4.06 / June 2009


listen to this story

Most nights, Calvin and I lie in bed and watch TV. Calvin’s stomach is a pillow, but I don’t mind. Calvin flips the channels. With each channel flipped, sound explodes. “Will you stop?” I say. “You’re making me epileptic.” Calvin grabs my cock and says, “Do I make you seize?” I kiss him on the mouth.

On the 10:00 news, the announcer says, “police have surrounded the home of the couple they believe to be harboring the fugitive.” A phalanx of cop cars circles the house. From the chopper, the house looks like a tiny blue box. It looks like cardboard. I want to crush it with my boot. It looks familiar.

“That’s our house,” Calvin says.

“Open the door,” a voice booms through a megaphone. “Allow us to inspect your property.”

We don bathrobes grey and taupe and tiptoe to the door. I feel euphoric, like I want to get hard, and I wonder whether the policeman will talk dirty through the megaphone.

“We know you’re in there.”

Lately, I have often felt as though Calvin is hiding something. For instance, the other evening, when I arrived home from work, I found he’d cooked pork tenderloin for dinner. Sliced meat glittered on plates, luminous, white and threatening. Why pork tenderloin, I wondered, and why that night? I look at him, to see if his eyes will answer me, but instead I see the panicked expression of a person reconsidering everything. He thinks it’s me.

“Will you leave us alone?” Calvin says. “It’s almost bedtime and your lights are distracting.”

“Hand over the fugitive and no harm will come to you.”

Calvin looks at me. He looks at the living room. He says, “There’s no one here I’d call a fugitive.”

“If there’s no fugitive, you have nothing to lose by opening the door.”

The policeman butts in, all jackboots, buckles and chrome. He twirls a big stick and points. He orders us to empty our cabinets and we line up cereal boxes on the countertop: Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Bamm-Bamm Berry Pebbles. We gather items from our nightstand: Lubricant, condoms, a vibrating butt plug. The policeman opens the closet and rifles through rows of Calvin’s suits. He yanks them from the rack, piles them on the floor, a lopsided mound of navy, brown and black. He fondles the television remote and snickers as he inspects the season passes in our DVR. He turns on his heels and marches toward the door.
“Wait,” Calvin calls. “Are we cleared?”

The policeman stops. He watches us, reconsiders us, our life, our habits, our stuff.

“It was a mistake,” Calvin says. “Tell us it was a mistake.”

The policeman jams the door behind him.

“He didn’t tell us,” Calvin says. “Tell us it was a mistake.”

Tim Jones-Yelvington has fashioned himself "indie lit's" first pop star. His multidisciplinary performance text LIT DIVA EXTRAORDINAIRE explores diva narratives, shame, celebrity, camp, resilience and the linguistics of glamour. Recent work has appeared (or will appear) in Harpur Palate, Another Chicago Magazine and Hobart. His short fiction chapbook, Evan's House and the Other Boys Who Live There is available from Rose Metal Press in They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, and his collection This is a Dance Movie! is forthcoming from Tiny Hardcore Press. He serves as president of the board of directors for Artifice.