Zuzu asks why


Anne flew up like a rocket. She smacked Morgan on the head and then threw herself down on the sofa, where she cried and wiggled and writhed until she fell asleep mid sob.

When she woke in the morning, she asked herself a few stern questions. Here are some examples of the questions she asked:

                “Why would anyone make fun of another person’s hair?”

                “How can one stay sad in such an interesting world?”

                “Where is a bus stop from here?”

                “What is that woman’s name?”

She let a few minutes pass before she answered herself. Here are her answers:

                “Because of terrible personal insecurity.”

                “Sadness is one of the interesting things about the world, although not perhaps every day.”

                “The bus stop is directly out the front door and two houses down.”

                And “Her name is Morgan.”

Anne got up off the sofa, brushed her bright red hair with her pale chapped hands, washed her face in cold water, and left. She caught the 42 bus two houses down and got home by 7 a.m., only 14 minutes after leaving Morgan’s apartment.  She called her mother’s nursing home, giving her real name this time. She assumed that Morgan’s name was Morgan, but it did occur to her some time later that this was perhaps naïve on her part.

                “Why does anyone use a false name?” Zuzu asked herself as she sat on hold, waiting for the morning nurse to transfer her call down the hall to the room where her mother sat up, singing songs to the stuffed animals and dusty silk plants. As she waited, she imagined her mother in her lavendar polyester day robe, cooing and patting her hands together, singing her motherly song.

                “Because all things great are wound up with all things little?” she answered herself, with a question mark. She sat on hold for another 2 minutes and then hung up. She changed into her rhinestone sneakers and her green paisley slicker and went out again. Shopping. With her friend Lilly. They looked at vintage dresses and lampshades and chunky plastic beads from that era when nothing could be bought from China for love or money. Standing at the sale rack on the sidewalk, she clasped her hands and looked at the dresses. All in tiny sizes with waists like Lilly’s thighs. She looked at Lilly and turned pale with pity.

                “Anne?” said Lilly, pulling out a yellow nylon cardigan with curlicue embroidery in a brightly constrasting grass green.  Zuzu did not respond.

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