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 is 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 hop 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 our dirt driveway onto Winter Hollow Road, a left onto Margaretville Mountain Road, then down the mountain until I reach Maple Lane, unto which I take a smooth left so that I may cross across the little creek’s bridge, after which I continue straight ahead into town to reach the eggs.

It takes an approximate fifteen minutes and thirty-four seconds to reach the eggs. Factoring in the homeward portion, the trip takes an approximate thirty-one minutes and eight seconds. Though that is only travel; once I reach the eggs, it takes about one minute and fifty-three seconds to get them. A worthy estimate for the whole ordeal is thirty-five minutes and three seconds.

This morning, it is about six o’clock and I am standing in my kitchen. I am drinking a cup of water. Mother is sitting in her velvet armchair. She is knitting. The red velvet armchair faces away from me, so I cannot see mother, but I know she is knitting because I can hear the clack-clink-clack of her silver needles. Mother does not enjoy being bothered while she is knitting. However, I am feeling waggish today. So, I decide to tell mother a joke. I tell her this: “Mother, I will not get the eggs today. You will have to get them!” Mother does not turn from the red velvet armchair, but I hear her stop knitting. I then hear her release from her nostrils one single contemptuous huff. She then lifts one single finger above the back of her head, shakes it slowly, side to side, and says this: “That-is-in-sane. You are insane!” To which I reply, “Mother! I am joking!” At which mother reels her finger back down and releases from her mouth a calm sigh. Mother gets back to her knitting, clink-clank.

Now, I will get the eggs.

I fasten my helmet straps, hop on my bicycle, and begin pedaling. I make the right out of the dirtway, take the left onto Margaretville Mountain, then my bicycle and I start cycling right down it, no pedaling necessary, as per usual. But right about when I’m halfway down the hill, just about sixteen seconds away from the left onto Maple Lane and the cross across the little creek’s bridge—I begin to hear the whirrs of my wheels. The whirrs sound different than usual. They sound like huffs, huffs strikingly resonant of that which was released from mother’s nostrils just mere minutes ago. The whirrs do not stop. The huffs do not stop. I think about what had made mother huff. I think about what mother had said to me. I did not mean what I said, and therefore she did not mean what she said. But I cannot stop hearing the huffs, so I cannot stop thinking about her words. What if I were insane? Surely, I am not.

But what if I were?

What would I do?

(This, of course, is wholly hypothetical.)

I think I would 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 to stay on Margetville Mountain, would take the road all the way through to Rosemarie Anderson’s Alpaca Farm. There, I 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 would have 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) is not 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 show, 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, stare straight into their nosy eyes, and shout loud and proud into their nosy ears that Vac is “Vac,” not “Vick,” that it is not 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 do not have, pull a rein Vac does not 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.