything around me dulls as I feel cleaner. The room’s pulse no longer renders my bones tough; the radio feels good, better than before, my bones smooth and not so absolute.
Annette finds me rollicking. My scarf slips from my head and she reaches for it, wraps it daintily around my skull. “I saw you talking with Carlos,” she informs me.
“What’s that about?”
“He understands my tiny heart and coughing limbs,” I tell her. She rolls her eyes.
I fall upon myself several times this night. I go home. Falling, falling, falling. My bones feel no longer easy, yet not again tough. The grease returns, my skin is an oil slick. I do not know these pains! The pain is harder yet, concentrated, the day next. My temple buzzes with each thought of last night’s throbbing soul — awash in smoky liquid and ice cubes — and I fry on the stove and deep in my vertebrae a cast-iron skillet of bacon and eggs.