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I used to live inside my brown shell, minding my own business, happy as a clam. Actually, that's not completely accurate, because most of the clams I know aren't happy. And as I said, I used to be happy. But none of us are happy anymore, because we are forced to end our lives when someone decides they want to eat us and then plunge us into boiling water in order to satisfy their hunger. I don't understand why they want me and my home. And why they think my then-red shell is so beautiful, when it signifies my demise.
When Bobo met Claire in a chat room, he used his usual screen name, Bobo4UGrrrl, which he thought was clever. Claire was the first grrrl to agree. (Neither frequented chat rooms much, though. It was just a phase!)
They arranged to meet in person. Claire wore her best big floppy shoes and red ball nose. She painted on a big smile, even though her own was broad enough. Soon she'd find, however, that she needed the painted-on smile. Because when Bobo entered the cafe, he wasn't the clown his name suggested. He was a meat loaf. And she, a vegetarian.
Yesterday I slid my bare foot into a pointy-toed shoe offering itself for sale on a shelf at Macy's (Herald Square). It was from Kenneth Cole Reaction. My reaction, Mr. Cole, was one of revulsion. Now, I know it's not your fault that the sight of my foot involved in such a trendy venue made me recoil in disgust and quickly slide my foot out hoping no one saw it in there in the first place, but on some level it is your fault that pointy-toed shoes exist. Even the shoe was embarrassed, marked down like that. Like a pariah!
A friend wrote a great post on her site about people begging for money on their BLOGS. Someone left this comment: "I agree completely. I cannot stand people jewing others for money. It's selfish and greedy. Anyone who can act like such a jew should be put in the oven, if you know what I mean. Cool site!"
I can't believe those words invaded my brain. My memory. If I saw that guy on the street, I'd fucking bash his head into the nearest brick wall and not stop until the pulp gushed into whatever was left of his mouth.
Famke Janssen. Oh, Famke Janssen. Today, Famke Janssen, I am obsessed with you. Today I took 21 photos of you when I saw you in person. I'm sorry if you thought I was deranged. I assure you I'm not. It's just that today, Famke Janssen, I was obsessed with you. Yes, now it's in the past tense. Because you see, Famke Janssen, it was only obsession when I was actually in the same room with you. It was only when I was so close to you and your legs. How do you get them to shine like that, Famke Janssen?
I feel sorry for bananas who ripen too quickly and spoil in people's kitchens in pretty bowls. I feel sorry for bananas who're promised, as they turn brown, "I'll use you for banana bread!" and then are never used for banana bread. I feel sorry for bananas separated from their bunch because someone wants only four and cannot handle the burden of the extra two. But then again, at least one of the four that person did buy will wind up brown anyway, so maybe the separated ones should be happy. Oh, bananas. You are so tasty yet so sad!
Physical pain fascinates me. I am tickled by the notion that pain, like pleasure, is a response to the stimulation of nerve endings. But why is it that pain is perceived as pain, and pleasure as pleasure?
Sometimes when I'm in pain, I try to trick myself into believing that my experience isn't painful but pleasurable instead. I don't say, "This is pleasure, not pain"; rather, I try to confer on the pain the attributes of pleasure. "This isn't a toothache," I'll think. "It's the deliciousness of a massage."
But pain is never fooled. It takes perverse pleasure in itself!
Well, well! Listen to you! I'm so impressed with how rebellious you are because you've just used the word FUCK. And COCKSUCKER? Wow. You really are cool! It's all so very impressive!
Or so you think I think. What I really think is that you sound like a total fucking jackass. These words don't come naturally to you. They get caught in your throat on the way up to your mouth, where they cower behind the papillae on your tongue and then stagger to the edge of your lips before plunging self-consciously into the space between us.
Why even bother?
The police and the dogs and detectives, and some reporters and amateur sleuths, and of course my own family. They're all out there – helicopters, boats, scuba equipment -- trying to find my body. They haven't seen it, and, thus, by extension, me, for over a week, so they've come to the conclusion that I'm dead (my brother guesses strangulation and decapitation; my sister, rape and bludgeoning) and now all they have to do is find me (my body) so there can be "closure". It's kind of fun, watching all the hysteria, from here behind the wall and beyond the tiny peephole.
It's not his fault. Not his fault. It's not his fucking fault, you piece of shit. You don't yell at a dog for going to the bathroom in the house when you know he's been "asking" to go out for a while and you've been denying him because it's not "time" yet. That's absolutely barbaric.
The next time you have to go, I'd like to see you denied the privilege of using a toilet. I'd like to tell you to wait until I think it's time for you to go. I'll decide when you're ready. See how you like it.
Most plans I make, I don't want to keep. Most calls I make, I don't want to make. In a rare fit of magnanimity, perhaps induced by caffeine ingestion, I ask you to meet me for dinner sometime next week. You agree. As the day approaches, my dread increases. Finally the evening is at hand, and I'm in full dread mode. The phone rings. Although I hate phones, and never answer, this time I do, and I'm glad. You cannot make it tonight. I pretend I'm disappointed. And, in a fit of magnanimity, make plans to see you next week.
When you stretch at the gym, ladies and gentlemen, please make sure that everything you do is ass-centric. Please make sure that when you position yourself, your ass is facing the steps that lead up the mats where you are situated so everyone can bask in its glow. Make sure that you face the wall and jut your ass out into the open even if it's not necessary. Make extra sure that your ass is on display in the tight cotton shorts that you selected because you like the way they display the sweaty evidence of your workout. Fucking assholes.
I hereby vow, on this 13th day of May 2003, that I will not waste any more time reading the BLOGS of people I detest. Or even people who don't thrill me. I will not just "check up" on these cretins from time to time to see what they're up to. These are people I would loathe in real life, so I hereby vow, from this moment forth, not to visit their BLOGS anymore. I wouldn't visit their homes, so why the fuck would I choose to visit them on the internet? Goodbye, detested ones! (No, I won't name names.)
No matter what she tries, Margie can't stop biting the skin on her fingers. And ever since she was fired and can barely afford to feed her three kids, it's gotten worse. Kate from AA suggested some nasty-tasting stuff that she used on her own kids, and her sister suggested she envision "poop" on her fingers, but still nothing really helps. So Margie, always resourceful (even her boss said so, just before he fired her!) decided to make the most of her habit. So now, Friday nights in the McDowd household are known as Finger Food Friday. Who needs pizza!
Hello, thirty-something lardass girl walking slowly on the treadmill and your flabby-abs treadmill cohort! Welcome back! It's been weeks since you were spotted here last! You do realize, don't you, that if you were to work your lumpy bodies as intensely as you do your tongues and jaws, you would be svelte in no time at all, and you wouldn't have to shoot dirty, jealous looks at the girl running her ass off, perhaps quite literally, on the treadmill to your left? She is "big-boned" like you, but toned where you are not. Shut up and work the fuck out.
When I am alone and I sneeze, I say, "Bless you". When I bump into the furniture, I say, "Excuse me." When I see a dead animal on the side of the street, I say, "I'm sorry."
When I finish a six-mile run a morning when I didn't think I was up to even half a mile, I say, "Good girl. I am proud of you." And literally pat myself on the back.
When I finish eating something delicious, I thank the food for being so good.
When I crawl into bed at night, I say, "Good night" to myself.
Although I'm not a fan of self-referential writing, I feel compelled to refer here, on 100 Words, to tomorrow's 100 Words entry, submitted on May 18 for that same date. (This entry is dated May 17, but it too was written on May 18. I was a day behind.)
As much as I don't like self-reference, I also don't like when writers point out errors in their work and then implore readers to ignore them.
So I, the writer, am setting aside my dislike, and telling you, the reader, that the word "sunk" in tomorrow's entry should be "sank".
All the girls in the league admired Peg's new bowling ball. Unlike her old one, which was plain black and dull, the new one was fancy – all pink with white swirls like marble and shinier than any bowling ball anyone had ever seen. It was her present to herself after Pete died. What Peg loved most about the ball, though, was what nobody else could see: that when her fingers sunk into the ball's three holes, they were blinding the eyes and silencing the mouth that belonged to Pete's head, oh so heavy underneath the shiny pink and white glaze.
I saw my first real live dead person this February. Years ago, I decided I would prefer my first dead person to be someone not too close, but someone with whom I had some connection and affection. So when "S", one of my boyfriend's sisters, whom I knew and liked although I'd only seen her a few times, died, I knew she would do nicely.
When I saw her lying in her coffin, I wanted her to appear as if sleeping, the way I'd heard dead people looked. It quickly became clear, however, that what I'd heard was not so.
Please do not
bad free verse
The way you set it up
and is certainly not
your free verse reads
like a scribbled to-do list
clutched in the fist of a suburban soccer mom
running errands on a random Wednesday afternoon
including a trip to the supermarket
where she will check from her list
toilet paper and
a pound of domestic ham sliced thin and
a loaf of white bread and
a gallon of milk and
(the kind with lots of fiber).
Tell me something. Honestly. Does the world really need your bad collage art? You and your "found objects" with scrawled "calligraphy" and bits of felt and dust and safety pins and used Q-tips and an errant button discovered in your vacuum cleaner cylinder from a shirt you gave away to the Salvation Army back in ‘96 (oh why didn't you save it, you wacky artiste ... you could have used the scrap fabric for your art!) and your tampons used and unused and your firstborn's fingernail clippings and table scraps from last night's impromptu potluckfest? Spare it. Spare me. Stop it.
A carefully made bed, with sheets stretched as tightly as they can reach and blankets tucked and pillows perfectly in step, not a wrinkle or rumple anywhere to be found? About as sexy as a tight-lipped, tight-assed librarian with her hair in a tight, unyielding bun and her Ship ‘n' Shore collar pressed flat against pale skin. But a bed that's just haphazardly thrown together, its sheets and blankets and comforter nestled within each other in a swirl of color and texture? Well, the librarian's let her hair down, and beneath the Ship ‘n' Shore is nothing but smoooooth sailing.
Even though I haven't eaten meat since 1979, I still like to smell it roasting. Invariably, people react like this: "But how can that BE!? You're a vegetarian!"
What's so hard to understand? I'm not a serial killer, but I can still fantasize about drawing and quartering lovely young ladies and then scrambling on my knees to gather their limbs, still pulsing on the ground, and placing them, along with their blonde heads (such pretty braids!), into a wicker basket with a carafe of wine, container of cold potato salad, and a crisp salad for a relaxing picnic lunch, right?
The guy who lives below me is hideous. I saw him for the first time about a month ago, in the vestibule getting his mail, and the first thing I thought was, "Oh man, that's one fucking ugly guy." His features were arranged poorly on the platter of his face, like a barely warmed-up leftover dinner of grayish meat loaf and instant mashed potatoes made runny by a spoonful of barely strained boiled peas. So now when I hear this inconsiderate dolt droning loudly at 3:00 a.m., I can picture the mishmash hideous face from which the voice spills. Lovely!
The sound of my own forced oh so fake laughter rips through my brain as soon as it falls from my lips and wiggles its way into the phone receiver, where it then snakes its way into the ear of the person on the other end of the line. These laughs don't shake themselves loose from deep within my stomach. They are in no way visceral. Rather, they are wrung from somewhere way too close to the surface of my conscience, somewhere entirely artificial. And I cannot wait for myself to shut the fuck up and hang up the phone.
She told me that when she stayed at his house while he was on vacation, she used his computer for something and saw in its history that he'd been viewing porn so disgusting that she couldn't even tell me about it. I feigned shock. Disgust. Gently pressed for details, but she wouldn't oblige. I wanted to know what this guy, an ex-"lover" of mine, was looking at on the internet, so I could kick myself in the ass for not exploring and indulging our options more fully and disgustingly when we had the opportunity. I want another chance. Now.
Speak up. Speak UP. Speak. The. Fuck. Up. I can't hear you, even though you're only 15 feet away and you're actually turned my way, directing your soft, mumbled words toward me. I literally cannot hear a word you're saying. What the hell is that, anyway? Did someone, somewhere, sometime, tell you that it was "wrong" to speak up and be heard? Do you think that what you have to say isn't worth saying? If so (to either), then get over it. Knock it off with the whispering, grab the bull by the horns, yourself by the balls, and TALK.
I hate tour buses and the people who ride them. I hate people who have to be shown and told things rather than show them to or figure them out for themselves. I hate people who wear shorts and sandals in May even when the temperature is only in the 50s and who eat when the clock tells them it's "time".
Can't people think for themselves? Why read movie or restaurant reviews before seeing the movie or going out to eat? Do they have to be swayed by "experts" before they decide what they think?
Do they think at all?
"So tell me," he says. "What do you like about COCK?"
With a straight face.
He expects a real answer.
I make one up.
I cannot help but laugh (aloud) (and guffaw internally) as I say, "I like that COCK is BIG and POWERFUL and so STRONG." I laugh as I say other things that I cannot even write because they're so ridiculous that even writing them embarrasses me.
He thinks I am serious.
He thinks it turns me on, this talk of "COCK". He thinks it excites me.
He is wrong.
Oh, how very cock-eyed it all is, really.
What I remember most about you (even more than your blue eyes and sun-lightened hair and the way both looked, oh so beautiful by cliched candlelight) is that you called my ass a PEACH. When you called my ass a peach, you said it with a straight face. You said it with a straight face but mine couldn't help but break into a smile. You thought my smile was one of appreciation. You were wrong. My smile was one of disbelief. Disbelief that you could say something so totally fucking asinine about this ass o' mine without even acknowledging it.
Oh no. He's wearing a fanny pack. A fanny pack. Fanny pack. Fanny. Pack. Fucking fanny pack pack pack. Fanny pack.
Before I notice the fanny pack, he says HELLO (he's happy to see me) and I say HEY (likewise). Then I see the fanny pack. It and he are bending down to sit with me on the museum steps, and I can't concentrate on anything he may be saying. All I can do is bow my head, and through the curtain of my hair, stare at the fanny pack, and wish I hadn't seen it in the first place.
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