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March 10, 2010 - Image 10

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-10

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23 Th Saemn / ededaMac 10@01

Wenedyarh10 21 / TeStteet Bl

statement
Magazine Editor:
Trevor Calero
Editor in Chief:
Jacob Smilovitz
Managing Editor:
Matt Aaronson
Deputy Editon
Allie White
Designers:
Sara Boboltz
Corey DeFever
Photo Editor:
Jed Moch
Copy Editors:
Erin Flannery
Danqing Tang
Cover Illustration:
Jed Moch
Allie Ghaman
The Statement is The Michigan
Daily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday during the
academic year.

THELITERATUREISSUE
editors' note
TO our readers,
This week, we bring you The Statement's annual Literature Issue. After soliciting work from students for the past two months - advertising in the pages of
this magazine, posting flyers all over campus and asking everyone we knew - we've combed through the hundreds of poems and short stories submitted and
have come up with what we believe tobe some of the best undergraduate creative writing this University has to offer.
There's a short story about going to the bathroom on an airplane, a poem about the sexuality of animals and a piece of flash fiction about a dead woman in a bathtub.
Though most undergraduate writing can be trite, simple and juvenile, the writers whose work is displayed in this issue demonstrate avoice and complexity of thought
often missing from the work of their peers. We could only fit a select few in print, but check out the rest online at michigandaily.com/the-statement.
Enjoy,
Trevor Calero and Allie White, Magazine Editor and Deputy Magazine Editor

The dead, naked woman
in your bathtub

Iowa is for Lovers

H a a i *

THE STATEMENT IS CURRENTLY TAKING SUBMISSIONS FOR ITS STUDENT OF THE YEAR ISSUE.
If you would like to nominate someone, please e-mail calero@michigandaily.com.

A right, don't panic. Calm.
Collected. Untroubled. Don't
breathe too fast. Don't look
down too much. Assuage. Temper-
ance. Relieve. Rest. Reprieve. Is
reprieve a befitting synonym? Is
she dead? She's dead. There is a
dead, naked woman in your bathtub.
And what a bathtub! An iron-clad
claw foot bathtub with solid brass
fixtures and a marble soap dish. A
beautiful standalone unit, on tiger
paws beneath the Southern ac-
cent window coverings, decorated
toward the ambition of a delicate
ambiance, perfect for... reprieve.
You should probably unlace your
shoes. Pink bathwater is spilling
onto your tiled floor. Most guests
agree they afford the room a rustic
dignity - these polished desert yel-
low Jerusalem Stone tiles, quarried
from Palestine and laid with the
utmost attention to detail. My God,
they must think, what magnificent
tiles!
You came home and there she
was. There she is, blue and getting
grayer. "Death," you tell yourself,
"poor, poor girl. Maybe I could have
tried to afford a better bathtub to
die in. I'm honest. Believe me, my
wife will be home in an hour. I need
to wash my hands and pledge sixty
sit-ups an evening to keep her inter-
est." You shouldalso trim your nails.
And remember to buy potpourri.,
The faucet is not running. The ap-
plication ofther makeup indicates
a precise attention to detail. The
absence of clothing, the soft curve
of her neck, her choice of setting
begs a pertinent question ... but
whsich one? What runs through the
mind of a dying naked woman in a
strange colonial bathroom at four in
the afternoon?
What do the neighbors think?
Johnson McCantley next door,
most likely on his couch - a gaudy
black leather sectional - thinks, no
doubt all the time, about bathing
in this room. You can see it in his
eyes when he says hello walking
past, green with envy. It's hard to
stay humble. Johnson's wife left
him last August. Keeping a wife is
very important. She fell in love with
another man when she found Jesus,
an unruly-haired Mexican gentle-
man who touched her inthe park
one afternoon.
Your bathroom is rich with thera-
peutic candles of assorted floral
scents. "I enjoy the finer things in
life," you tell yourself, "my wife is
very beautiful." Which she is. The
envy of other wives. The girl's finger

twitches slightly. Look at her. She
looks like your wife on the wedding
night. Not gray...,but very young.
And twitchy. She looked lively in the
hotel bed on the honeymoon night,
staring up at you, an air of sensual-
ity. You re-arranged the chairs sev-
eral times to promote a lascivious
atmosphere and domesticate certain
animal urges. While the last woman
you will ever sleep with lay there,
waiting. She said, "For Christ's sake,
Walter, you're more concerned with
establishing a setting than focusing
on the task at hand."
The girl's fingernails are painted
red, at least the five not underwater.
Blood is pouring down the arms.
The terrycloth towels are still in the
closet. A pink nipple rises like an is-
land in an ocean of diluted ketchup.
The fingers are starting to curl into
themselves. No, no, you shouldn't
smell her hair. A clear view of the
legs is lost at the shin, under the
water. The knees appear not too
knobby and she has small, delicate
toes. Alright, calm down. Focus. It
is very warm in this bathroom. You
should roll up your sleeves, you
should loosen your tie - a very crisp
necktie woven from Italian silk
and very distinguished sleeves of
the highest thread count. Breathe.
Your wife will be home in an hour.
She promised to cook your favorite
dish, rosemary chicken marinated
in lemon and black pepper. And
perhaps this smell will have begun
to fade. Can't have the place reeking
to high heaven with a rosemary
chicken on the premises. Your house
is protected by a lovely red oak
door. Your wife still insists on that
eyesore of a welcome mat. She can
be quite difficult sometimes, insist-
ing on that ratty doormat, with tat-
tered fibers and 'Welcome' spelled
in faded-green block letters. One
should never welcome anything on
such obvious terms. It's gaudy and
out of place. It used to belong to her
grandmother's country porch. She
argues it has value of sentiment. It
has been linked with kind memories
and thus, is justified. You begged
her to consider a thin rug or rococo
placemat. She is very difficult. This
doormat upsets the balance of your
entrance. People will make assump-
tions. But your wife, your wife is
fond of something that does not be-
long, preoccupied with such a small
detail - God bless her - you do not
want the doormat, your wife insists
on the doormat. Such is the nature
of life, caught in the pull, trying to
approach an impossible situation.

We could go to the cornfields
at night, maybe when the
moon is full. We could stroll
down the spaces between stalks like
they were the avenues of Paris. The
shimmering moonlight reflecting off
the heads of corn could be elegant
streetlights, lighting the way for us
as we wandered between cafes and
verdant parks. Then we could turn a
corner and wander the streets of Ven-
ice - marveling at the starry night and

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embracing beside luminescent canals.
We could set atable for two
between the rows of corn; we could
look at each other through the shim-
meringcandlelight and we wouldn't
have to say a word. I could make you
the most exotic dishes and you would
taste them delicately. You would gaze
into my eyes, reach across the table
and take my hand - and you would
smile just so. We could wander down
the boulevards until we found a spot

to our likingand we could lie down
together in the cool grass.
You could restyour head on my
chest; we would gaze up at the stars
and I could tell you stories for hours
and hours. I could tell you love stories
and I could tell you fairy tales. I could
tell you tragedies that might make you
sad and I could tell you comedies that
would make you happy again. And for
the finale, I could tell us both a story
about how we would never fall out of
love and how I would never lie to you
and how you would never leave me
and how our story would end happily
ever after instead of with me lying in
a cornfield and you lying with him in
California.

WE'IRE
HIRING.
APPLY ONLINE by MARCH 19th
www.umich.edu/info
ICampus
Information
Centers
Michigan Union & Pierpont Commons " (734) 764-INFO

LtfdII II], tf C a (.UL UK-- I t k .
Attend an information session.
Wednesday, March 10th
6:30 p.m.
International Center, Room 9
800.424.85'80 1www.peacecorps.gov
Life is calling. How far will you go?

WANT TO
INTERVIEW
A RANDOM
STUDENT?
Come write for
The Statement.
E-MAIL CALERO@
MICHIGAN DAILY.COM

www.mph.illinois.edu

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