Authors: Maggie Robbins
Tags: #Love & Romance, #Temporary Employment, #Bildungsromans, #New York (N.Y.), #Poetry, #Fiction, #Family & Relationships, #American, #Dating (Social Customs), #Young Women, #General, #City and Town Life
A Tin House/Bloomsbury Book
Copyright © 2005 by Maggie Robbins
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information address Bloomsbury Publishing, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, New York and London
Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers
All papers used by Bloomsbury Publihsing are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in well-managed forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.
First U.S. Edition 2005
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Printed in the United States of America by
Quebecor World Fairfield
We live for those who love us
—from a verse carved on the bells of
the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Solace,
Suzy in Queens
SUZY ZEUS SETS SOME LIMITS
Suzy Zeus likes guys with handguns.
Suzy Zeus likes beer in kegs.
Suzy Zeus likes breaking windows.
Suzy Zeus likes breaking eggs.
Suzy's got a boyfriend, Harry.
Touch him and she'll break your legs.
Suzy likes her sister's undies.
Suzy likes her brother Keith.
Suzy likes her father's buck knife.
Suzy likes its leather sheath.
Suzy likes her boyfriend Harry.
Touch him and she'll break your teeth.
Suzy hails from Indiana,
land of crops, of Fords and farms.
Suzy lives in New York City,
land of cops and car alarms.
Suzy lives six blocks from Harry.
Touch him and she'll break your arms.
Suzy's got a kick-ass system.
Suzy is what Suzy owns.
Elton John and Cyndi Lauper,
Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones
(Harry grooves to Waylon Jennings—
touch him and she'll break your bones),
Carly Simon, Sheena Easton,
Wham!, the Roches, Yes,
Billy Joel, Duran Duran, and
Harry's humming "My Sharona."
Touch him and she'll break your nose.
Suzy's got a bag of bridge mix.
Suzy's got some frozen peas.
Suzy's got a front-door dead bolt.
Harry's got a set of keys.
Harry's got a way with women.
Touch him and she'll break your knees.
Suzy stands before the mirror:
sultry, soulful, calm, complete.
Suzy loves her shapely shoulders,
likes her nose, adores her feet.
Wants a pair of mules in puce, a
pair of pumps in parakeet.
Harry asks her what she's up to.
Asks her almost every night.
Harry likes to see her naked,
see her naked in the light.
Harry never takes her dancing.
Harry says her hair's a fright.
Suzy Zeus is drinking whiskey.
Suzy Zeus is making eyes.
Suzy Zeus is making trouble
at the bar, with other guys.
Harry finds her, rips her dress off,
leaves it bunched around her thighs.
Suzy's got a can of bean dip.
Suzy's got a can of mace.
Suzy's got a Good News Bible.
Suzy's got a real nice place.
Harry's pissing out the window.
Touch him and she'll break your face.
SUZY CLEANS UP
Suzy tried to fix her vacuum,
found a bag for empty cans,
drained the sink and rinsed the dishes,
wiped the pot and both the pans.
That was it for pressing details.
That was it for weekend plans.
thinking it was Jacques Cousteau.
Now she's lying on the sofa
—feeling quite adagio—
flipping through a
Car & Driver,
slurping down a sloppy joe.
Louie's Lonesome Diner beckons
Suzy's taking Lisa's shift.
Lisa's getting married Sunday.
Suzy needs a card and gift.
Yeah, the mini—Suzy's getting
off at two, she'll want a lift.
Harry's nuts for almond cookies.
Suzy buys him chocolate chip.
Harry has to work on weekends.
Suzy phones the dealership.
Harry's always with a client.
Harry says they'll take a trip.
Suzy wants her own small business.
Suzy wants her own backyard.
Suzy wants her own Jacuzzi.
Suzy needs a gift and card.
She'll become the Lonesome's owner,
queen of Northern Boulevard.
Lisa's theme is Hearts and Cupid.
Lisa's dress is long and nice.
Suzy thinks the whole thing's stupid.
Suzy said she'd bring the rice.
Suzy wouldn't marry Harry.
Maybe if he asked her twice.
SUZY TAKES THE WHEEL
Suzy loves her manly boyfriend,
loves him in the here and now.
Suzy loves his manly features.
Suzy loves his manly brow.
Suzy wants to love forever.
Touch her, tease her, tell her how.
Suzy wants to oil her body,
loose her hair and lose her head.
Harry hasn't phoned since Tuesday.
Could be missing, could be dead.
Suzy wants to love forever.
Touch her, tie her to the bed.
Suzy's going to have it easy.
Suzy's going to have it all.
Suzy's feeling bold and breezy.
Suzy isn't going to call.
Suzy wants to love forever.
Touch her, take her down the hall.
Suzy's in her favorite sweater.
Suzy's in her favorite dive.
Men keep buying Suzy bourbon.
Men keep Suzy Zeus alive.
Suzy wants to live forever.
Touch her, try her, let her drive.
SUZY TAKES A TRIP
Suzy Zeus went home for Christmas.
Suzy took a Trailways bus.
Locked herself inside the toilet.
Thought about her brother Gus.
Suzy sat there half an hour.
Driver didn't make a fuss.
Suzy's mom strung up the lightbulbs.
Suzy's mom put out the crèche.
Keith put Joseph humping Mary.
Suzy's mom said Keith was fresh.
Suzy's mom wants Christmas spirit.
Suzy's dad just wants some flesh.
Suzy's mom is always humming.
Suzy's dad is always right.
Suzy's mom is hard of hearing.
Suzy's dad stayed out all night.
Suzy's mom said not to worry.
Suzy's mom said not to fight.
Suzy Zeus threw up all morning,
lay in bed with Ed, the dog,
flipping through the late-November
Neiman Marcus catalog.
Liked the mango pedal pushers.
Liked the big ceramic frog.
Sally loves the sing-along they
have at church on Christmas Eve.
Suzy sat with Keith beside her,
Sally with her husband, Steve.
Gus will sit where Gus is put—just
get him when it's time to leave.
Suzy brought her mom a hot pad.
Suzy bought her dad some booze.
Gave her sister body lotion.
Keith she gave a rack of cues.
Keith gave her an ankle bracelet.
Suzy didn't ask him whose.
SUZY TAKES HER TIME
Suzy lost her plastic change purse.
Suzy lost at Truth or Dare.
Suzy lost her job at Louie's.
Suzy doesn't really care.
Suzy wants to buy an ear cuff.
Suzy wants to bleach her hair.
Louie's Lone was not a picnic.
Louie's laugh was very crude.
Suzy never liked the people.
Suzy never liked the food.
Suzy wants to waitress mornings.
Suzy wants to get tattooed.
Louie never fixed the heating.
Suzy never liked the cook.
Never liked the vinyl seating,
never liked the Wild West look.
Had to watch policemen eating.
Had no time to read a book.
Harry says she needs the money.
Harry—he can go to hell.
Suzy tells him she can dig up
rings and things that she can sell.
Suzy's doing what she wants to.
Doing nicely! Doing well.
Harry's making vodka Jell-O.
Suzy's got a jug of wine.
Harry says she'll need the money.
Harry wants to 69
Suzy'd rather rent a thriller.
Suzy Zeus is doing fine.
Suzy's breath is deep and hot. Her
eyes are slits, her pupils specks.
Suzy's shredding all his tapes, his
shirts, the sheets where they had sex.
Harry, "just to save some cash," is
"etching" with his high school ex.
Suzy Zeus told Harry never.
Suzy Zeus told Harry no.
Watched him phone to book a Honda,
watched him pack, and watched him go.
Suzy's full of ways she can
surprise this highway Romeo.
Harry said, a place to sleep in,
Harry said, to break the trip.
Harry said to stop her griping.
Harry said to get a grip.
Suzy makes it very messy
when her boyfriends double dip.
SUZY MOVES ON
Suzy Zeus is catching fire.
Suzy Zeus is catching rays.
Suzy Nairs her legs and armpits.
Suzy fasts and Suzy prays.
Suzy wants a better boyfriend—
one who's smarter, one who stays.
One who listens, one who loves her,
one who needs her, one who knocks.
Not like Harry, banging in and
tripping on his dirty socks.
By the time he says he's sorry,
Suzy will have changed the locks.
Suzy's taking off her panties.
Suzy's taking off some weight.
Suzy's putting on mascara.
Suzy's going on a date.
Suzy knows the girl for Harry
is a girl he can inflate.
Suzy's happy! Suzy's swell! She's
wise and pretty! Strong and free!
Ready for the taste and smell of
skin that sings and hands that see.
Suzy wakes at five. Or four. It
gives her extra energy.
Harry wasn't much to lose—a
skunk, a drunk, a blank, a bore.
Suzy Zeus has gotten over
tons of guys like him before!
Suzy shows them what she's made of.
Suzy shows them all the door.
Suzy's been with lots of people.
Suzy's had a lot of flings.
Only Harry called her "girlfriend,"
cared enough to clip her wings.
Suzy doesn't think about it.
When she does, it kind of stings.
Suzy thinks of Bobby, Brandon,
Chuckie, Stuckey, Burns, and Brad.
Purlis, Joey, Jetson, Killer,
Craig and Sil—Sudan and Chad.
Harry's free to play the field, girls.
Touch him. It's the latest fad.