Ken and Barbie After the Divorce
by J.D. Hibbitts
It begins with a hatred of pink plastic. Ken, alone. Washing the lump that should be his penis with soap that won’t lather. He wonders if it is because he doesn’t have pores or if the tub water is as imaginary as his life. Long ago, he quit looking at himself in the mirror. When he flexes, nothing swells. Through the glassless windowpane he watches the highway of pink convertibles converge. At this distance, he can’t tell which one is the Barbie he married.
Enter sudden change. Rain falls through their halved house, puddles on the carpet foundation.
In the kitchen, Barbie marvels her tan in brass hinges—the only metal thing of her estate. She is bruised from whizzing around in a convertible without seat cushions. Malling with Disco her and Beach Time her is without joy. Velcro and Cotton. Everything fits. The storm fills her with a gradual thirst. Betty Ford Barbie’s number is unlisted. She tries the pink vodka but the cap won’t twist. In an uncharacteristic action, she sits on the opened side of her house and dips her toes into the soggy rug. The water is now at her ankles and rising. On the other half of her house, Barbie watches Ken move her pink bathtub closer to the downpour. Furniture begins to float off around her. With one stiff throw, she launches her plastic bottle into the waves. She wishes for a hollow space inside it to send someone—anyone other than herself—a message.