Watermelon Bicycle

Yesterday I saw Frida Kahlo working at FedEx Office. I biked there with my hawk sketch between pages of a magazine you’d read on your flight. I didn’t tell you, not because of the insensitive thing you said about my sketch but rather the package of Trojans that fell from your overnight bag as you turned to hang your blazer in the closet.

 

Right away I saw her sitting behind the service counter under the fluorescent lights, perched on a stool by the paper cutter, hair topped with a crown of dahlias, wearing skinny jeans under her tunic. Texting.

 

 “What an ego!” she snorted at her phone just as a large man carrying a paper tube walked in through the door—beep. The man had five dogs on leashes connected to one central leash like arteries. They cast a wild unbounded shadow that swept across the floor to the counter, over highlighters, sticky notes, and hand sanitizers, reaching the embroidery covering Frida’s chest. Diego Rivera is a big motherfucker. 

 

That’s when I caught sight of the other Frida in the shipping area, dressed in a wool skirt and turtleneck, wrapping a camera in bubble wrap. She and I turned as Diego entered and watched the other Frida grab the tube from him, hissing, “Didn’t you get my text?”    

 

“Text?” He reached half-heartedly into his blazer pocket.

 

She raised her eyebrows and stared into his eyes as if bored. So bored. Lifetimes bored.

 

“C’mon baby—” 

 

She waved him off. “Come back later,” she said. “The paper cutter will be in use most of the day—I can feel it in my chest.” She came over to the other Frida saying, “Listen to this.” She lifted the white cord dangling against her tunic and tucked an earbud into Frida’s ear as well as her own. “It’s called Bad Guy.” 

—Excerpt from flash piece, "The Wool Skirt Frida," Gigantic Sequins, Issue 12