I’ve endured through a hellish week at work that involved me visiting numerous medical departments and befriending their nurses enough so they would cooperate with what I was tasked to do. It was one of those weeks in which I remember that although I can act well enough, my nature doesn’t tolerate having to deal with so many human beings and the nonsense they impose upon me. I wish I worked at a remote lighthouse.
In any case, that meant that I wrote far less than other weeks, although I have rearranged my notes, and added some more, for my ongoing novel ‘We’re Fucked’. I have accumulated about nine thousand words of unimplemented notes, so that means I still have at the very least about 27000 words left to write of this story. I have already figured out its remaining major plot points, including the ending, so I should have little issue getting there, assuming I can find the time and mental energy to do so.
A dead face stares back at me in the bathroom mirror. It glistens with stale sweat that emphasizes the rouge pink eye bags, and that has drenched the tresses glued to the forehead, where a lifetime of stress has carved wrinkles that stretch from one side to the other. Those wide eyes, vulnerable and defenseless as a cow’s, and yet burning with an obsidian black gleam of madness, speak silently of a hunger for sustenance beyond mere calories, for something nourishing that doesn’t come packaged with a label and a barcode, a craving born of desperation because everything valuable has been stripped from existence, and what remains is a hollow, hungry soul with nothing but despair to feed upon, that waits endlessly for death although it finds herself forced to struggle as a humanlike construct.
Soon enough, the hair will turn patchy and wispy, the skin will start rotting, the eyes and nose and ears and lips and genitals will fall prey to decay. The extensive loss of tissue will cause the circulation to collapse, the blood vessels to rupture and hemorrhage and empty out into puddles. But those dead eyes will remain wide open, unblinking and unmoving, the jaw hanging slack, the threadbare facial muscles locked into an expression of mindless stupor.
I scream. I consider screaming again when I admit to myself that dead people are rarely covered in stale sweat, particularly those corpses that look as if they’ve been lying in a ditch for a couple of days, nor could the dead imitate my nervous movements so minutely. The mirror reflects the ghastly creature that I’ve become, the same that somehow believes herself worthy enough of meeting a French queen.
I hadn’t bothered to pick up my panties after I got up from my bed and shuffled to the bathroom, so now that I’ve stepped back in disgust, the mirror shows me a pair of slim legs covered in downy hair, and a wiry patch of pubic hair sprinkled with vaginal juices and even tangled in tufts that I’ve twisted absentmindedly. My hands are wrinkled claws with sagging veins and yellow nails sporting dirty spots of accumulated shit and urine, the fingers bent backwards and resembling mantis appendages. My eyes stare from behind their blinds because of all the grime caked upon them, mud gathered beneath the lashes, the irises coated in dirt, the pupils reflecting my own demented thoughts. There’s nowhere to flee, not from my home in this rotting corpse.
I imagine myself daring to stand proud, with my feet wide apart and naked from the waist down, to offer Jacqueline a proper display of my feminine charms, but she doubles over and vomits.
I’m about to hyperventilate, so I fill the sink with frigid water then I dunk my face in it. I let the cold liquid seep into my brain as a stream of bubbles rolls up each of my cheeks. I don’t want to be a disgusting, pathetic excuse for an insect anymore, a living being that squirms helplessly inside the belly of a vivisected carcass while a parasitic worm gnaws on my skull and another parasitic parasite crawls into my ass and takes residence within my rectum’s dark recesses. I want to prove to her majesty how amazing I am by displaying various degrees of affection for her person, including my gratitude towards having received royal patronage to fuck her as much as I please.
I snap my head back and fill my lungs with air. As the foam on the surface of the water fades away into thin strands of bubbles, the liquid turns murky with organic waste matter drained out from a sewage system built by worms with tiny little worm intestines. The fetid pool reveals my past reflection staring back at me: that of my mother.
Although I have calmed down, I feel filthy, so I step into the shower to rinse off all the crap on me, as well as all the dirt lodged deep within my pores. I turn on the water to a scalding temperature to help loosen the debris. The spray feels like the blast of heated jets hitting the body of a bikini clad creature riding atop a horseman, and I wish that I could wrap my arms around the coarse coat of his neck while the two of us race across hills or prairies or desert plains or snowbound mountain tops, galloping at full speed as the wind blows my wet tresses around my face like some wild woman of the forest that rides the back of a unicorn whose hooves churn the ground like a raging storm. The animals seek shelter from our racing approach; we’re dangerous beasts driven mad by lust for blood, that kill without remorse because we’ve been starved of pleasure for far too long.
While the water rinses off my limbs like an overflowing waterfall washing down the mountain slopes and carrying soil, stones, sticks and leaves, along with dead bodies, I marvel at its powerful suction force. That’s what this shower invention does to a body immersed under its spray: it sucks away the dead weight weighing on its bones until the true form emerges from the shower like an amphibian freed from its chrysalis.
After I have dried myself off, I’m returning naked to the bedroom when my stomach grumbles. This unusually turbulent hunger justifies how woozy I’ve felt for the last few hours. I’m forgetting how swallowing nourishing food feels like, which would improve anyone’s life despite the horrors that lurk beyond these walls. Still, I don’t want to go through the bother of trying to whip up a meal out of the expired contents of my fridge, so I look up online if there’s any nearby Chinese restaurant willing to deliver me some food.
At a quarter past two I’m in the kitchen and sitting in front of two tupperware-type containers filled with either beef in oyster sauce or noodle stir fry, and both smell like they would provide nutrients. The long, greasy strips of beef are tough and stale as if this restaurant cooked the food a few hours ago and just reheated it, but I’m desperate enough to risk poisoning so I can nourish my dying brain. I may have been tempted to bite a chunk out of a rat. How could I complain about the food quality, anyway, when I’m tasting juicy flesh that oozes with fat and is seasoned with salt, oil and herbs?
I’ve emptied both containers. I lean back on my chair and I sigh heavily. Now that I’ve fulfilled my duty as an apex predator, I have to focus on how I can make myself presentable enough that tomorrow afternoon won’t end with Jacqueline running away in tears. No way my French queen will see me naked during our first date unless she really wants to watch someone undress, but suddenly the probability that I might pull down my trousers in front of her has increased from zero percent, so just walking alongside the woman I desire while my trousers hide my hairy legs and wild bush will pump up my anxiety tenfold.
I open my wardrobe forcefully, which causes my collection of hoodies, sweaters and T-shirts to sway in their hangers. Years ago, in my distant youth when I considered myself dateable, or at least that some men would want to fuck me, the few that dared to hold my hand, kiss me, fondle my ass, fumble with my bra, lick my pussy or shove their cock into my vagina, also lived with their parents, so they tolerated my imperfections. Few cared about how often I wore hoodies once they got to slide their hands under them to grab my tits. But I have already hit thirty. Everyone that interacts with me assumes that I’m an adult instead of a teenager whose body grew old.
Jacqueline always shows up at the office with what I would consider business attire, but she rocks it so well that anyone that works with her will eventually develop a fetish for secretaries. If I dared to meet her tomorrow dressed in one of my old sweaters and carrot pants, and not wearing makeup, I would witness Jacqueline’s face twisting in a grimace. She would grant me a pity hug, and an hour later she would find some excuse to leave. Once I shuffled back to the station, I would throw myself in front of the train, so I wouldn’t have to suffer the flashbacks that would harken me back to that moment when Jacqueline realized she should have never agreed to a date with me.
At about four o’clock I leave my apartment and I walk down the stairs to the street level. The sky is overcast with chunky clouds that are gliding by fast, carrying dirty water along with trash and human remains. Those cloud butts have darkened to spruce blue, the cloud equivalent of blood pooling at the lowest points of a corpse. The cold breeze, which makes me huddle under my coat, smells like rain mixed with rotten cabbage. I should have grabbed my umbrella, because I may end up getting caught in a storm, but I don’t want to bother walking back into my apartment building.
As I march with my head down towards the Mendibil mall, the breath thickening in my throat and the pressure in my chest remind me of why my routine has been pared down to trekking to work and then returning straight home. All streets leading from my apartment building lead nowhere good, and all roads point toward death. This city is like a sewer drain clogged by shit from every angle, a fetid hole with rotting excrement staining all available ground.
I have reached the closest square, which contains a playground with only a plastic tower and swing, a coffee shop and a few business, one of them the hairdressing salon that I frequent whenever I need to get rid of my excess hair, the one that grows in my head. The sight of the working-class apartments that surround me, their rows of windows like empty eye sockets, along with the cars driving by along the narrow road and the random humans with whom I share the pavement, make me feel as if I’m venturing into safari country. Emaciated dogs pace at the roadside begging at passersby, gross men walk around with bloated bellies as they drag their guts through mud, starving rats feast on the carcasses left on gutters, the dead bodies of drug addicts hang from lampposts, and all the residents who can fill their bellies with fresh food instead of roadkill appear ready for war as they glare threateningly at everyone who crosses paths with them. Those who remain sane, or who have gone crazy enough to see clearly, prefer to hide within their fortified compounds, because the monsters come knocking after dark. But I have to admit that, while there are several dozen species sharing our planet with the vermin known as humankind, none can match the strength of these jerks in performing miracles of manual labor with their small minds.
Everybody talks so loud, and the car engines cause such a racket, that I wish I could turn off my hearing at will. I walk enough zebra crossings to reach the more populous Fuenterrabía street, with its rows of decades-old businesses in front of which meanders a hodgepodge of people that the French police regularly push back into this border town’s boundaries for failing to show residency papers. I anticipate the next time I’ll find myself followed by strange men who speak in unintelligible languages and snicker towards me, as if they were planning to ambush me in an alley, rape me while screaming insults because I dared be female, strangle me and throw my corpse in the river. There isn’t much difference between this place and a wildlife reserve, except that predators roam free while prey hides within cages. Most humans are too busy looking at their phones and talking about trivial nonsense to realize what kind of disaster is happening around them, so at least they can continue feeding upon one another until everybody dies. I wish I could just run back to my cave, sit in front of a fire and hide from the rest of this species except for the very few of its members that I like, and whose name starts with a J.
There must be another world out there beyond this squalid reality: a bright place full of wonder where dreams happen without a hitch and people show affection through hugs and cunnilingus, so everyone smiles at each other and share kind words like ‘bonjour‘; a land with fewer buildings but plenty of trees growing wild and unkempt, where the air smells like roses instead of sewage mixed with garbage and piss; a peaceful realm where one can always find a partner to play board games, and it doesn’t matter if you spend hours gazing at videos of naked women with large breasts.
I suddenly remember that I went out because I intended to buy clothes, razors, shaving cream and lotion, so I force myself to check out the storefronts that I usually hurry up past. A clothing store, its window plastered with sale signs because the aging owner may retire or die soon, sells inexpensive underwear and shirts that are likely stained with vomit, dirt and cum. In another storefront, headless, armless mannequins display the kind of dresses that a New Age lady would wear on a stroll through the countryside. I’m still thinking about underwear. I might buy some silky red panties with lace edges that look like tongues licking naughty places.
Once I walk through the bridge that spans the railroad tracks, I head down the Colón promenade, past the outside tables of coffee shops and restaurants. I’m bothering to observe the storefronts, so I discover clothing stores that I could swear didn’t exist until now. However, none of the styles suit me. What would suit me, though? I wear hoodies and sweaters because they are comfortable and they conceal my decaying body. If my usual clothes speak to people, they tell them to look elsewhere. But I need Jacqueline to look at me, to focus on me, to find in my inadequate self someone to like. I swallow the taste of vomit that rises from deep within my stomach. A deformed, castrated, horse-shaped delusion had taken the habit of stalking me recently, and yet now I can tell that I’ve lost my mind, because I have convinced myself that I have the slightest chance to be accepted as a human being.
Past a panhandler, a homeless guy sleeping on a bench, a row of phone shops, and one of those shady stores that buy whatever gold you bring, no questions asked, I freeze next to a storefront in which elegant mannequins, oriented to gaze blankly in different directions, are bedecked with sun, apron or babydoll dresses, fern green or rose red, with floral or polka dot patterns. An array of sparkling jewels hang from silvery chains. I approach the glass. As the breeze chills my face and makes me sniffle, I bow my head slowly until my forehead rests on the cold glass. My vision is blurring while an uncomfortable warmth spreads in my chest. A few tears roll down my cheeks, but I don’t bother wiping them although I hear the footsteps of many pedestrians as they walk by me. They keep their distance because they can smell in me the rotting flesh that has long since been drained dry by parasites and maggots crawling inside, feeding off my decay. The few passersby brave enough to sneak glances at my tears must be wondering why I have chosen to remain in this world.
I dry my eyes and cheeks on the sleeve of my coat. I sigh deeply. When I walk into the store, a bell above the front door chimes. The room smells of incense and potpourri. An old bimbo with white hair looks up from behind the counter, and as she notices my expression, that of somebody trying desperately to preserve her sanity, her face transforms from placid to bewildered.
“Please,” I beg in a thin voice, “help me dress myself as if I deserved to be loved.”
At half past five I’m standing at the entrance of the Mendibil mall as I hold on to two bags, one from the clothing store and another one from the cosmetic store. I feel drained and ashamed like I used to after each therapy session, and I’m spacing out as my mind attempts to hide in daydreams. I need to be home, in the darkness of my bedroom, where I would curl up under my sheets and cry myself to sleep. But I have already walked all the way here, so I’ll push myself a bit further.
Adults also buy enough groceries to cook proper meals. Some even buy enough to last them days, or a week. Although I have to squint against the fluorescent lights shining overhead, and the presence of many wandering humans is making my skin crawl, I stand on the descending elevator that leads to the depths of this mall, where they built a BM supermarket. The bumblebee yellow they used for their signs hurts my eyes, as well as my sense of harmony.
As I stagger through the aisles, I only glance as necessary at the assault of items on display that threaten to overwhelm my mind. I fill my hand basket with wheat bread, skinless chicken, turkey breasts, pasta, rice, eggs, Frosted Flakes cereal, milk, and a few cans of tuna. When I realize that I have gathered as many groceries as I’m willing to bother checking out today, I take a deep breath of relief, but I find myself staring down a narrow aisle lined with tall, packed shelves of canned goods. Once again, the same silhouette of a man materializes at the end of the aisle, facing straight ahead menacingly. Armed with a black hammer, the man sprints from buyer to buyer as he strikes them in the head with the deadly implement. Although the buyers continue browsing the groceries, their souls slip out of their frames and collapse on the floor, and from under them spread puddles of black blood.
When I open my eyes again, the murderous silhouette has disappeared, although I’m still surrounded by wandering monsters. My hand that holds the basket trembles, so I change the weight to my other hand. It’s been years since I learned that a guy that the news only identified as mentally ill rampaged through these aisles and cracked some skulls open, which killed a few of his victims. I had come to buy groceries just a few days before the assault happened. Ever since, an echo of that nonsense plays out again in these aisles so I can witness it once more. I prefer my kind of mentally ill, those people who’d rather stick forks into their own necks, and who daydream about jumping off a window for relief. I’m better off staying home and watching porn until the demons stop invading and devouring my thoughts.
By the time I hurry up the stairs to my apartment and I close the door behind me, I’m sweating, my muscles are tense, my hands and feet are tingling. I place my groceries on the kitchen table, and then I shuffle to my bedroom and I take out the folded clothes I bought. I drape the dress over the wrinkled sheets. I take out the brass medallion necklace and I lower it so it rests on the delicate fabric. I chose a high-waist, tiered dress with a square neckline, puffed sleeves and a floral pattern that from a distance looks like green noise. I pick up the necklace by the brass medallion, and I run the fingertip of my thumb over the words engraved on the metal: ‘mon coeur‘.
I’d never wear such a daring dress of my own volition, but I had also never attempted to pursue a woman that I have no chance of seducing. Or any woman, for that matter. I guess that tomorrow I’ll cosplay as a regular girl who is getting too old and who hasn’t been loved in a long time. In reality, I’ve felt ancient ever since I was born, and nobody has ever shown me what love is supposed to feel like.
I’m frying an egg and the remaining slices of serrano ham on a pan when a pitter-patter distracts me. Night has fallen, and those threatening clouds are peeing on my window, as well as on the entire city. I avoid staring at the rain falling outside; sometimes my imagination makes me see snakes crawling around naked underneath the wet night skies. After this afternoon’s adventure, I have to steel myself to sit on a crowded train to Donostia, and huddle under my umbrella as I march to the Buen Pastor plaza, where I will wait in the cold and rain for my beloved to arrive, if she shows up at all.
I go to sleep at ten, partly because I’m exhausted and I was dozing off, but my brain won’t shut up. I move away my sheets and blanket, I pull my pajama trousers and panties down, and I soak the index and middle fingers of my right hand with a coat of saliva. Nothing has ever calmed down my frenzied thoughts like abusing my clit, as if I was trying to claw through this rotting body of mine in search of salvation, until I come violently, panting while drooling copious amounts of saliva onto the pillow. And I need all the relief I’m able to muster so I can distract myself from the disaster I’m heading towards.
2 thoughts on “We’re Fucked, Pt. 22 (Fiction)”
Pingback: We’re Fucked, Pt. 21 (Fiction) – The Domains of the Emperor Owl
Pingback: We’re Fucked, Pt. 23 (Fiction) – The Domains of the Emperor Owl