By Traci O’Dea
Il suffit que je sois bien Malheureuse pour avoir Droit a votre bien-vaillance -from J.L. David. Marat Assassiné. 1793. His left hand hangs, not unlike Marat’s right hand, outside the tub. The wedding band slips off and rings against the hardwood, pauses, then rolls away beyond the brass clawed feet. To no avail, he gropes the boards. His fingers turn up with only dust and specks of plumbing rust. His spent arm lingers against the cast iron side. He pulls the plug and hopes she won’t react like she’s Charlotte Corday, and thinks there are some little things she doesn’t need to know. He rises, employs a dirty towel to rub away the ring he left, kneels on the area rug, bows cheek to floor to investigate. No band. A slide of hand between copper pipes. He avoids the corners ‘til he grabs the flashlight. Still no luck there, just what normally dwells in corners: bug shells, towel lint, shed skin cells. He’s not formally panicking yet. It must be under here, but where? There exist a finite number of voids beneath the tub where it could hide. As soon as he accepts it’s disappeared, he hears her slam the door. In desperation, he unscrews the faucet’s stainless aerator ring. No dice. It doesn’t fit. He’ll try to keep his hands from sight. Later that night they dine. She catches on. They fight. It reaches the point of “Maybe you meant to lose it.” “Maybe I did.” She grips the Corning lid with clear intent and aims it at his neck. It misses, hits a knuckle joint on his left hand. Pissed, she grabs, with her right hand, a steak knife. This time, bull’s-eye. The wedding band rests beside the toilet, unaware of anything.
This piece is from The Feminist Toilet #2. To return to the table of contents, click here.