Please respect : copyright 2012
THE MONOLOGUE OF ‘YELLOW’:
A MAN AND HIS BEE
For a creature so small, he tugs hard. Look at my finger: the string is wrapped around it so tight—the tip of my index is bluing! All because of my Bee. Look at him fly! Look at him rocketing up to the crater-dug moon!
Now, wait a second. Wait just a second! There is absolutely no need for condescending looks… Do you mean to tell me—No! It can’t be… Do you mean to tell me that you’ve never seen a Bee on a leash?
Let me introduce you to Man’s Greatest Invention. Here’s what you gotta do: put a Bee in your freezer until your conscience tells you otherwise. When you take that Bee of yours out of the freezer, it will still be shivering. When a Bee shivers, it can’t fly—that’s just common sense. So you go ahead and tie a string around it. Easy: Bee on a leash! Just look at him soar!
Hey, come on now, I said look at him! Look at me too, don’t turn away like that. Look at me! What do you have that me and my Bee here don’t? Look at me! Look at my leather skin, tough enough to break a nail gun. Look at me! Me and my spindle hair and knotted barb—it’s OK to look. Lean closer and look! You don’t want to? At least, feel my beard! Yank it; I promise it’s real. Lean closer, take a look for yourself! You’re afraid I have bad breath? Well, I don’t. It smells like whiskey and wine. And that smell, my friend, is irreplaceable. One of a kind! It’s one of those smells that smacks you off your feet, and within a couple minutes, it flat-lines and you barely even smell a hint. How do you like that? So, lean on closer. Look at me! It’s OK!
…You know, you remind me and my Bee of The Daughter. She’s a good girl, my daughter. You both have that confident look about you. Your chin never seems to drop. And, your arms are always covered by those long fleece gloves, crossed tight about your waste—you girls look like you have wooly bowties glued to your stomachs. Nothing fazes you girls, neither. And, when you walk into a crowd? Everyone notices. Because you bring a presence with you—the kind of presence that turns everybody watching purple because they forgot they’d been holding their breath. But, you girls? You never really look at anyone—you just look beyond all those faces… beyond at the cityscape. Beyond at the crater-dug moon.
What are you looking at when you overlook all those faces? At the full, green posts of the florescent streetlamps? No? Then maybe you’re looking at the entryways of hotels? Those extended red carpets they have always feel like fake grass below the toe. No? Maybe you’re looking at peoples’ grocery carts moving by you, filled with burnt orange yams, still-bleeding steak, and the hard celery that leaves its strings wedged nicely in your teeth? Another ‘No’…Fine, you girls look so far up, maybe you’re staring at the washers who sponge down the thick, Plexiglas of ‘scraper windows.
Did you know that my old man was a window washer? He was up on those ‘scrapers all the time. He was afraid of heights, my old man, always shouting below to me, “Damn it Yellow, you better be holding that ladder like it’s a part of your frickin’ arm. You better not let it wobble one inch. Or else I’ll—.” He called me Yellow. I think it was his favorite color. And my old man didn’t have enough time to dabble with things that weren’t his very favorite things. So, all the time he had was soaked up by those favorite things—but I can tell you, washing windows was not one of them. Imagine being so far up, the people below look like small, shriveled peas and imagine you’re afraid of heights… Guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
I don’t think he ever really knew my real name… all he knew was: Yellow, don’t let my ladder slip! My old man was the worker who stirred up a week’s worth of ruckus back in ’89. He was the man who fell from the tiptop of the giant… what was it called… the towering giant, triangular-like, and dotted with windows like pines on a snowy hill… so many windows… and when it rained, the water fell down its surface like oil… what was that giant… I used to stand in its shadow and let it devour me. Such a giant… Ah, now I remember. The tip of my tongue always comes through: Transamerica Pyramid! That’s what it’s called. He fell from the tip. Just like that.
I’m sure you read about it. I still have the Chronicle clipping. Let me find it. No, no, don’t move away. Give me a second! I’m telling you, it’s worth it—the journalist who wrote it really has a knack for words. But, hold my Bee. Oh, come on now, don’t look at me that way! Just hold it! It won’t take more than a minute. Come on, give me your hand! Hold the string, just so—exactly. Oh those eyes of yours! You don’t even have to talk, they do all the talking for you—and they’re damn chatty. Just like The Daughter, always with the washing machine eyes.
Hold on. The article is in my pocket here. I always keep it in my breast pocket because it’s the warmest, and if you put your hand atop it? You can feel my heart thump thump pound pound. Owieee! I knew I’d left that beer bottle cap in here. Look at that crimson cherry syrup, it cut me! Owieeeee! No, no, don’t help me! Keep holding my Bee! Man, those caps are sharp! Wooowieee! But, I do love my beer—Mississippi Mud, molasses on the tongue, and—Ah! Here it is: San Francisco Chronicle’s 1989, “Window Washer Defenestrated!” Those newspapers always seem to take all the sad and twist it into pure clever. Here, take the article, read it! Take it before I dye it red. Come on now, I don’t want to ruin it! There you go. You can have it. I don’t want it anyway. Wait, give me my Bee back, now. … Please. My momma always told me to say please and thank you, and I still forget it to this day. And, look at me! Wiry grey hair that could scare a pigeon away. Well, I’ll remember now: my Bee and I thank you.
Well, this is my stop: Rockridge. Are you getting off too? No, no, it’s fine! Keep the article. I said I don’t want it. This is Rockridge right? I can hardly hear the BART announcements anymore. The announcer used to have a burley man’s voice; he roared—lion in a cage! But, this new voice? Sounds like the falling of a pin: no sound at all really. It’s a lady now too! These damn women need to speak up. These women should use their pipes! Dear Lord, I know they got ‘em.
Alright, alright, come on Bee, this is our stop. Say goodbye to our friend here. That’s right, just like that—go on waving your wings goodbye. Hey friend, before we go—you got any spare change for my Bee and me? Even a quarter would be just fine… Mmmm, my friend let me tell you, it’s the birds and the Bees, and it will always be the birds and the Bees.
The Woman Behind Unleashed and the Words
I am a Practice of Art Major and Creative Writing Minor at UC Berkeley. My passions are writing and the arts in general. I created Unleashed for the empowerment and enlightenment of women everywhere. I am the editor, designer and contributing writer. I truly hope this magazine speaks to each and every woman. Sasha Martin