SHORT STORIES: AM I A REAL PERSON?
Sometimes I wonder whether I’m a real person. These are those times.
Tonight I was wandering around my apartment aimlessly. Thinking. Thinking. I think I can. Non-sexually touch myself through my delectably tacky zebra print leggings. The type of leggings that are legit pants. No smiling labia lines, because a smiling vagina is not a happy vagina. Something catapulted me from the absentminded to the conscious realm of thought: “Fcuk, stop that!” I remembered how I had rubbed holes through all my pairs of underwear and pajama pants (splitting at the seams!) and these cotton stretchies didn’t seem like they could withstand the abuse. Wouldn’t want to be indecent. If you hold up my underwear to the light, it is threadbare (threadbarren?) where it aligns with my clit. If only I could blame it on menacing moths.
Like a moth to the flame
Burned by the fire
My love is blind
Can’t you see my desire?
—Janet Jackson, That’s The Way Love Goes
LOST IN COUCH
The other day I lost my phone in my couch. And I knew it had to be in my couch because I’m one of those lazy, fat people who does not move all day and whose skin has fused with her couch leather. Just kidding. I’m a skinny-fat. And also, my couch is spruce and juniper synthetic corduroy and not really a couch but technically a loveseat. For serious about being subhuman pre-3 p.m., though. Despite the small volume and surface area of my technical loveseat, it has large double labial folds, like both labia majora and labia minora, as well as deep grooves where the arms meet the base. Extra crevices and flaps where somehow stuff finds its way. I’ve spent many hours tearing up my apartment only to find that things slipped through the cracks and I was sitting on my loot the whole time.
Persistence paid off! I found: my phone, innumerable crumbs, two pairs of dirty underwear—CRUSTY. Had to be excavated, peeled and torn away. Like, they could have been glued to my loveseat’s labial flaps for the past seven years and fossilized.
Hey, they slipped off, okay?
And here I thought the sock monster had eaten them.
After fewer than ten minutes at The Pyramid Club, they had already played Love Will Tear Us Apart—the ultimate lunchbox kid cliché. After an hour, a Vogue mash-up and Train in Vain. So I suppose it was worth the full glass of whisky that was spilled on my faux-fur United Colors of Benetton (ha, I got it in Dublin: land of dullest colors evah) coat. Those grown-up Goths were darling, too.
A distinctive, stale odor wafts out of whiskey. My mother insisted upon having the coat dry cleaned. I personally would have submerged it in my bathtub. Worn it in the bath while kicking back a beer, if I drank such a thing. A full meal would be chancey. Sesame noodles on faux fur is a ‘no.’ Though peanut butter does remove gum from clothing. Dry cleaning pro tip!
At some point my mom found my crumpled up coat in a corner of my apartment and inquired as to what it was. Disgusted that I hadn’t taken care of it myself (I have a lot of coats, okay?), she took care of it for me. The only thing I’ve gone to the dry cleaners for in my entire life is to have my schoolgirl uniform skirts shortened. OOOh, and my floral Lilly Pulitzer elephant pants. Which isn’t a testament to my not being ridiculous.
Days later my mom reappeared and offered, “They said they don’t need gloves and condoms: they have their own.” Out of context, it took a minute for me to register, “Did they really say that?” “No, I thought to empty your pockets before I took your coat to the dry cleaners.” At least I didn’t have pockets full o’ weed like my lil’ bro always did in high school! Also, not that one shouldn’t carry condoms in her coat, but I never do—unless I’m at some sexual health event or club where they are shoved in my face for free. That’s what purses are for. Plus, we are an age at which if someone doesn’t have condoms in their own apartment, you probably shouldn’t have sex with them. Like I get that staircase sex happens, sometimes. Just seems like most sex happens at home, right? RIGHT?
I only do laundry approximately every two months, so each time it is a colossal ordeal. Last time, my mom helped. It’s between having company and getting fucking smashed. The contents of my laundry: dirty clothes (duh), two attached condoms (one empty wrapper, one unused), buttcream (which my mom confused for toothpaste), and a plastic milk bottle pull tab thingy (which my cat must have gifted me).
Maybe my cat just wanted me to recycle (because she is from Portland) and my Jewish mother cares deeply about my dental hygiene.
Twist ties: good vibes. Nope, I’m not a real person.