Fiction by Monica Raymond & Art by Milojka Beutz

Art by Milojka Beutz
Art by Milojka Beutz

Art by Milojka Beutz

Courtesy of Förderkreis Milojka Beutz, Malerin e.V.

LION IN THE LIVING ROOM

by Monica Raymond

Today, again. No way to predict, not world events, not the weather. No emerging, just emerged as if out of nowhere, with its appraising eye, feral stink, mild lady roar, more of a grr, really, stalking.

I could be doing homework, clipping coupons, playing solitaire. It’s not like old St. Nick who brings you a lump of coal if you’ve been a bad pop tart. I could be doing anything.

I run, claw the moldings, try to climb curtains, one time even grabbed the chandelier. I’m light, so nothing’s come tumbling down on me, not yet.

I yell, but my brother’s in the next room, spying on the neighbors. Dad’s at the lab. Mother’s upstairs, doing the Marie Kondo thing for the umpteenth time, garments unfurled on the bed. “Does this spark joy?” Always throwing out but somehow always more to deplete—how’s that?

One time it gashed my leg. One time just a grasp of its paw shredded my slipper. It’s getting tiresome making up excuses, caught in the brambles, bullying, blah, blah, blah. I’m running out of inventions.

But no way I’ll tell the truth and get knocked into catatonia, clothespin Klonepin, she’s just doing it for the attention, a swat of white coat oblivious to what’s really going on.

If someone from outside came in and took a picture, in less than a minute, they would see.

So far, in the meantime, I triumph.

Which is to say, I escape.

Art by Milojka Beutz
Art by Milojka Beutz
Art by Milojka Beutz
Art by Milojka Beutz

Art by Milojka Beutz

Courtesy of Förderkreis Milojka Beutz, Malerin e.V.

Monica Raymond writes poems, plays, librettos, lyrics and sometimes prose from an old house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A MacDowell Colony Fellow, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow, Swan Fellow (Vermont Studio Center), and Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, Raymond has taught writing and interdisciplinary arts at Harvard, CUNY, and the Boston Museum School.
Milojka Beutz was born in Toplovo/Slovenia in 1949, and died in Cologne in 2012. Her paintings aim to reveal beauty, sensuality, vulnerability, and pain through abstract expressionism. Milojka’s work is being presented by the “Förderkreis Milojka Beutz, Malerin e.V.”, a non-profit organisation with the aim of preserving, properly recording and organising the extensive and unfinished oeuvre left behind by the artist. http://www.foerderkreis-milojka-beutz.de/die-kuenstlerin/