Dream Girl 

    Georgia wants to be Cookie Mueller. John Waters has a blurb on the back of her newest book. He says, G-d, I miss that girl. Georgia can’t stop saying that: G-d, I miss that girl. “Wouldn’t you want to be a girl named Cookie? What on earth could you not do with a name like Cookie?” I have to close my mouth. I have to lick the corners of my lips to mop up toothpaste grout. This was all a while ago. I have been wandering around the city all day, most days, crying, and on one of them I run into Georgia. I am so overjoyed. Georgia doesn’t care about the cat hair all over. Georgia is “loving the hat.” Georgia wants to go to a park sometime. Georgia is sick of her long hair; she just found out about this really good sandwich place. Georgia is creative as well. Georgia gives me a big hug when she sees me and she doesn’t even ask what I’ve been crying about. Georgia competitively folds fitted sheets. Georgia loves my wrinkled turtle neck, Georgia loves dunes and waves in paper and fabric. Georgia wants to see me bent over. Georgia won’t stand for a straight line. She runs a wooden spoon down your spine; you’re like one of those teensy carved frogs. Georgia says, “You can be an artist without ruining your life.” Georgia hates Hopper because when he paints a theater, none of the seats are filled. “Now that’s just lazy,” she says. “And on top of that it’s sad.” She thinks the prints he did as anti-union campaigns at the beginning of his career are just gorgeous– “well, what can you do?” Georgia doesn’t like my jokes about jumping off bridges. Georgia loves my kitten. Georgia wakes up early. Georgia likes alone time. Georgia runs into me one afternoon after many afternoons without her, one among many that I am crying–she must know. She would never let on. I am overjoyed. I have nowhere to go but she says that’s where she’s going too. On the train she doesn’t comment on any of the corny advertisements because she knows that she’s not smarter than anyone, that everyone hates them just the same. But she is, you know, smarter than everyone. You love Georgia. It’s completely unbearable. Georgia says “you keep switching perspectives.” Georgia sees it every variable way. Georgia might love me but I couldn’t handle it. That’s why you sent her away, or else it was me that did that. On the train the conductor gets on the crinkled loudspeaker and rushes through a litany of upcoming repairs, unintelligibly. A few of us snicker. “What was that?” someone mutters. “That,” says Georgia, “was an accent.” We all feel terrible now. She’s got a great speaking voice. She should be in movies; she looks perfect with a cigarette, or chewing on a hankie. I am so overjoyed and then she is gone.
G-d, I miss that girl.

Giovanna Zavala is an artist and they live in New York City