Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Simple sister

By Kyle Hemmings

When our mama, who resembled Big Cass Eliot, died from food poisoning, my sis, a suspect in anything, took charge of me. Our father, who was always in danger of being swallowed by Big Mama, was always somewhere other than here until he became nothing but a story. My sister's name was Katy as in Katy Did Not and she resented taking care of me because now she was a bass player in some East Village Japanese band called Box Turtle Sex. She had this strange habit of taking me places and leaving me there: the art deco gallery on MacDougall, an S&M shop near Gainsevoort, a bar named Sid Vicious on East 3rd and something, on the laps of strange women at a hair salon that also did hot wax, the Lowe's Movie Theater where we saw The Postman Always Rings Twice three times (I never noticed Katy was gone until the lights went on), and the dry cleaner's. It took me three years to escape from the last one. It turned out to be owned by a white slavery ring specializing in selling children who have this "lost" look about them, like they could be the next Justin Bieber or something. A couple of men whose faces I couldn't see took pictures of me for posters. In strange cities I saw posters of myself, kids trying to imitate me with that hung lip and hungry eye look. Sometimes their older sisters would laugh, but I couldn't understand their language. Eventually, I found my way back to my sister who was now living with some Japanese dude in Chelsea. I had grown three inches taller and had the peach fuzz of a punkster on CD covers. After ringing the buzzard to her apartment building and being told several times that she doesn't know anyone named "Chip," she finally let me up. The door unlocked but the chain remained. One eye inspected me up and down. My God, she said, how you've grown. You look so much like papa. Well, I said, where to next?

Copyright ©2011 Kyle Hemmings. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.



Kyle Hemmings has been pubbed at Gold Wake Press, Thunderclap Press, Blue Fifth Review, Step Away, and The Other Room. He blogs at