Someone to Stayhttps://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Stuck-Wish-1920_1440.jpg?fit=1920%2C1440&ssl=119201440Marisa CraneMarisa Cranehttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/marisacrane.jpg
Remy, wondering how she’s both drunk and hungover, rolls out of bed and opens her underwear drawer. She gazes at the beautiful sapphire egg, which seems to have grown overnight. It’s nearly the size of her head and it’s throbbing, as if it too had a hard night of drinking and is now dealing with the consequences. Remy rubs her temple, convinced that a stroke has finally come for her. She decides that in a week’s time, when the big stupid ball drops, she will get sober once and for all.
Sober Remy will know what to do with a magical egg.
Soon it will start wiggling, she can just feel it, and then she’ll really be in trouble. She’s gone back and forth for weeks about what the fuck to do. Should she channel her maternal instincts and build a nest out of blankets then sit on the damn thing? Hatch it like a real champ? Who knows if a baby bird, or reptile, or whatever it turns out to be even likes blankets? Fact is, it’d probably hate her blankets—they all smell like beer and campfire and the one that doesn’t has so many holes it looks like the only type of cheese that Remy hates. Perhaps the thing would prefer a birthing place made out of twigs and feathers and like, affirmations.
Her other option, of course, is to drop the egg off at Judith’s house when Judith is out on her daily walk on the beach, cat-calling the men who are too young to have dad bods. Act like she’s none the wiser when her neighbor confides in her about her discovery. Wearing the most earnest face she can muster, Remy will say, What do you mean? Are you absolutely sure it was an egg? Maybe it was that OB Kush playing tricks on you again. She will say this over two-for-one Blue Moons at the Green Street Pub while Judith rips the dry skin off her lips.
The way Remy figures it, Judith might say something like, It’s not just any old egg—it’s so enchanting even you wouldn’t run from it. Imaginary Judith’s remark irritates Remy so much that Remy feels her face grow hot in response. In this particular scenario, Remy envisions herself giving Judith a mock-playful shove and saying, You ought to cook it up and serve it to your fuck-face husband, although she wouldn’t mean it, no, no, no, that would be dreadful and the egg doesn’t deserve such humiliation. Plus, she’d much rather Judith exercise some restraint so that she can at least find out what kind of creature her boxer briefs have inadvertently been incubating.
New year, new way to slowly kill myself, she says to the egg, picking it up for the first time since it materialized. Stunned by its weightlessness, she drops it and screams, her voice sending a piercing pain through her temples. The egg doesn’t crack and splatter against the floor, though. Instead, it bounces right back into her hand like a basketball then does a little satisfied wiggle before settling into her palm. If she didn’t know any better, Remy would swear the egg, well, liked her?
Then, a hard knock, knock, knock at the front door. It’s Judith, I heard your scream even over the kids’ stupid cartoons. Are you okay? she shouts. Remy doesn’t know why she’s never recognized it before—the aggression in Judith’s voice, the tyranny. She’s here to steal my baby, thinks Remy. Well, she can’t have it.
Remy clutches the egg to her chest. She clutches it so tightly, she’s afraid it may break, but the tighter she holds it, the harder its shell becomes, and the harder its shell becomes the more Remy wants to test its strength, wants to place things on top of it—the TV, the couch, the nightstand, the fridge, the entire liquor cabinet, the mailbox, the car, the house, the pub, the office, the trees, the benches, the buses, the cabs, the ships, the whales, the gas stations, the libraries, the gyms, the shopping malls, the hospitals—she wants to put her entire life on top of that egg and watch how seamlessly it adapts. Remy wants to copy the egg’s every microscopic move until she becomes more moment than person. More armor than skin. She wants to raise the egg to her trembling lips and taste the sweet fearlessness of eternity.
Marisa Crane is a queer writer whose work has appeared in Jellyfish Review, Hobart, Pithead Chapel, and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook, “Our Debatable Bodies,” is forthcoming from Animal Heart Press. She currently lives in San Diego with her wife.