The Piracy of Your Own Home

Ben Ohmart

"'Nother piece of stuffing then?" I asked.

Her laced sleeve was sopping up the gravy, but I didn't say anything. We had plenty. "Are there any more turkey legs?"

"You had 2."

"Are there any more?"

"Lemme see..." I looked, looked under some wings, but all I could offer was some red congealing liquid that I only hoped was of the cranberry.

Her mother began to smell in the corner. It was just the three of us, and I always had to sit between the round wooden table and the kitchen's window of the trailer because I was the youngest, and could always manage to squeeze out semi-easily after a feast. I didn't mind, and I was always close to the refrigerator door so that I could pop it open and raid the door for more drinks if our Naz (a grape drink fortified with 10 parts alcoholic medicine) cans felt lighter.

A knock. My wife got up to answer it, and I put some more jellybean casserole on mom's plate so it would keep her chewing, and then her mouth would be closed at least Half the time, and sugar is a great deodorant if used in the right place.

A man's low voice rumbled, then Uma came in, engrossed in a paper which I could tell from filtered sunlight was far too short to be taking this much time. There were men coming in, in big brown-encrusted boots, beginning to hollow out our home savagely. Quick as prune juice they had the good couch out, followed by the ratty couch, followed by the couch we don't even talk about from the sewing room, and a few underlings were taking orders from the low voice about unplugging things.


Uma handed me a work order, and I tried to gulp down a little Stove Top while I read. But I must admit the guy with the wide white eyes staring down at us, obviously waiting, a Polite way to do it in his village I guessed, for us to be through with the table, didn't help my feeding. As he was sort of in charge of doing the kitchen - a lot of things were iffy, but I can read between the pages - he began collecting up all the little framed needlepoints, and yarn paintings, and putting them in a little stack, which he put all on a wooden tray my wife's mom hadn't used for years.

The feet pounded as the bed came out of the far and end room, mattress turned sideways, still with the General Hospital bedthings on it flopping unevenly, but I stood up to catch the main guy.

"What is this? I didn't sign anything! Who are you?"

"You're going to have to move."

"Not till you tell me something! What? Nothing's owing. I don't drink, passing out on a bet or something -"

"You're going to have to move," he repeated.

"I am Not moving, I'll bet you a five I'm not moving!"

"You're going to have to move sometime."

I stared at him. He never blinked. God how I hated that. I had to concede he was right, steadying on a faulty footing. I had to say he was right and gave him the five. The troops came in with brown banana boxes and began putting everything we owned between sheets of bubble paper. Mom had fun pretending to help, then snapping away, but I was outraged, and tried to read the paper in my hand more thoroughly. I couldn't tell what the signature was, too scribbled. And the rest was just a moving company's form, with a typed invoice about moving "everything out".

It gave the address to where it was all going.

But by the time my eyes got off the paper, they were all gone, and every thing we'd ever worked for, money not included, out with them.

I told Uma to stay with mother, and I hopped in my car which they'd stil l left for some reason. I didn't care about catching them, but I was going to se e this "other" that was getting our goods.

I drove into a swimming pool because I couldn't see the parking lot at night. The man with the funny walk came out in a beaten brown bathrobe and helped me up the stairs of the shallow end.

Considering I just lost everything else, bank account still not in there, he was quite cordial and offered me a restorative drinky within.

I followed, and pushing the glass door shut, turned around to find my ho me, in another man's home. He offered me a seat, and I took the ratty couch. He was using the good one for tv fodder. That was quick. Those moving men were professionals, you had to give them that, and everything else.

I looked around, and around. He explained everything, and I nodded.