Mayor Hidey Seek
Her mama named her Ivana because the name would make her rich. There was nothing else around to pull that trick. Ivana went to the Gracie Mansion looking for Donald Trump, but her teacher told her: This ain’t where he lives.
My dentist kicked me out, not out of her office, but out of the luxury condo we shared. From up high we could see cars drive through like baby teeth fleeing childhood. We drank martini’s and watched. I could go back to her office if I want to open my mouth to unendurable pain, but I don’t think I can do that. I suffer from Fear Itself.
This is where the mayor lives. The mayor, yeah, thought Ivana, the man that owns where she lives, all the buildings crawling with people like ants, where she sleeps in one room with her seven brothers and sisters and her mama and her boyfriend on torn mattresses.
You’re a baby, a wimp, a coward, my girlfriend, my dentist accuses. That’s all true, I say. What’s your point?
Gracie Mansion. She’s gonna tell the mayor to do something about the rats. She hates rats. Mist’ Mayor, give em a place of their own. A rat mansion.
There are heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan, she continues, and continues and continues, and every day the shrapnel pierces them, roadside bombs blow off limbs and give them closed head injuries, and you--you won’t have a silly root canal.
She’s lookin’ for the Mayor, lookin' for signs, lookin' for the Criminal Minds guys that guard him, keep him safe, keep him away from the serial killers and the perverts who lurk everywhere, who rape you or send you into free fall some other way.
I have no defense. I have to admit she’s right. All I have to fear is fear itself, but that fear towers above me like a monolith about to fall and crush me.
But Ivana doesn’t see them. The Mayor’s nowhere in sight. All her teacher shows them is stuff she calls “elegant.” Ivana’s mind tries to computes pawn value, but the numbers in her head don’t go that high.
Even if I had an attorney, I’d have no defense. I only hope she relents, blunts her own judgments, finds some mercy for this poor dental sinner.
Back home, Ivana sees two men in her building knife fighting. She sees a crack pipe on the bathroom floor. Ivana feels it: she is becoming the place. The Mayor is hiding. That’s his name, another girl on the tour says. Mayor Hidey Seek.
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over twelve-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.