by Kara Carlson
I au pair for
five children in New Zealand. Yesterday the two-year-old
torpedoed tears, bull-charged down the hallway,
and collided with my shin. I folded him in my
arms and stood. His forearms blanketed my
shoulders. My left fingertips smoothed the back
of his neck. I murmured, asking why he was crying.
He vomited in my hair.
later, I started my period. The parents, five
kids, and I were on a two-week-long vacation on
the South Island in a midget-sized beach town
called Karitane. Population four hundred and
females track their periods. I never know. Each
month it's a shock and surprise. Like my
deteriorating driving record. After stripping my
bags and raping my purse, I located two tampons.
The solitary town store closed at five-thirty,
and it was six.
I inserted one
tampon and stationed the other on my bed. By
midnight, the tampon had absconded. I
reconnaissanced the surrounding area for the
woman plug. It wasn't on or in my bed, shelves,
bags, or bathroom. I queried my brain on if I had
fabricated the existence of the second one. I
audited the living room, sitting room, and ping-pong
room. I stalked the hallway, yard, and two
bedrooms. I interrogated my mental capability. I
thought I had a second one.
An hour later,
I detected it. The kids had used the still-wrapped
unused tampon as a boat. It was accompanied by
plastic warships in the kitchen sink.