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POST-ITS FRAMING CANDLES
BY SARAH STODOLA

The Post-It note would not stick. It would not do Rizzie the simple fucking favor of fulfilling its sole purpose in this world. Sheíd written the note half an hour before while getting ready to leave for her lesson, writing it, sticking to the outside of the door, and returning to her preparations. Now it was time to leave and the door was reopened and the thing was on the floor, upside-down, looking quite like trash and quite unlike an important note. The desk drawer contained some scotch tape, which would have to step in and do the Post-Itís job for it.

Call the fucking candle people.

She knew he hated it when she cursed. She took the note down and added to it:

For fuckís sake.

More tape from the desk drawer and a re-taping to the door. Then the door was slammed and locked from the outside and Rizzie tottered down the hallway and just knew that this would be a day that the elevator would take its time.

The Post-It stayed put. Itís very boring when itís just a Post-It. But this Post-it was posted to a door where Nolan was going to see it and Nolan hated it when Rizzie cursed. He hated even worse when she cursed at him, and worse still when she cursed at him in writing. The final blow: she cursed at him in writing where any passerby could see it.

So engrossed was he in the context of the cursing that the four words that were essential to the message failed to catch his attention. This is how a Post-It becomes interesting.

It was removed from the door and crumpled in the fist. Then the phone rang. In the scramble to answer it before it stopped ringing and then to find a piece of paper with which to take down a message (incidentally, the same pad of paper that the Post-It hailed from), and the freeing of the right hand to actually write down the message, the Post-It was dropped on the desk and forgotten.

Nolan put a bottle of wine in the fridge and sprawled on the sofa to watch a rerun. A group of black kids walked by the window, making him feel proud of his urban heterogeneity. He was also proud of the track lighting in the living room, and he stared at the ceiling and reveled in that pride as he waited for the commercials to end. Track lighting makes a house a home, or a home worth living in, he mused.

Nolan woke up and Seinfeld was over and there was a big fucking green bug on the ceiling, mocking the perfection of the track lighting. Did they have a flyswatter? He didnít know and thus the big fucking green bugís life was spared. Not just any bug, this one was a flying bug, and flew and buzzed and Nolan shrieked and lowered himself into the sofa and the bug finally landed on the Post-It. And then three things happened at once: he remembered the candle people, Rizzie opened the door, and the bug started making this terrific mating-call sound so she would look straight at it and notice the crumpled paper.

"Donít worry, the candle people called me, you lazy asshole."

And thus this Post-It became ripe for recycling.

*

The room didnít look like the room it had always been. The candles and the track lighting had more to do with this than one might think. Almost just like when a high school gym is transformed for the Prom, Lisa and Monaís big party had inspired a warehouse to look like a penthouse. 

Nolan was drunk and it showed when he asked Mona which of them was born first, and she told him Lisa was and he said, "What the fuck, thatís not following the old masterís precedent." Mona smiled at his joke only because heíd done such a job with the lighting. Nolan was thinking of the sex jokes that could be made concerning twins named Mona and Lisa.

The track lighting dimmed just like it was meant to and the crowd got quiet but not quiet enough and so the speaker at the microphone said Good Evening and then paused. Mona sat down and Lisa perched on her lap and Rizzie looked at Nolan who was looking at the twins, mesmerized.

The speaker launched into his bit about thanks to everyone for making tonight such an overwhelming success and the magazine is everything weíd hoped it might become. Behind him, a copy of the magazineís cover was blown up so that Mona and Lisaís photo was life-sized and one was reminded of those pictures of JFK Jr. launching George with a similar life-sized photo of Cyndy-Crawford-as-George-Washington behind him.

Only it didnít seem that the concept of this magazine was political, so much as, well, apolitical. Or anything but political. Its motto was Making a Match Between High and Low Culture. In the cover photo, one twin represented each brow (high and low, that is). The man on the stage thanked the brilliant creative team.

The party bags contained, among many much more desirable gifts, pads of Post-It notes bearing as background art reproductions of the cover photo of the magazine. The bags also contained miniature versions of the custom candles, designed by Rizzie, of RizRaz Party Planners, especially for this occasion. The candles at the party were six feet tall. The minis were just four inches. Sheíd hired her husband the lighting designer to create a mood for the party and he had demanded six-foot candles, each featuring a twin that would melt. A twin on fire. Mona Lisa burning. Ugh, roll your eyes - they deserve it. 

Since Nolan was drunk, Rizzieís motivation to resist that fourth glass of champagne disintegrated. She would kiss a twin before the night was over, just to do something Nolan couldnít.

*

The track lighting was still on at 8 a.m. because no one had found a sober moment in which to think of switching it off. The mixture of track light and sunlight disquieted Rizzie, who normally coveted order and plus was married to a lighting designer so knew that the mixture here indicated chaos.

Nolan would sleep in today. But she had hours to keep. The usual morning things were done; coffee, toast, bathrobe, vitamin-C pill. And the paper. Ah, the paper (i.e. the guilty pleasure)Ö

And if I were a writer like Ms. Bradshaw I might now say, And there it was, the site that no New York woman ever wants to see - a husband flanked by the Mona Lisa on Page Six. But this isnít television and it isnít a weekly and it certainly isnít a weekly in a television show, so instead Iíll say that the next morning, while Nolan slept and after the paper was perused, Rizzie went about her day, but not before getting that Post-It pad bearing the twinsí likeness and writing a note directly over their chests.

Fuck you. And pick up the leftover candles.

She kissed him on his forehead and was careful not to wake him, not really minding anything heíd done the night before including posing for that photo, but putting on a faux-angry face anyway because such a stance was necessary in this particular relationship. Then she left, sticking the Post-It on the outside of the door where passersby would notice, keeping the cycle alive.

Ms. Stodola does this.

[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/stodolapost.html

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