Wedding-bound Million-Dollar Dream I. While people around me are getting married and having kids, I am chained to the bottom of the sea. “A start,” they say. What fools they are, like you. I’ll get married before you, that’s for sure. I’ll go: “Excuse me, Stranger, won’t you marry me?” (I have a bet I need to win.) Just as your daddy and mommy won’t let you marry your rich childhood friend a caste below you, Master, as Aeneas did, dreams of resuscitating a lost dynasty, which is difficult because his “busted” deposition sounds like “bastard.” I was going to write back “Bastard is not part of Master’s lexicon,” award-winning Bullshit Artist that I am. Bounced between Master who says if only he was me, and School filled with pricks who teach me Shame, my World shimmers with lunacy. Come morning, Master will fill the bathtub with water waking me up alongside my million-dollar dreams, bubbling. II. When I hear the water thunder, I do not give thanks. I curse pink-puckered dawn, who mocks us for still not knowing the Rules of the Game at the back of our hands. They call us “incompetent,” “not duly diligent,” and “inadequate.” As the water runs through me, I struggle to meet and confer with one jerk after the other as you wait for “please understand” to KO tenderly. When the phoenix rises, we will no longer be pariah pinned to the wall for our lousy copy-and-pasted work. The troubadours will not sing of Master texting the Defendants’ counsel about “shaking the mango tree.” At nine p.m., unbillably, I play you weird animal music before marching you to the 7 train as you joke how each case is a million-dollar case and I how this is my first walk outside of the Office. III. I swear—soon—we’ll leave evil ladies tugging at men’s shirts behind garbage bags in treeless streets and go to your home in India, where the summer is even hotter than the hellfire of New York. It’ll only take a case or two under the largess of judges who ought to be on meds for me to sit in the front row as your VIP, all beaming in giving my Emma Woodhouse speech. Then we will live happily ever after. That is, once troubles worse than Achilles' can be fought by lesser mercenaries, Master will not dump me for his trainloads of girlfriends prettier and younger than I am, leaving me alone with my million-dollar dreams.
About the Author: Tiffany Troy is an interviewer and reviewer. Her interviews and reviews are published/ forthcoming from The Adroit Journal, The Cortland Review, The Los Angeles Review, EcoTheo Review, and Tupelo Quarterly, where she serves as an associate editor.
Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Lemur Food” (2021)