Dogs 2007

GENDER PERSPECTIVE
(12/29/07)


he awoke
in momentary panic
sunlight
filtered into
the bedroom
indicating a later
than normal
rise time

then
he realized
that it was
Saturday

things to do
yes
tight schedule
no

he assessed
his blurry world
for evidence
of eyeglasses
but he must have
left them
downstairs
last night

on the opposite
night stand
he found hers
and although
the prescription
was different
they were both
near-sighted
so at least
he would be able
to find his
using hers

once resting
on the bridge
of his nose
shapes became
more defined
but an eerie difference
in those well-known objects
was immediately
evident

what's this?

he looked
at the new curtains
that he had recently
hung for her
slanting
at a crazy angle
colors not resembling
the soft pastels
that he
remembered
but looking more
like askance
aloha shirts
offering a kaleidoscope
of gaudy colors

strange

he spread
the bright fabric
to find the backyard
a rolling
overgrown affair
pitted with holes
and bordered
by a dilapidated
falling apart
wood fence
all despite
the fact
that he had just
mowed the lawn
Wednesday evening
and that the fence
was just
a few years old
and in good repair
although not
painted white
as she had often
requested

he liked it
natural

on his way
to the bathroom
he noticed
the family pictures
on the dresser
which once displayed
staid and proper poses
were now presenting
quite farcical
facsimiles

a slutty version
of their daughter
under-clothed
faced formed
in a scream

son wearing
an orange jumpsuit
and peering out
through iron bars

his parents
dressed
as Ma and Pa Kettle
missing teeth
and possibly
a bath
or two

her parents
looking like
Mr.
and Mrs. America
polished dentures
almost overexposing
the photograph

what the hell
was going on?

he would have
to talk to her
about all
these misprisions
of perspective
when he got
down
to the kitchen

flipping on
the bathroom light
he was stopped
to a stare
by the stranger
in the mirror
over the sink

he had caught
some naked bum
looking back
at him
but the intruder
moved
as he moved
and he had
to admit
the resemblance

the hair
was thinner
the jowls
heavier
and unshaved
the eyes mere slits
and the mouth
twice
the normal size
bushy growths
sprouted
from his ears
and nose
and the slightest
of complexion imperfections
appeared as craters
and darkened valleys
looking more
like an alien
landscape
than a face

the spectacles
however
were splendid

he did his
usual weekend
perfunctory cleanup
threw on
some clothes
and went
downstairs

he stopped
short
in the kitchen
for at the table
was some ravishing beauty
who looked vaguely
familiar
as if an actress
often seen
in favorite movies

"good morning...

finally up?"

the beauty spoke
with his wifeís voice
and the more he looked
the more he realized
that this was
some fantastic version
of his multi-decade
bride

"you have
my glasses

yours are still
on the TV tray
in the den"

he backed
slowly away

"thanks
Iíll get them"

once safely
in his former
sporting sanctuary
he saw dried
and split wood paneling
disgusting shag carpet
and caricatures
of he and his friends
in fishing photos

most disturbing
and quite
disorienting

he finally
found his own
corrective lenses
and replaced his
for hers

happily
the transformation
immediately brought
some reality
back
into view

polished wood
comforting carpet
and reassuring pictures
of his familiars
in happy times

opening the blinds
he saw the well
manicured yard
and rustic
fencing
showing no need
of repair
or alteration

he smiled

he frowned

her world
of unrealistic
expectations
was fraught
with disappointment
and gloom

far too much
to bear
on a daily
basis

how
did she stand
it all?

back
to the kitchen
he saw
his disheveled spouse
frumpy in her bathrobe
movie star glow
gone
replaced
by an aura
of faded antiquity

"what are your
plans
for the day?"

she asked
squinting up at him
from the newspaper

"first thing
I think
will be to run
and buy
an extra
pair of glasses
for the upstairs"

she nodded
as he handed her
the feminine set

"yes
that's probably
a good idea"

she
donned
her eyewear
just in time
to watch his fat ass
walk out of
the door