TWIN BEDS (1974)
by Monica Hall
Friday nights were golden.
I rejoiced in the knowledge
that I could slumber as I pleased.
I would be relieved once again,
Of yawning through Religion in Literature,
As was my usual weekday morning routine.
It was early evening as I stood in front of my dresser mirror,
clad in undies and a t-shirt.
Rosalie was stretched out on her bed,
Reading The Godfather by Mario Puzo.
Late for the Sky was playing loudly on our mono stereo.
I sang along emphatically: “how long have I been sleeping…..”
I looked for a reaction from Rosalie,
But she was spellbound by her novel, slowing turning page after page.
I stood critically in front of the mirror,
Tugging at the flesh on my thighs from behind,
Which gave the illusion of thin, sleek legs.
“Look!” I yelled to Rosalie. “Hurry, look!”
“What if my thighs where naturally this skinny?”
“How cool would that be?”
Rosalie didn’t blink.
I plodded over to our closet,
Trying on a few of my sisters outfits.
“Maybe I’ll wear this next week” I said.
Rosalie shook her head, without looking up from her paperback.
“Why not!” I groused.
“You ruin my stuff”, Rosalie said matter of factly, “Remember the burn hole?”
“You’re so selfish” I pouted, as I tossed her clothes to the bottom of our closet.
“Puttana” said Rosalie under her breath.
“What the hell is that?” I said as I returned to my position in front of the mirror.
“It’s Italian” Rosalie sighed, quite annoyed at the constant interruptions.
“You don’t speak Italian” I replied in a haughty tone.
“I just did” she smiled.
With a twinge of revenge in my heart, I put Aqua Lung on the turntable.
Poor Rosalie looked up from her book for the last time.
“I WILL kill you if you bellow along to Crossed Eyed Mary”.
I grinned guiltily, turned off the stereo and left Rosalie to her solitude.
A couple weeks later I finished The Godfather as well,
And learned the meaning of puttana, among other things.
For instance, I was pleased for Rosalie’s sake,
That we did not have a horse.