The Pits – Part II

January 3, 2013

Peggy hosted the election party at her father’s club. She was an old flame of mine who, even now, still lets me cuddle me her from time to time as long as I say, “I fucked up. You’re the one I should have married.” If I ever have a daughter I’m going to take her to Peggy’s house every once and a while so Peggy can rub off on her—teach her clarinet, show her where her arms should go when she’s sitting down, teach her how to talk. That sort of stuff. The stuff Marni is bad at.

“O-bam-a! O-bam-a!”

We were in the parlor, chanting as he won Ohio, and then Florida, and then California, or whatever the order was.

Peggy was smoking near the window. She would shout, “Ba-rack!” in between our “O-bam-a!”s, and each time she said “Barack!” I looked over at her, smiling. It became a game. “Barack!” Look at Peggy and smile. “Barack!” Look at Peggy and smile. After a few of these, she waved me over to the window and I obliged.

“Woof woof,” she said. I said, “Meow.” That’s how we talked when we dated.

“Puppy wants to cuddle.”

“Not when wifey cat is still sober. Give me an hour and meet me in the kitchen.”

“Woof. Roger that.”

“Meow. I love you.”

The thing about Peggy is, I didn’t marry her for only one reason: she’s in a wheelchair. It’s as simple as that. She’s charming, gorgeous, hilarious, smart, a good cook, has medium-small breasts that will never drop, and doesn’t need to work because her father gives her seven grand a month. She was born with a nasty spinal thing that got worse after we started dating and, boom, one day she needed to be a wheelchair, and a week after that we were at dinner and she said, “I know you want to leave me.”

I said, “Meow, you’re right.”


“Bye bye puppy.”

It was quick.

At the time I was thinking, life can be shitty enough without a wife in a wheelchair. Why make it shittier by choosing to push around a woman—albeit a smart, pretty one—your entire life. How could I be with a handicapped wife? I like to dance and do all sorts of sex stuff that requires both partners to have legs. I like walking on the beach, not pushing a person on the beach, and can even get those wide green plastic sand wheels on beach bikes attached to a wheelchair? I was certain.

It took a long time to admit it, but I was a damned fool when I was younger, and looking at her across the room that night, I confirmed what I’d been thinking for years: I made a huge mistake. Peggy in a chair is a better woman than able-bodied Marni, who runs half marathons sometimes and is a fast walker in general, like me. Don’t put functioning legs on a pedestal when choosing a partner. That’s what I’ve learned. Do put sex on a pedestal, though. Peggy was a sorcerer in the sack. I won’t go into details, but I will say this: you know how blind people often have exceptional hearing and strong taste buds because their working senses compensate for the non-working ones? Peggy had that, but with her arms and hands. She could grip and pull things tightly, and with a delicate precision. Marni’s hands are as strong as Peggy’s feeble feet. If it were the year 3000, and Science’s abilities were limitless, I would knock my wife unconscious, take her and Peggy to a black-market surgeon and have him remove Marni’s legs and graft them onto Peggy, and then I’d have him remove Peggy’s lame legs and graft them onto Marni. Then I would run away with Peggy. Maybe to Indianapolis, where the women are homely, where I wouldn’t be as tempted to stray.

“Let’s go home,” the wife said soon after Obama was confirmed the winner.

“But there’s dessert. And Peggy’s going to do her Transformer impressions. We have to stay.”

“I’ve seen Peggy’s impressions. And I’ve had the club’s desserts, too. Waahhh, waahhh, I’m a thirty-three-year-old baby.”

She didn’t say that last part.

“We’re staying for dessert,” I said, grabbing her arm, perhaps too hard, and she said, “Lemme go!” loud enough to draw attention. Peggy looked over and grinned, and then slowly wheeled away. She loved too see us fighting. No doubt it blunted the sting of being alone forever and warmed her in that cold metal chair. Sure, she would drape blankets around the arms but sometimes a bare hand (oh those hands!) would graze the metal arm and she would get a chill.

“Mc-Cain! Mc-Cain!”

It was Peggy’s father, the rich asshole, shaking my hand. Peggy told me he had donated the maximum a person could give to McCain, and the Bushes too, all four times Bushes ran.

“Hello sir, sorry, but the good guy won I guess,” I said.

“Eat shit. My shit. My rich, black shit. Black from all the black truffles and black caviar I eat.”


“My daughter said she needs you in the kitchen. Something about a bottle of wine.”

I found Peggy in the kitchen with her head in her hands. Those hands! She was red-faced, crying a little, but not loudly, and she had spilled red wine on the blanket on her chair.

“Meow. Are you okay?”

“Nothing is okay. Do I look like a person who is okay?”

I asked her what’s wrong and she said she was sad for no reason. I didn’t believe her and asked again and she said no reason again. This went on for a while and, I’ll admit it, I was slowly moving closer to her face, like we use to do years ago. I was down on a knee, meowing while she woofed.




“Meow, I miss you.”

“Woof, get a divorce, you coward.”

“Meow. Maybe.”

And that’s when it happened. The bad thing. The worst thing. The reason why Marni’s been onto me for years. Granted, she was onto me before we were married, they always are, but she never talked about it. Now any night she gets on her back or her hands and knees, it’s all, “Remember the election party in 2008? Remember what that gimp told you? Remember what you told her? I do. I’ll never forget that. Maybe. Who are you fucking? Tell me who you’re fucking? Tell me right now or I’m falling asleep.”

I wish I had the balls to say, “Inez and her sister Libby. They live near the pit.”

But instead I say, “Only you.”

Or: “Well, lately, nobody, because you’ve been so depressed” and of course she hates that and starts up with the bullshit again, “Who is she?! Tell me!” and I zone out and think of happier days, like the time I walked around inspecting the pit all day unknowingly with a few strands of Inez’s hair stuck in my butt. Maybe Libby’s hair, too. Who knows.

Before Libby met me she would cut her legs to relieve stress. There’s not much else to say about that, but I want it on the record because although I caused her much heartache in the end, I was helpful to her in the beginning and if I hadn’t taken her hand and started dancing with her that night at the church fundraiser (or was that how I met Inez? I met one of them at the church fundraiser and the other one I just woke up next to after a long night and neither of us knew where we met. For now, let’s say it was in fact Libby whom I met at the church) she would probably still be a cutter. Perhaps she would be dead. I hope someday she grows up and realizes that.



The Pits – Part I

November 7, 2012

The day after Barack Obama was re-elected, Mitt Romney and his Mormon wizards punished us Northeast heathens with a snowstorm spell. I was holed up in the apartment I’d just bought with money that came my way after pops sold the last of the gravel pits.

I’ll miss visiting that pit. The Guatemalans are good people, and at the risk of sounding like a perv, I’ll just say that the women who live near the pit are also good. I can remember Inez, the fleshy, bratty girl who would say mean things when she drank, like “You’re a fat man, your breath smells like a dead man’s butt.” I suppose that’s all true, but she didn’t have to tell me. It’s like that status update I saw on Facebook once: There are some things that need to be said, but not everyone needs to hear. I knew my breath smelled shitty that night, and that I was fat, but I didn’t need to hear it from a Guatemalan gravel girl. Especially after buying her a whole grilled snapper and four beers and telling her a thousand times that she is prettier than her sister. Which isn’t true.

Inez’s sister Libby cried when I told her we were selling the pit and that I would never visit again. “Buy another pit!” she said, tugging at my shirt sleeve. I explained that we would never buy a pit in the same pit zone where we had recently sold a pit at a loss. That would be stupid. I hate to say it, but Libby is simpleminded and doesn’t know the first thing about gravel pits, which is funny to me because she practically grew up in a gravel pit. But I’ll cut her some slack. After all, our house was on the twelfth hole at the Briary Club and I couldn’t hit a golf ball if it were the size of Libby’s head.

I didn’t tell Libby that the remaining pits in the area would soon be filled in to make way for cattle ranches, and that she and her people would need to move to the city or learn to hack it in the jungle.

Libby said she wanted me to take her back to New York City. “I will cook food and clean the house and do everything else.” It was implied that “everything else” meant wifely duties. Libby’s lips were always glistening even though she never wore lip gloss. It’s because she drank plenty of water and ate sticky fruits all day. I admired her so much. My idiot wife eats lip gloss like air, it’s gross.

“I already have a wife,” I said. “You know that.”

That made Libby upset and she lay her head on my chest and sobbed. She took me by the hand and led me into her bedroom where we made love three times. Nosy Inez no doubt heard us humping from the kitchen where she was conveniently peeling potatoes.

Libby and I fell asleep to the sound of Inez and her brother arguing, half in English and half in their native tongue that is called Yuca-something. The next morning while caressing Libby’s head I wrapped the thick hair on her neck around my thumb. She told me to stop, saying, “Sone, sone.” That was the Yuca word I heard from the girls a lot: Sone. I’m pretty sure it means no, or stop it.

“What are they arguing about?” I said.

“My brother doesn’t like it when you stay here.”


“Because you break the toilet.”

“It’s your food. It makes me irregular.”

“You should leave.”

“No. Sone. Sone. I’ll fix the toilet myself next time.”

“Just go, please. Right now.”

“I’ll miss you, Libby.”

“I’ll miss you too, Elvis.”

I told the sisters my name was Elvis, just in case. While studying abroad in Berlin I learned the hard way that any time you’re having an international liaison, you should always use a fake name and tell lies about yourself. I didn’t think gossip about me and the sisters would ever get back to Marni, but you never know. Shit bubbles up; grease slips off the hog. Like, maybe after the cattle ranch displaces their people, the sisters move to the city. They can’t get a decent job, so they take a computer class and learn how to type and use Microsoft Office and build websites. And maybe Inez gets cocky with her newfound skills and makes a website where she writes about guys she’s slept with. Girls do this all the time. Thank god Marni does not read blogs, but Inez’s blog could get picked up and made into a novel or a movie, and Marni loves movies. A post-colonial romance about Guatemalan sisters and their love affair with the son of an American gravel tycoon is right in Marni’s wheelhouse.

Marni would be suspicious, even if the guy’s name is Elvis. How many young American guys visit gravel pits in Guatemala? I can only think of four. Me, those dicks the Grolsch brothers, and Pauly Droms. But everyone in gravel knows the Grolsches are too racist to talk to a native, let alone fool around with one, and Pauly can’t fuck because he’s just paralyzed enough. So that leaves me.

Oh whatever. Marni’s been on to me for years, ever since the 2008 election.




ryanthomasgrim [AT] gmail
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Gary 1 and Gary 2

I Work at a Fashionable Hotel Called the Hudson

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Ann and Her Birdhouses

Luke and His Bobber

The Fox in the Garage in 3-D

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Harold and the Purple Women


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