A Dozen Eggs

LIZZ BOGAARD

ISSUE NO. 2 • Are we there yet?

I don’t even LIKE eggs!

Every morning, at about six o’clock, I ride my bicycle into town to get mother one dozen eggs. I do this because mother does not like bicycles, whereas I am neutral towards bicycles—so it’s only fair that I am the one who rides.

I have done this for a very long time.

So, every morning, at about six o’clock, I have hopped on my bicycle and followed the route. The route is a bit longer than one might expect, because our house is situated quite high atop the mountain. The route goes like this: a right out of the front yard onto Winter Hollow Road, a left onto Margaretville Mountain Road, then down the hill down until I reach Maple Lane, where I take an acceleration-laden left and cross across the little creek’s bridge, after which I ride straight ahead into town to reach the eggs.

It takes an approximate fifteen minutes and thirty-four seconds to get to the eggs—and thirty-one minutes and eight seconds, if I include the ride back.

This morning, it is about six o’clock and I am standing in the kitchen drinking a cup of water, readying myself to leave to go into town to get the eggs. I decide to tell mother a joke. I tell her this: “Mother, I will not get the eggs today. You will have to!” Mother does not turn from her velvet armchair, but releases from her nostrils a contemptuous huff. She then lifts a single finger above the back of her head, shakes it slowly, side to side, and says this: “That is insane. You are insane!” To which I reply, “Mother! I am joking!” At which mother releases from her mouth a calm sigh, reels her finger back down, becomes silent. I assume that she nods. So I nod, too. Then I go off to get the eggs.

I fasten my helmet straps, hop on my bicycle, make the right out of the front yard, the left onto Margaretville Mountain’s, then I start cycling right down it, no pedaling necessary, just as usual. But right about when I’m halfway down the hill, just about sixteen seconds away from my scheduled cross across the little creek’s bridge—I begin to hear the whirrs of my wheels. I hear them louder, louder than usual. These whirrs make me think, more than usual. So I think about something. I think about what mother had said to me earlier. I did not mean what I said, and therefore she did not mean what she said. But I hear the whirrs, and they remind me of the thought, so I still think about it. What if I were insane? Surely, I am not.

But what if I were?

What would I do?

(This is all hypothetical.)

So I guess I’d say, hypothetically, if I really truly were an insane human being, right this very second, right on this very bicycle, I would make myself ride straight through Maple Lane, would stay steady on Margetville Mountain, would take it all the through to Rosemarie Anderson’s Alpaca Farm, would hop off my bicycle and over the gate and into the herd, would lock eyes with what I would deem to be the most beautiful alpaca I’ve ever seen, and I… would… sniff it. Then, I would pet it. And maybe, if I were extra insane, I would hop right onto it, would leave my bicycle lying out there for the vultures with a single wheel still spinning while I set off to travel for hours, months, years on end—New York to California, Canada, Montana, all the way back and more. And it would be a comfortable voyage for me, for my whole entire body, even its most sensitive parts—even my genitals! Cause my genitals would never not been cushioned by my alpaca’s fur-pillow. And I would even check them (my genitals), just for good measure, and they would be healthy as ever. Then, even if it (my alpaca) isn’t yet comfortable with me, I would check its genitals. And its genitals would be healthy as ever, too—of that I’m just simply sure. And whatever sex significations its genitals would give me, I hope that—for the sake of communicative limitations—when speaking about my alpaca, I would have the sense to abstain from gendering them. And—for the sake of communicative clarity between my alpaca and I—I would name them some insane name… like… Vacuum. And I would—for communicative convenience—abbreviate Vacuum to “Vac.” On our voyage, Vac and I would come in contact with many different humans. At some inevitable point, a nosy human would come in unfavorably close proximity to us. This nosy human would hear me whispering one of my poems into Vac’s ear, which would exacerbate the nosy human’s nosiness, because all of my poems would start and end with the phrase, “your name is Vac,” which does not sound very poetic, and is not very poetic—because my poems, of course, would be insane. So, upon hearing me repeatedly address Vac as “Vac,” the nosy human would ask me this: “Don’t you mean to say ‘Vick?’” And I would stand right up to the nosy human, would stare straight into their nosy eyes, would shout loud and proud into their nosy ears that Vac is “Vac,” not “Vick,” that it isn’t short for Vicky or Victoria or any of the nosy human’s tomfoolerous monickers, that it is actually a very common nickname for those whose birth names are “Vacuum.” And the nosy human would just stand there, mouth agape, stunned to silence—and I would tip a hat I don’t have, would pull a rein Vac doesn’t wear, and we would trot right out and away into the world. My sweet, sweet Vacuum and I would live our lives insane as could be, going wherever we damn well pleased to go, doing whatever we damn well pleased to do—all while the few I knew, and the few I could’ve known, would’ve never wondered where I was.

(If I were insane.)

But, alas, I am not insane.

So I make the left, cross the creek. I must get the eggs.