Professor Jay Polish
April 10, 2018
A Poem For A Lady Whose Voice I like Fan Fic
Characters : Elena & Zacharia
“You ain’t got no talent
if you didn’t have a face
you wouldn’t be nobody..”
His words kept replaying in my head. God, I hated his voice. Every time I heard it. But nope. I won’t let him get to me.
“5 MINUTES TILL SHOWTIME IS EVERYONE READY?”
“Fuck it was time”.
I had come home from work tired from a 13-hour shift. I place my jacket in the closet to my right and leave my keys on the counter. I was exhausted. The house was a mess. If anyone were to ever come over they’d be disgusted. I was disgusted. Seinfeld was on and Zach was opening a beer. *SNAP* OR *KLSKK*? Is that the sound of a beer cap opening? I notice some drip to the floor and I look over to Zach but he pays no attention. I roll my eyes. That’s another thing to clean up.
Zacharia and I had been together for 20 years now and I can’t remember the last time I saw a smile on his face. It was probably when we had first moved into the apartment we live in now but since then, his smile was gone. He’d been working at the laundromat down the block until it closed and got replaced by the burger shack he ironically now is a daily customer for. There was no money coming in, and the bills piled up. I had lost track of the last time he left his house besides to grab a smoke and a burger with his boys. I was the only type of income coming in. I had to be. I had been picking up extra shifts at the bakery and we still struggle to pay the rent. God, when did things go downhill? I wish I had an answer.
I grab the towel and I make my way over to the mess he still had paid no attention to.
“Hi, honey. What are you up to?” No answer, of course.
I move around him to clean. It was like I wasn’t even there. I mean, he had his beer and Seinfeld was on, I didn’t expect anything. I shouldn’t have. After getting up, I fix and organize a couple of magazines or to be specific Zach’s playboys. My eyes roll again. Zach started to mumble something.
“Elena, what’s that guy next door name again? The one with the fro? Leonard? Larry something?”
“You mean Lenny?”
“Yes him. Good job. Lenny came by. He wants you on his show. I said you’d do it for 80 per show. Understand?”.
“Excuse me? What do you mean you said I’d do it? Understand? Exactly who are you speaking to?”
God. Who the hell was he? “UNDERSTAND?” I could throw this towel on him, spill his beer and just leave. God, I just wanted to leave.
“Zacharia, I will not let myself be the very thing I am against. I won’t be dancing for anyone no matter how badly we need the money. Now, do YOU understand me? I am not just some ‘body’ you can control. I will not be one of those girls”.
I mess up the magazines, grab the towel and stomp away. I start to shuffle our mail in the kitchen with my back facing him. There’s a silence. I look to my left and watch the time. 3 minutes. It’s been 3 minutes. I hear the leather of the couch squeaking, and I hear the sound of a bottle hitting the table. *Brr*. Believe me, I refrained myself from using this word to describe how I was feeling but that was literally it. I got literal chills down my back. I can hear him about to speak. Or yell, I should use the correct word. It was yell. He was about to start yelling.
“What do you mean you WON’T do it? You ungrateful prick. I got you a job. One show can finally pay off that damn cell phone bill of yours. I told Lenny you’d do it, and you will. Now go set dinner and go talk to Lenny and get more details. I don’t want to hear it anymore”.
Before I could speak, he had left the room. He walks into the bathroom and as the door closes I hear;
“You ain’t got no talent
if you didn’t have a face
you wouldn’t be nobody”
It’s 8 pm and we’re about to go on. I hear Lenny yelling “5 minutes!” My body was sore and itchy. Lenny made us all wear Burlesque outfits and the corset was actually sucking the life out of me. The feathers kept making its way to my mouth no matter how many times I’d spit it out. And these gloves, god these were stuck to my hands because of all the sweat.
“WHY the fuck did I do this. I don’t fucking need any of this shit.”
“I need to leave”.
I take a sneak peak, and what do you think I see? Zacharia and his boys breaking beers and screaming out “HEY! Start already”.
That was it. I couldn’t fucking satisfy Zach and sell myself out. That wasn’t the man I married. I take off the feathers and gloves and throw it to the floor. I can hear someone running up to me. It was Lenny. He grabbed me by the arm and said;
“ELENA WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT SHIT WAS?”
“Fuck you, and fuck this. Let me go”.
I grab my bag and I come out from backstage, and start walking rapidly. Zacharia starts yelling,
“HEY! Where do you think you’re going?! Do you know how much you now owe me for doing this childish shit? What’s wrong with you? Now get back there or don’t bother coming home.”
“How much I owe YOU? ME? Childish? You’re despicable. You wanna know something?”
He laughed. Why the fuck was he laughing at? I start to stare in confusion.
he said: “you pretty full of yourself ain’t chu?”
I was done. I realized if I had explained myself to him it would be going in through one ear and out with the other. I didn’t need this. I had friends and family back home who wouldn’t sell me out for a case of beers and Seinfeld, and treat me with the respect I deserve. I looked at the pile of garbage in front of me, took a deep breath and said:
“show me someone not full of herself
and i’ll show you a hungry person”
I walk away. This was it. I didn’t bother looking back. Last words I hear are;
“Wtf is that supposed to mean?”
Reflection: While writing this fanfic, I had to learn to explore my mind and be as creative as possible. I had an easy and strong understanding of this poem and it only made sense to revolve it around a man taking control of a woman as if that’s his only purpose. Being explicit was risky, but what better way to explain and show frustration? I prefer fanfic over writing an essay because I got to explain this poem through a story of my own and not only was that exciting to do, I am quite proud of this work. Peer review is always great to get input and other ideas because not only is it a review of your work, it’s your audience wanting to help you improve your work.