Avocado Red

I can’t eat avocado. I also can’t eat cantaloupe or too many bananas.

Regardless, I still sneak a chip full of guacamole on occasion, and have been known to eat a whole banana when the mood strikes me. It’s not that it makes me violently ill. I don’t spend hours in the bogs after ingesting these foods. When I eat them, I develop a severe stabbing pain in my stomach that lasts about fifteen to thirty minutes. No vomiting, no diarrhea. Just intense physical pain. Sometimes its worth it. The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.

I don’t write women well. That’s me criticizing myself, not the opinion of others. Occasionally, I make the effort and embark on a strange and twisted journey to both understand and portray the opposite sex effectively, but typically I fail – I think. For some reason, my females tend to kick too much ass, or curse too much, or are murderers, psychos, and victims.

-le shrug et le sigh-

I wrote this in intense pain, and while attempting to break my losing streak of female mains.

-le fail-

I could have been good. If I were, I’d probably be sitting here tingling with anticipation at the thought of doing something good, instead of the opposite.

I could have been a confident woman, a raging hurricane of self-awareness ripping deeply rooted conceptions from the wet earth.

I could have been a good wife. Happy and not jealous. Satisfied and not easily tempted.

Mars is desolate. Almost a century into colonization, we are no nearer taming this planet than we were when a couple of robots were all that moved along the surface here. The emotional landscape of our team is as bleak – we watch the occasional dust devil of turmoil roll past, our hearts protected in our own symbolic individual habitats.

“Dr. James,” a voice says behind me. It’s not the voice of one of my husband, so I don’t care to listen to it.

I wave it away.

From the safety of our habitat, I see a dust devil in the distance, just past the level ground of our makeshift courtyard, writhing across the dunes. That’s our drama for you – in the distance, away.

I tap the knife in a quick cadence on the thick plastic of the window, then repeat it.

“I hope you’re not planning on stabbing some one, Sue,” says that same voice, not leaving me alone.

“Stick around and find out,” I whisper.

The man behind me coughs and leaves. I am glad he has departed, but his cough gives me a giggle.

In the courtyard, one of the technicians stumbles across the red dirt, then collapses, causing a could of dust to rise around his bulky environmental suit. I can imagine him coughing, too.

I bite my lip, imagining being alone in this place with my man. Alone.

The rover trundles by, my husband slumped at its wheel. Colliding with the fuel tanks, it vanishes in a fireball. Metal collides with the habitat, but doesn’t breach it.

After a few moments, I see a few more colonists arrive to see what the trouble is. They stare, they stagger, they collapse, they die.

I never knew I had such a talent with poisons. All over the territory of MC3, people will be collapsing dead. All but my lover.

Calmly, I rip the velcro tag that reads “MC3 – Cook” off of my suit.

I am so happy my lover cannot eat avocado.

Everyone here loves avocado.

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