Desi Cooks For Her Man by Johanna Miklós

July 15, 2013 Comments Off on Desi Cooks For Her Man by Johanna Miklós

Desi strokes cream on her arms, rolls lemon on her thighs and — after a long look in the mirror — takes off her bra. She stirs in rolled oats.  ‘Blend milk, two eggs and melted butter,’ she reads in her grandmother’s Joy of Cooking.

Desi makes things happen.  After a romantic error in judgment, a BA in history, and two years sharing myths with youths for a salary she couldn’t live on, Desi got an MBA. She puts in the bonus hours and is pleasant — not creepy — at the water cooler.

Desi dresses up and moves up.

Desi’s cash cautious — dwelt below her means — saved for a down payment in a building with a doorman.

Desi plans a summer wedding.

She pours the liquid as instructed for her man. To friends, she describes Steve as a comfortable few inches taller than herself, clean-shaven with quite a smile, and a rising star at an Investment firm.  They met at a bar but — this matters — were introduced by mutual acquaintances.

Desi cuts peaches, adds a cup of cranberries to bubbling cornstarch, sugar, and cranberry juice then waits for skins to pop. She recollects their passion in the back of a cab, Steve’s respectful withdrawal when she clamped her thighs tightly, and his firm hug and promise to call.

He didn’t.

So she did.

Desi shoves the cake into the oven and sets the timer to twenty-five as the lobby desk announces her man.

“Something smells really good!” Steve lifts lids, pokes chops, and accepts a glass of wine.  Then he picks up her cookbook.

“My mom gave my wife a copy when we got married. There isn’t a guy in the world who wouldn’t rather women read The Joy of Sex instead.”

© Johanna Miklós

Johanna is from Munich, Germany but now weathers storms in New York.  Links to past and current publications can be found on her website.

Below by Johanna Miklós

August 6, 2012 Comments Off on Below by Johanna Miklós

Online. Thumbnail size pictures titled “Below & Beyond” fill my screen. Below is thick, sticky as molasses even in this tiny rendering. Beyond floats in glorious brightness.

I want to go to the gallery where the originals are on display for friends and those who drop in on second Friday nights, but I’m too far away. He instant messaged: I play disco music at showings. I imagine a pulse in these tiny objects. Unpaid extras will shed heavy coats in a pile – it’s cold in Chicago – to cheerfully dig for them later. Lip gloss and flipped hair; they will bear wine and gyrate in clusters through art and conversation. Being there as meaning.

He observes. He thirsts for a character in the crowd to express something – anything – besides polite interest. Just one to ask, ‘Why is Below dark?’ would be a gift for him who emailed: Save me from the zombies.

I wish him a visitor who sees light in what is past. There is légèreté in what cannot be changed. I hold mine dear, in warm pastels so I can pretend to live. Perhaps a student in the crowd will admit the burden of a future. Though young, he knows imagination is a deceptive friend.

As reckless now as then, I agree to a private showing. It’s an hour before the doors will open. I click and rotate while he installs a video cam on his computer. Below is now a light sliver, and his Beyond heavy and unknowable.

“What the fuck?” I haven’t heard his voice in decades.

“It’s another way of seeing it.”

“There’s no other way. It’s my art.” A black square pops-up and conceals the paintings.

“Your unknown future is brighter than your past?” I travel at net speed to Chicago. Pixels of his flesh and eyes form and dissolve again.

“Bullshit!” he insists. “You missed the point.”

“Hardly, or you wouldn’t get so cross.”

“That’s not you.” The gaping holes of his appall rip through the chaos on my screen. “You’re young. You’re beautiful.” The video feed breaks off.

“Thirty years ago . . .”


© 2012 Johanna Miklos

Johanna Miklos is from Munich, Germany. She has an MFA from CUA and a rescue dog from Mississippi.

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