down and out on a yacht
DOWN AND OUT ON A YACHT by Delphine Bedient
Delphine Bedient has been publishing exceptional small books for years, offering snippets of life on paper, real or imagined, where the perspective is always astute, curious, and deeply felt.
Her first book of short fiction is a natural continuum of this.
To quote the review of the book over at the The Poetry Question, "Her narrator’s story of a love, almost abusively unrequited, is broken up by moments of introverted humor – laughing with an accordion playing troop of homeless men, or finding the joy in a urine soaked bus with working air conditioning – while she stands staring at the front door of the man she loves, but can never actually have, or leaving a lover at the bed, or dance floor, or bar stool, but never really leaving with a name, an answer, or the strength to do anything about any of it."
Men kept smiling at you today, but you felt like a disaster. You were an influenza epidemic, you were Hurricane Katrina, you were a four-car pileup, and there they were, these men, smiling.
When bringing food to tables at the restaurant you often look at the plates instead of the people who receive them.
“Enjoy your dinner,” you say to a filet of salmon.
“Do you have everything you need?” you ask a seared pork chop.
As she does the dishes her reflection in the window
in front of her occasionally looks up at you and glares. She feigns composure, but you can tell that she is still upset when the same bowl slips out of her hands and into the dishwater three times. Splatters of water cover the window, counter and floor. You grab a towel and slowly approach, but as you begin to dry off the surfaces she throws down her yellow rubber gloves and leaves the room.