Three Stories

Echo Eggbrecht, Untitled, 2006, ink on paper, 16 × 23". Courtesy of the artist and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery.

The Bed Moved

There were film majors in my bed—they talked about film. There were poets, coxswains, guys trying to grow beards.

“Kids get really scared if their dad grows a beard,” I said.

Finally, I had an audience. I helped a pitcher understand the implications of his team’s hazing ritual. I encouraged indecisive dancer/premeds to double major. When a guy apologized for being sweaty, I got him a small towel. I made people feel good.

Then I took a break. Then I forgot that I was taking a break. Spring was here. Jake was here. Also Josh. One dancer/premed dropped medicine, just did dance. He danced with honors.

“Mazel tov,” I said.

The bed moved. Movers moved it. Movers asked what my dad did, why he wasn’t moving the bed.

New guys came to the bed. New guys had been in the Gulf War, had been bisexual, had taken out teeth, had taken out ads. Musical types left CDs with their names markered on—I kept a pile. I was careful not to smudge them, scratch them. (Scratch that, I wasn’t careful.)

“So many musicians in this city,” I observed, topless.

Boxer shorts were like laundry even on their bodies. Guys burrowed in my sheets, popped up, smiled. Did I have something? Did I have anything? Afterwards, cell phones jingled.

“No, wait, that’s mine.”

Be Bop, Mariachi Medley, Chicken Dance, Die Alone.

I rang and jangled around town. Nervous, I felt nervous. It was mariachi in the trains, or else just one guy playing “La Bamba.” Some days, I lost it, banged my face against the bed. Be easy, girl, I thought. Be bop. Something was definitely wrong with me—I never called myself “girl.” I played CDs, but CDs by artists who had already succeeded. They had succeeded for a reason. They weren’t wasting time in my bed. One did pass through the bed, to brag. He had been divorced, had met Madonna. He asked if this was what women were like now.

“What do you mean, now?”

I didn’t know what women were like now. I don’t know now. I’m only one. The others would be mad if I spoke for them. The others are already mad.

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