I keep thinking about the advice
my friend gave to his teenage son:
“Be careful, now, because girls talk to each other.”
I’d be more upset if it weren’t true:
girls talk about recipes and who has the best cherry pie
and which pectin gets the right set.
They tell stories about their mothers
and making jam:
Mine used really old jars
and berries from Lavoie’s or Lull’s
but never Brookdale’s
because she didn’t like it after her sister
(the one everyone stopped talking to)
got a job there.
They talk about whose kid got the worst grades
or that one time when hers stabbed
some older kid in the forehead
with a pencil--
probably because he was angry, they say.
Girls talk to each other about their favorite outfits
and the engagement ring they really wanted
and how he proposed
(and how he cheated with that woman at work)
and how she decided to sleep with the neighbor
and then how they all got divorced
and who gets the money now
and why she’s stuck with the dog
but not the kids
(boy, relationships are really fucked up).
and Did you hear Karen’s husband died
Yeah he shot himself
She’s the one who found him
Isn’t that terrible
We should bring her some dinner or a pie.
Can you call her to tell her
we’ll just leave it on the porch?
Do the kids know?
Won’t they find out at school?
How do you tell them something like that?
Maybe it’s better they don’t know
We should have them all for dinner
Maybe with the Rosses
Did you hear their oldest daughter is pregnant
no one is supposed to know
but now it’s pretty obvious
so they had to say something
God, I hope she’s okay.
These people…I think I need to get out of here sometimes.
Did you know in Norway
they don’t have any poor people?
The government takes care of everyone
Yeah but it’s so cold there
and I don’t know if I could take it
he’d be miserable
and Lord knows I don’t think I can take
any more of his misery
after his mother died.
Girls talk about how his penis looks
and how often they have sex
and how it’s been weeks but they don’t mind
because they’re all so tired
and Kim had the flu and the dog
and oh yeah sure I miss it
and I miss dating sometimes
he was so romantic
Why don’t you two go out?
I’ll watch the kids—Have a movie night
with popcorn and everything
you know they love me
and yes I’ll make sure they go to bed.
Girls talk about how it’s just really unfair
that people think girls talk so much
but what else can we do with these men anyway?
(If they talked we wouldn’t have to and besides
they don’t care about this stuff).
And shouldn’t it be “women”—we aren’t girls
that’s demeaning…fuck the patriarchy.
Yeah but God I need a man
We all need a man, need them all.
Where would we be without them?
On a condo at the beach with dogs and books and cocktails.
But don’t you love him?
Yeah I really do (most of the time)
God I need a man.
What about that guy from church?
I don’t know but I met someone yesterday.
Oh is he cute? Let me see…yes he’s cute love his smile.
Yeah and he let me talk.
Oh look he has a cat that’s perfect!
You should call him.
I wish my friend
had told his son that girls--
women—talk about all these things
that men don’t.