LIMITED RUN OF 50 BANDANAS!
USA-made 100% cotton bandana, printed in Portland ME with sublimation ink for optimal comfort. Approximately 20" x 20". Graphic design by yours truly. Short story by Maine Author Douglas W. Milliken. Read the full text below.....
The wife is talking so, and I’m laughing. I’m on my side on our ever mistreated couch, my wife is talking, and I’m laughing to beat Jesus. In a too-small T-shirt that might actually be hers - so small almost all my soft belly lies exposed - and brand-new underwear because even fuckups sometimes deserve nice things, and I’m laughing full and loud and without hope of control while my wife tells her story.
She’s in the three-legged wingback in the corner across from me, knee crossed over knee but arms out like even she can’t believe what she’s saying, and I have no idea what she’s talking about. Black hair like a mythic waterfall. Tight knit dress like something our hot, young grandmas would’ve worn. What’s she talking about? What’s she telling me?
The cat lolls on the rug in its seven a.m. boredom and my wife tells a story that might be a memory or might be a dream or might maybe just be something she one time heard (who can say?) and I am laughing like lives depend on it, countless tiny lives, or anyway, three lives. These three lives. My wife and my cat: I’m laughing to keep us alive.
My inner arm burns still and itches while my bones continue their quaking - that’s what it feels like, like steady tremors thrumming my marrow - and I know I won’t eat for another day yet, but that’s okay. I’m set. The wife’s voice. The cat attacking its tail. My laughter. Drawn from a well deeper than whatever. Scraped of everything that isn’t pure. I’m set. She raises her arms to look at her hands - first one, then the other, then the first, then the other - as if she’s never seen them before. Pillow wet with tears. Being clean’s never felt so.