We formulate intricate plans for what to do if we get separated. If you don’t make it onto the subway before the doors close, I’ll wait in the next station. If you fall in love with someone, I’ll poison the tomatoes in her garden. If I fall in love with someone, you’ll hammer nails into the wheels of his bicycle. If you leave me, I’ll write a book and become famous; when you read it you’ll realize I know more about you than you do, and you’ll come home. If I leave you, your drawings will garner you a solo show at an important gallery, and I’ll become just a person in a damp coat hobbling through rooms full of cruel manifestations of herself, and I’ll come home. If I get sad, you’ll cover me with leaves until I can’t breathe; once I’ve suffocated sufficiently, you’ll unbury me and my infinite grin. If I grow distant, you’ll press tacks into the soles of my feet until the color returns to my cheeks. If our baby is born deformed, we’ll build a cradle for it out of twigs and moss, like the nests made for infant monsters in medieval times. If you die in a gruesome crunch of metal, I’ll locate all your body parts and burn them to ashes; I’ll carry you with me in a jam jar that’ll always get us held up in customs. If I slice my wrist cutting the potatoes, you’ll slice yours cutting the carrots. If I drown in the lake, you’ll buy a canoe and paint it white. If I start to see shimmering parakeets when it’s just pigeons, you won’t give me to the doctors; you’ll tell me I’m Duchess and therefore always right. If you lose part of your brain, I’ll feed you waffles drowning in syrup, I’ll change your diapers, I’ll take you to the carnival. If your memory is destroyed, I’ll make labels for every single thing in the world. Lamp. Spoon. Hand. Applesauce. Spiderweb. Eyelid. Cup. Tree. You. Me.
(Helen Phillips – We #6)