It is not Sunday. Sunday is somewhere on an excel spreadsheet, lurking in the meeting place between this moment and the next. It is a collection that I prize, recording the nuances of a week, to know just where to lay blame.
A-1. A conglomerate of kitchen sinks,
Much like a collection of dishes. Two plates, one chipped. Three bowls, all with the crusted remnants of Greek yogurt. Cups beyond counting, empty underneath the rampant diet coke consumption of aspartame death wishes. I accumulate sinks so that there is place for the dishes and it fills it fills it fills until there is no place left.
A-2. the confidence received from a two-syllable dayyyyy-ummmm,
One syllable doesn’t suffice. It is the second that makes it special, makes it worth remembering. I’ve received three in my lifetime. The first: I was wearing a sparkling pink gown for prom, with a low-cut back that dipped dangerously towards the line of my thong. My date let out the dayyyy-ummm like it was the only he would ever give and kept his hand steadily at the heated small of my back during every dance. The second: strutting down the sidewalk in three-inch heels, beige booties with laces, and the shortest denim skirt I could find at Macy’s, bent over to pick up a penny lucky side up, graciously uttered by the hot landscaper (not the looks-like-he-never-bathes kind). The third: a rainy day far from the prediction of my local weather channel that soaked my white shirt into revealing the purple push-up bra beneath, a bow tying together my breasts, whispered just under the wind by the neighbor grabbing the Wednesday paper off his lawn.
A-3. buying the handle of rum, because the small ones just aren’t enough anymore,
And these handles are barely enough now. This progression of alcohol consumption that warranted me a register of concern on the scale after truthfully answering some questions about drinking habits prior to my visit with the gynecologist. She seemed much less amused than me. Because it is not a night unless I am sitting on the couch with a 44 ounce rum and coke (more coke than rum to be fair) and pretending to work towards my masters in genetics with the television on “in the background.”Although, when it is a Sunday, it is not this it all.
B-1. the full force of wind threatening to knock me down,
C-1. finally mastering the feat of reciting the alphabet backwards,
B-2. internal rhymes and alliterations,
B-3. caustic rustic piano keys pittering twice per broken beat,
A-4. tanning in the backyard without a top on and wondering if anyone will see,
The lack of pale lines plastering otherwise golden skin is worth the risk, and if seen perhaps I’ll earn that fourth dayyy-ummmm, making it all worthwhile. The salty taste of conflict if whatsherface’s boyfriend is over and spots my sanctuary. Yes, it would be most satisfying to earn the exclamation from him, all broad shoulders and horn-rimmed glasses.
B-4. the shifting of clouds as they traipse across the sky,
A-5. the internal longing to have the balance of a tight-rope walker,
Physical balance then could perhaps mirror mental balance and I would not find myself in situations such as these, utterly buried under the clutter of life that is not Sunday. Then the obvious, to be able to join the circus. To accentuate the small of my back with the graced movements of acrobatics; the ability to fling myself from one bar to the next, twisting into beauty along the way. To have the balance that Sunday brings on a regular basis would purge this all away.
B-5. walking down the street and seeing two men that I’ve known intimately,
A-6. wearing three hair ties on my wrist and carrying tampons in my purse because it’s best to be prepared,
I don’t fancy my hair knocking about in the wind and sneaking into the openings of my mouth — because I smack gum, not chew it — and sticking to substance. A simple hair tie to tame the mess should the breeze grow violent. And never another pair of underwear ruined from unexpected period blood.
A-7. studying the movement of a slinky cascading down the stairs,
As if I could mimic it. The bend, the grace, the flexibility. Something I could learn in yoga, perhaps, were I so motivated. The sex infused in children’s toys. Or that is too many projections misplaced onto something in order to remove it from the root. There’s something about that circus that calls to me.
B-6. popping altoids and mentos as if pleasant breath will keep AIDS away
B-7. the way my converse just seem out of place at the Renaissance Festival,
A-8. the feeling of molding clay,
Which is actually something I hate. My fingernails never seem to be short enough to prevent the invasion of clay underneath them. Then, a day wasted, picking the bits out so that everything is appropriately empty of earth again. All for a measly bowl, misshapen with hands forced into such action for the sake of liberal arts requirements.
A-9. counting condoms in the health aisle and thinking of the old Catholic Conspiracy,
I can’t summon an image that properly justifies the people who go into convenience stores just to poke holes in condoms.
B-8. poking holes in bubbles as they dance out of the wand, sputtering to the floor in a rain of soap,
A-10. wicks melting down into a puddle of wax when the power is out,
The power will only ever go out when I need it. Not when I’m sleeping. But also never when it is daytime. Only when it is the evening, and I am not yet asleep. When I need the light to guide whatever activity I am partaking in. So I pretend that candles are enough to see by and watch my source of comfort melt into nothings. If it were not for the law of conservation of matter, I would believe that candles simply disappear, and cease to exist in all and any forms, especially on Sunday.
A-11. having the bad habit of losing things in fires,
Because when it is not Sunday, it is things not worth keeping. It is the trashcan filled with diet coke cans, condom wrappers, and tampons. It is the actual having of consequences from the rager my next-door neighbor throws every Saturday. It is waiting to build pyres to consume that week’s excel spreadsheet of sin. Sunday is the day it all burns, and when for just a while, it hasn’t begun again.
C-6. the way the year ends when I close my mouth,
And then it can finally be Sunday. It can be the constant iteration of keep calm and carry on. There can be the soothing reprieve from the Godless. There can be peace.
HALEY JOHNSON is currently pursuing her MA in Fiction at Northern Arizona University. She loves cats, loathes laundry, and often falls prey to periods of obsession with alliteration. This is her first publication