Saturday, February 20, 2010

A sketch: Cousin Carla

I spent most of my undergraduate years as a writer attempting to make really deep stories and poetry, to make sure that there were layers to what I had created, to embed meaning in everything I did. I think I mostly always failed. I'm considering to go and study creative writing again in grad school, so until then I think I'm going to give the depth and significance bull a break. That being said I apologize for all of the meaningless shit that I write on this blog over the next few months. And that being said, here's a character sketch inspired by the three animation shorts by Adam Eliot that appear in the Animation Show!


Cousin Carla

I once had a cousin named Carla.
On Sundays Mother would leave me at Carla’s house.
Carla had goldfish but I never was able to count how many.
Because Carla never wanted to watch them swim.

My mother and Carla’s mother bought houses two blocks away from each other.
But it wasn’t until I was eight that Mother took me to Carla’s for the first time.
Because she wanted me to develop my own quirks before meeting her.
Carla was two years older than me at the time.
Now she is two years younger than me.

I saw Carla most Sundays after the first time.
I liked Sundays, not because of Carla.
Because the fridge at home would be full after playing with Carla.
Carla’s fridge was always full on Sundays too.
Carla said this was because she and Aunt Gin would go to the Consumer Carousel.
Early in the morning after visiting the bleeding man on the cross.
And hugging lots of old smelly people.
By Consumer Carousel, Carla meant grocery store.
I think she called it a carousel because it was colorful and made her head spin.

During the winter her mother would give us cups of jell-o
I liked the neon green ones, but Carla always got to pick which we would make.
She would take blue, red, and green and mix them all together.
We often ate brown jell-o, which looked like jiggley dirt.
But it tasted about the same as any of the other flavors.
One day when I came over, Carla told me to go to the bathroom with her.
On the toilet bowl she had put a ring of tinfoil cupcake holders.
In each holder was a different color jell-o.
And in each cupcake ridged jell-o mold was each of her goldfish.
I knew then she had seven goldfish.
I always wondered how she got the jell-o to cool before Aunt Gin found out.

On summer Sundays, Aunt Gin would give us ice cream.
I liked strawberry flavor, but they only bought spumoni flavor.
This was Carla’s favorite, but she called it plain.
I liked to eat spumoni off of a big wooden spoon.
Carla liked to eat it off of her big forehead.
She would put her scoop up there on her crown and let it drip.
She would catch the drops as they fell.
I would make brain freeze jokes every time.
But she never laughed. No one did.

One Monday, Mother took me to Carla’s house but I was not allowed to see her.
Mother did not leave to fill up the fridge like she usually did.
I was not given a treat even though Carla’s fridge was full too.
Mother didn’t take me to Carla’s house after that anymore.
Later, I found a picture of Carla on the internet.
She was lying down in an inflatable kiddie pool full of brown jell-o.
I always wonder how many jell-o packets it took to do this.
But Mother said that I was forbidden to ever bring it up to Aunt Gin.
It’s just not polite.

I am glad that I do not have to eat spumoni ice cream anymore.
Sometimes Aunt Gin comes over and even brings vanilla for me.
But I do miss making jokes about Carla getting a brain feeze.
Sometimes I still make the joke, but there is no one to laugh.
I pretend sometimes that the silence is Carla’s echo traveling from a Consumer Carousel.
Where she sits atop an impaled metal seahorse spinning at just her speed.

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