Sally in the World

Sally sold real estate. She found herself in tears. The market was bad. Her community performance art had become violent, like the snipping of Yoko Ono’s clothing if Yoko had performed “Cut Piece” with the early, guilty John. She was not allowed to ask questions. She returned to the stage every night to honor her semi-professional commitment; the protocols of firing and divorce did not apply. Every night, she waited for Krishna as all milkmaids wait for spiritually blue-skinned men. She met him and waited and met him again. She thought about the oil in her lamp, the milk in her cow, and the pitch in her sales. She thought about the oil in the war, the recombinant bovine growth hormone in the distended udder, and the sag in the pitch of the roof of the only house she had recently almost sold.

From the privacy of their cars, her clients lamented how fast, squalid, silly, faith-based, slipshod, pre-programmed, addicted, and tortured everything had become. They lamented not in so many words. They called for help. She considered her SUV, which was necessary to her business. She came to crave career change. She might have sold homepages instead of homes, but she feared eliciting the metaphysical blight that she wished on the men who were even now building Fisher-Price-castle monstrosities to compete with the stately, cozy, and classic existing homes that she was desperate to sell. Every day she drove by the builders’ employees as they dug to the lot lines and built in the holes. Meanwhile, her clients buried St. Josephs and wept after open houses, for reasons including their mortgages and the mysteries of existence. Her doctor prescribed the antibiotic that would be deployed against anthrax. Sally opened herself for the first time to the tender indifference of the world. If she gave up her art and her real estate license, she would be quit of everything.

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