The machine has grown a fat chrysalis of gray matter in the heart of its engine. Pulling out of the empty plaza, the entire frame violently shakes as it speeds into its own oblivion, oblivious to all but the gradual ticking of its driver’s biological clock. The human core is reduced to a red miasmic jelly slathered over the upholstery, gluing the accelerator to the floor. Absorbed into the gas tank, the machine erupts in a flickering red light as it disappears over the horizon.
I see it as I sit outside the pizza place across the busy street from the funeral home. Sickle Cell, with her very shapely breasts, broods over the edge of the sidewalk. Her grandfather’s body passed through there several years ago. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it affected her in so many little ways, she’s hardly the same person anymore.
But that wasn’t it at all, there’s still so much more.
Sitting beside her my eyes are transfixed on the jelly pooling in the cauterized cavern of her bosom. I ask myself ‘Was it like that yesterday?’ Couldn’t have been. No, not at all. It’s clear to me now that her bodily makeup has conformed to the perfect environmental conditions to support a notitia vermis colony. I get that little anxious dagger sensation in my guts. At least that’s nothing new.
“So, Sickles, what’s it like having such massive tits?” I ask.
“Ugh,” she replies, sighing, “Mother locked me in a dark room after she caught me making out with that kid from down the block.”
It’s a shame really, all the love I have for her and she’s letting herself slip away like this. I doubt it’s a conscious thing. After all, what sentient being would intentionally perform unspeakable mutilations upon their own soul? How could she? After all I’ve done for her?’
“My dad called me a useless slut and said I couldn’t use tampons anymore, so I had to steal my mom’s. I had to dye some of my panties red because I couldn’t get this ginormous stain out.”
At a cursory glance she’d look like the same old girl she’s always been, but the flesh on her face is slowly vanishing. As my cheek presses against hers I can see their once creamy color has become transparent pale gray, sagging slightly off a canvas of thin blue veins.
“So he came over last night after my parents left. Oh my God, that was great. We kissed in the dark, but my sister kept bothering us. I don’t think she knew what was going on, but it was still annoying.”
I’d be lying to say it didn’t upset me. After all, little Sickle is my everything, there from the very beginning. And what now? I’ve sat and watched, done nothing as her body became this walking buffet. Between the reek of deterioration in her spine and the ditzy coldness in her eyes,it’s become almost hard to look at her.
“I don’t know. He’s cute but he hasn’t even called me since then.”
“You’re talking about what's-his-name? The thirteen year old?” I ask.
“He’s not thirteen!” she squeals in irritation.
“Does Gravidia care that you’re molesting her little brother?”
“She hasn’t had any objections but that’s because it’s best she doesn’t know.”
“You like ‘em young,” I say, “And I thought you were a big girl now. Whatever happened to the chocolate? Chocolate bars are yummy yes?”
“Bet you’re just drooling over some chocolate with nuts?”
“Yeah, I like it just as much as you do!”
“I only like candy!”
She pouts defeated, her breasts hanging and swaying like a hung man. I couldn’t have upset her, she’s used to my frequent and very passive attacks at her self-esteem, an effect like slow erosion. One I’m very proud of actually, makes me feel clever. And still, I can feel the subtle accusation in the stare of her emotionless gummy companions.
“I saw you two in the alley the other day.” I say “You lend him your toothbrush?”
“I know what you’re thinking: ‘If by toothbrush you mean tongue, oh Gawd yes!’”
“What else did you see?” “I saw your little friend with that interesting trick push his girlfriend off the roof. Or at least dreaming about it. He imagined, quite vividly, her slender frame snapping in two upon impact with the sidewalk. You’d better watch that one.”
“You can read minds?”
“I can read faces.”
“Really? You figured all that out from one look?”
“You’d be surprised what a very thorough analysis can reveal.”
“Okay, what am I thinking right now?”
“You’ve got guilt, dearest. Little droplets of misplaced derision stemming from Mommy and Daddy’s childhood propaganda. ‘Oh, how could I!? My lips have touched a boy’s! And oh no! I enjoyed it! I enjoyed it a lot! I must be a filthy little tramp, spreading my mouth apart like this! In no time at all I’ll be doing the same with the little mouth in my pants!’”
“But is it wrong?” she asks.
“What you do when I’m not around is of no concern.”
“Do you think I’m a slut?”
“Not really,” I say, beginning to stroke her streaming brunette locks, “You didn’t actually do anything. C’mon Sickle, what’s a kiss? Or in your case the violent and clearly passionate flailing of your tongue in someone else’s mouth? It’s not like you bent over and screamed ‘Make me a woman right the fuck now!’”
“Yes, at the very least.”
“I mean you could’ve, but you didn’t, y’see that’s self-control.”
And she lets out a low drawn-out sigh that I find myself imitating.
“Just be happy, you’re getting more than me.” I say, “You think I don’t want to stick things in other people? I most certainly do. It’s just that the right juxtaposition of event and person never transpire. At the end of the day I always find myself all alone, distracted by, ugh, something. Something of no importance to you.”
“Stop, I know you could get someone if you really wanted to, you just don’t try.”
“I likes my independence.”
“Then why bother?”
“Because I’m not like you dearest Sickle, I don’t want to be with someone. I just want to get laid. I mean, sure, you’re a girl and you’ll go on all these grandiose guilt trips if you start sleeping around, but that doesn’t apply to me, nope. As a dude I can fuck all I want and get nothing but accolades for it. Problem is, I don’t bother. Nope, right now I’m content with good old Lefty.”
Then it occurs to me that I just used the word ‘accolades’ in a conversation with a fifteen-year-old girl.
“Oh yeah, I totally do the same thing,” she says, “Except I got a vibrating ice cream cone for those lonely nights.”
“Well, what can I do? The human animal, particularly those emblazoned with the vaginal orifice, are particularly fickle creatures. Often I come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it, preferring the somber seclusion of the enzyme of the phalanx journalism.”
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Laura, Toucan Editrice
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Laura, Toucan Editrice