OXY Pads and OxyContin by Matthew Dexter
OXY Pads and OxyContin
Sobbed so succulent the night after getting promoted from sales manager to president and CEO of the panty department—my tear duct turned to crust beneath the waxing tangerine moon. The kitchen was illuminated with square-dancing eddies of lavender-scented candles and I sat there in the closet scratching my scrotum drinking gin with an ice pack over the eye, then a frozen steak from the rotting refrigerator in the garage where Dad took my virginity against the rusty handle. Dad died that Indian summer. He gave us his mansion, so we don’t blame him for those random rapes at the end when chemo and labyrinthine prescriptions drifted into stupors, pharmacological sadistic chants, and sizzurp sipping tantrums, and running an underpants company out your garage is no simple task.
Shit I went to college, earned my MBA, and became an accountant…all because Dad had an extra clandestine wing beneath the bowling alley in the basement, from Ponzi scheming in the Australian and European stock markets. We did not need more than the kitchen, master bedroom, and adjacent living area and garage bathroom besides. We sold the remaining eighteen wings to stay alive, squandered all our inherited money on horse races and enormous thoroughbreds—with pedigrees of imported Oriental stallions of Emperors—that ran us into the ground.
Dad ended up lucky—not seeing the destruction of our ancestry. He died in style—rodeo rope around his neck. Up for ten days, high on homemade meth, making love to silk, fingers bleeding into collages of coagulated pinpricks.
My wife is messy: her highlighted hair in sinks, cockroach floors, cracked countertops stocked with boxes of Brillo Pads and panties in plastic bags with that new car smell. Needles all over the bathroom; track marks on her freshly-waxed underarms, mons pubis, and between pink painted toes. Her hairy ankles are purple. Often, find myself picking highlighted strands and scabs from my lips and face. My daughter is no better: her OXY Deep Cleaning Medicated Pads are scattered in perverse patterns—blackheads and grease all coagulated around blackened center. She started snorting OxyContin. She sleeps in her haunted bedroom with the gothic estrogen-eating mosquitoes.
They pile their panties into pyramids. They never use the same pair twice. Dad’s dreams dripped into the prototype Snatch Massager he died trying to perfect. When we went to search for him in the morning, we found the wires massaging his nostril hairs and incisors, sparks flying from his eyeballs, earlobes blackened, whiskers burnt to oblivion.
I started sniffing panties for no specific reason other than because they were there. Isn’t that the answer mountaineers chant before climbing: chasing that invisible visceral suffocating urge to summit the tallest peaks, and return to base camp alive? Dad had a Scott Fischer poster over his desk in the garage; it is still there. So is the Rob Hall shrine and a bunch of hirsute Sherpas in lower resolution photos. We burn more spices annually than Arabia’s hourly incense production.
Inhaling my family, turning their residual X-chromosome aromas into carbon dioxide and water vapor—what inspired me to increase sales—to send my daughter to private school and fly her mother with nine eleventh-graders to Cabo on a one-way chartered Beechcraft King Air 250—for a nineteen-day vacation—what built that fourth bedroom and secret bathroom bunker wing under the garage where the bathtub is filled to the brim with panties. The VOLCANO Vaporizer sits on the toilet seat while I piss into the sink stained with yellow phlegm coagulated with pubes blacker than death. Sometimes my urine has traces of blood. Inhaling years of familial experiences fossilized in crust; time travel is an unraveling bouquet.
My daughter’s first underage DUI, when we picked her up from the police station: purple panties—with traces of cocaine powder hidden in the perfected pocket of the next year’s Snatch Protector—bunched by seven sweaty palms of overweight Caucasian pigs. I needed to purchase sixteen new police uniforms and two squad cars as a philanthropic donation, after an eighteen-hour interrogation-room diarrhea negotiation in front of a fancy two-way mirror to get her off—to expunge it from it her record. My wife’s night on the town when she got in the accident: yellow panties: shredded from emergency room scissors. The secret bathroom reeks of delectable time travel. Transported to another decade, dreaming of the future: how will these creatures smell in another few decades—when their wrinkles are mature beyond the tri-monthly repair of IPL Photo Facials and VersaPulse laser sessions—when their ovaries ripen and rotting varicose veins glow with the resin of broken eggshells. One day their blackheads will be melting on an Arizona desert sidewalk?
Dad pried my favorite rocket ship tighty-whities from my waist. His fingers cold against my scrotum, nails almost frozen. Time stopped moving forward at that point. He reeked of Cuban cigars and Bombay Sapphire gin, and something else. His nose was running. Wiped it on my shoulder and groaned. He knew nothing about time travel. Nobody ever does.
I sit in the bathtub and pile panties over my head until the dizziness drifts me off to oblivion. Sometimes, the headaches and hangovers are worth it. Often worsened by the wear and tear, memories flicker with wings of caged birds behind orange eyelids—flutter with the inertia of fireflies falling from desert dusk to agave dirt. Nobody sees lightning bugs making love, or dying. Nobody knows how the magic carpet tastes. Only avocado trees and cumquat seeds see the totalitarian truth of Dad’s final Indian harvest. Those fruits stain my fingernails and sting the pinpricks. My stomach is numb from sizzurp and fresh limes greener than fluorescent lizards licking my toenails. There is a hole in the arid garden and the Jacuzzi has eighteen jets that never crash. I pierce my lobes with rusty threaded needles to get inspired. The salty bathwater is perfect for the daily sunset frozen margarita and the ocean rings in my ears, always.
Next time a lady picks out some fancy panties with a catchy slogan: some creep just like me wrote it. That is another story. Enjoy the aroma while it lasts. Ungodly inventions freshen the bank account ordained and drained by the most majestic flowers, yet to bloom, all the deepest truths are cushioned in cotton. All secretions must come to an end.
© Matthew Dexter
Matthew Dexter is an American author living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Like the nomadic Pericú natives before him, he survives on a hunter-gatherer subsistence diet of shrimp tacos, smoked marlin, cold beer, and warm sunshine. Thousands of abhorrent pieces sold for lobster tacos. He can be found here: matthewdexter.com.
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