Friday, July 3, 2009

60. D.B Cooper Parachuting Over My Mother's House (Cajun Fais Do-Do)




(for Brian Encino Man)

d.b. cooper's parachute malfunctions. he cuts it away, uses his safety. he plunges into the brackish waters of the corrottoman. my mother drinks white wine on the deck, sees d.b. cooper swim slowly to the shore. she pours another glass of wine. she goes to get another glass. she pours another glass of wine.

d.b cooper dripping wet. he walks to the deck. roughly, my mother grabs his arm, pulls him to her.

an hour during which my mother and d.b. cooper do things i will not describe.

d.b. cooper and my mother smoking, drinking white wine.

d.b. cooper: "thank you for... understanding."
my mother: "no, honey, it's fine."
d.b. cooper: "i wish i didn't have this... this kink."
my mother: "we're all wired a little off factory specifications, dear."
d.b. cooper: "yeah, but how many people have to leap from a helicopter with a malfunctioning parachute which they then need to cut away and use their back-up... how many people need to do all that in order to initiate sexual relations?"

my mother shrugs and pours another glass of white wine.

d.b. cooper seen parachuting to the supermarket. the convenience store. his chiropractors.

my mother drinking white wine.

my mother: "are you having an affair?"
d.b. cooper: "i could never. can you pour me another glass of white wine?"
my mother: "you seem to be parachuting quite a bit these days."
d.b. cooper: "well, it IS what i'm known for."

d.b. cooper falling from the sky, silhouetted by the red clay sun. my mother looking up with wonder.

what does the house look like to a man in freefall? what does my mother look like from 30,000 feet? i ask d.b. cooper over white wine.

"you couldn't understand it, son. you stay on the ground. you've never felt all your guts in your throat as you step from the plane. i've watched you, it takes you ten minutes to screw up the courage to step from a curb. there's nothing wrong with that. i myself am deathly afraid of spiders. so much as i will never understand the certain thrill of arachnology, you will never understand..."

well, it is my mother, after all. i certainly wouldn't, i suppose...

i ask my mother, who sits atop a pyramid of empty white wine bottles.

"son, i don't feel comfortable talking about..."
"do you see him as he falls? does this excite you?"
"i see him fall. i watch as the first parachute fails to deploy. i must admit, knowing that the process has been set in motion there is a certain frisson. but i doubt you could ever understand. you who requires rope and pitons to descend a flight of stairs. this isn't your fault. your father used to..."
"don't talk about father," i say.

paralyzed with fear in front of the bank of elevators. i can see my face in the polished doors. my psychiatrist on the phone, telling me again he will not have our session in the lobby, telling me that as a strict freudian he will charge me whether i come to the third floor or not.

my father at the base of the stairs, waving the January 1982 issue of Playboy.

"c'mon. c'mon you little pussy. c'mon you little pecker. you gotta come down some time. i know you wanna see this. hoo-ee." he glances at the magazine, shakes it so that the centerfold unfurls. "goddamn, i do declare. this is gonna jumpstart yer puberty, boy. this is gonna make your little balls drop. c'mon, boy. c'mon. mother of all saints, but this chick is smokin'."

quivering, i push a slinky over the lip of the stairs, watch it flip flip flip towards my father.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

maybe this is bad donald barthelme, but it's still awesome