Miss Perfect Universe (1)

Categories: stories

Dutifully, she woke up at 7AM each morning and gorged herself on a tray of assorted cakes, tartes, pies, and biscuits, which she would always leave out overnight to harden. Without brushing her blackened teeth, she would quickly roll out of bed, place her blistered, calloused hooves on the creaking wooden floor beneath, and dart into the kitchen with the lights still off.

The kitchen had one easterly facing window, which held a picturesque view of each day’s miraculous sunrise, often full of billowy clouds, like sheered wool pulled across the deep, sapphire blue sky. But she kept the shutters perpetually drawn, and hung an unevenly cut scrap of black velvet atop the dusty and greasy brown glass.

Plopping down into her cheap, hot pink plastic chair, bought on sale for 2€ at the local bazaar—she stuffed the sweetmeats into her warm black and red mouth, sometimes swallowing them whole, and letting herself choke and cough up gobs of saliva and chewed up crumbs onto the table. The table, as one would imagine, was covered in grime: half-eaten cakes, melted sugar cubes, spilled honey, and maple syrup rotted away between large, blackish hovering mounds of gnats, and tiny creme coloured clouds of freshly born maggots.

She stuffed her face with a vengeance. Flies and stray larvae would find their way down her throat, and she gagged when she felt them squirm while they descended her swollen esophagus. Occasionally, after eating her tenth or twentieth chocolate tarte, she’d begin to cry, uncontrollably, before harshly slapping herself in the face in contemptuous disgust, then calmly walking into the water closet, where she would promptly begin to throw everything up. Whenever she noticed a still wriggling maggot in her huge pile of sugary vomit, always and never to be forgotten, would she say “goodbye, little thing,” before flushing it down the toilet.

By 9AM, she was clean and fresh. Her lips were full and round, but her mouth was very narrow. She looked like she was in a state of constant shock, as if her mouth were a tiny, gaping hole always vacantly, dumbly open in the middle of her fat, doughy face. Bright red lipstick was smeared across the flesh, but her lips were so cracked from dehydration, that big tufts of oily product were left to fill up the crevices. When she smiled, open mouthed, the putrefying rot of her teeth made it sometimes seem as though she hadn’t any teeth left in her skull at all. The two front teeth were as black as ink, with brown stains glimmering at the tips, while the rest her teeth were varying shades of brown, black and gray. The entirety looked more or less like shadows of the white enamel one would naturally assume to have once been there. But she loved the way her decaying, blackened teeth contrasted with the round fullness of her bright red lips. She loved it so much, in fact, that she had a picture of her own opened smile taped to the bathroom mirror, right alongside an advertisement for toothpaste that she had cut out and taped next to it.

As she dressed for the day, she made sure to accentuate her bloated, jiggling stomach. She would use rope and ribbons beneath her clothes to hold up certain pieces of fat, or to exaggerate other fat rolls. Her clothes were always skin tight, and she made a point to only ever wear 100% plastic.

As was her uniform, she wore nylons. This time, a fishnet pattern of hearts, which she had picked up for cents at a second hand shop. Smiling her black smile, while fingering the “Shein” tag, she unrolled the stockings, which had never once been washed, and pulled them up and over her rippling, cellulite covered legs. When the old stockings reached her thighs, she let out a small cry as the friction of her fat had caused two open wounds that she promised herself to never let heal. They bled and blistered while she walked for hours; the pattern of the nylon stockings grating deeper and deeper and slicing like a machine through her thick flesh. More than once, complete strangers had asked if she needed any help. Patronizingly and sisterly, in hushed, careful whispers, women had remarked, “Oh, honey, it seems as though you may have gotten your period.” But she would cast her darkly decaying smile at them, and cheerfully say, “Thanks, but I’m bleeding from somewhere else.” And with that putrid smile of hers, the blood would end up drained from their faces, and they’d walk away, disoriented, slightly ashamed, and regretful that they had bothered to try and be helpful. If ever again they were concerned for a stranger, they’d remember to keep to themselves and remain quiet.

A miniskirt would do the job, and she grabbed one that was two sizes too small. Not only would her ass be exposed, but so would the festering wounds between her legs. “They’ll love this,” she thought to herself, and the skirt rolled up around her curved belly. Tempted to wear two bras, to make it seem as if she had even more rolls of fat, or maybe that she really was a pig with a second row of tits, she decided against it, considering it too far even for her standards. At least for today.

She put on her red high heels, grabbed her purse and headed out. Lip gloss, lipstick, her phone, her keys, some cash, and a pigeon’s feather were all she carried. Wasn’t it so sad that a girl like her hadn’t a boyfriend?

Her black hair was greasy and straightened, though a large, matted knot was hidden beneath the oily surface. She only lightly brushed what she could see of her hair, never once thinking that maybe there was something else there. But then again, she was so ignorant, she could only notice what was painfully obvious.

In the elevator, twirling the greasy strands, looking into the reflection of her golden eyes in the mirror, she cried just a little, letting herself shed not more than twelve tears. She counted each one, you must know, to make sure she was perfectly methodical, and correct and unwavering in each and every and absolutely all of her behaviors.

“This is what they want, this is what they want, this is what they want, this is what they want.” It was her departing mantra, her daily 10:30-10:37AM prayer. It was what she repeated incessantly while descending the apartment lobby’s fissured and dilapidated marble stairs.

Unsurprisingly, she was on welfare and terminally unemployed. Not because she was entirely uncivilized, a barbarian almost, with no sense of truth or courtesy, but because of that smile, and her utter refusal to get it fixed. Years ago, her doting and sympathetic unemployment officer had once brought it up with genuine kindness and concern. In his drab bureaucratic office of copy machines and warm printer ink, he politely reminded her: “Dear, you do know that dental care is entirely covered by medical insurance, don’t you? And your chances of finding a job, with your smile… let’s say, improved, would most certainly, equally improve your chances of finding a satisfying job.” Then he smiled with great care.

“But I love my smile,” she replied, whiningly gleeful. And spreading her legs apart ever so slightly, but just enough to radiate the warmth of the invitation, in her most coquettish and innocent voice, slowly and quietly, she breathlessly added, “Maybe… Umm… I think… maybe… society should learn to accept others? For… umm…. who they are? Don’t you think, Mr. Grisland? Why should I have to change to please them? I’m only one girl, and they’re … the entire world? Besides, Mr. Grisland, my smile doesn’t bother you, does it?” And beginning to weep with her large chest exposed and bouncing in that yellow, dust filled office, Mr. Grisland couldn’t help but to reassure her, “Oh no, no, no. It doesn’t bother me really much at all.” He reached over to pass her a tissue, as she sighed and heaved and wept with the bitter sting of rejection. And, well, that put an end to that question.

So, instead, her ritual was to walk and let the world change for her. She begged it, every day, to please, please, please, please change. Please refashion the world, right now, but this time totally differently, and all over again, from the very beginning. Resurrect from the earth, a virginal, untouched planet, tomorrow or maybe later this afternoon. She bargained with the universe. In exchange for not checking her phone for fifteen seconds, or thirty seconds or two hours on a Saturday; if she kept her eyes closed for five whole minutes straight, please, please, when she’d open them, would the universe let the world be remade, entirely new? Just for her?

It was part of her spiritual practice, in fact, to wander down into the fetid riverbank viaducts, on the eastern side of city, where centuries of factories left their polluted residue of manufacturing, and where, next to a tent city of twenty or so homeless citizens, she would bend down on her bruised and injured knees, tearing up her dirty old fishnets, and pray to the universe; with her arrogant heart full of entitlement and greed. As she begged, she would often end up hysterical and let out agonizing screams. The homeless were quite used to her round, loud, and obnoxious presence; her tacky aura of public availability and cheap plastic. Some even thought she belonged to their makeshift village, but another in the group would inevitably speak up to responsibly clarify and restore dignity. No, that girl was assuredly not one of them.

After her daily prayer, at the shrine of viaducts, it would be 11:11AM, on the dot. An angel number that she specifically chose when drawing up out her priestess’s agenda, because all of the beautiful models and celebrity influencers tweeted and posted on Instagram, “11:11❤️ make a wish!” And if she had only one wish, it was truly that the world be remade to suit her. Like a little baby in her neediness and vacuum of want, she couldn’t tolerate that the world was indifferent, that the world moved on with or without her, that her tears and her black smile and her terrifying psychotic laugh mattered less than little. It mattered not at all. No wish of hers would be granted, no reward for her self-inflicted injuries, no trophy for auto-deformation because she was doing it the wrong way. She should’ve let the dentists pull apart her decomposing teeth, let them fill her mouth with their gloved hands and stuff her gums up with nylon and porcelaine. She should’ve over-exercised and restricted more often, consistently, she should’ve been taking pills and cocaine, she should’ve been out getting infected with veneral disease. Then, the world would have changed for her. If she had only been smart enough to destroy herself the right way. But our fat piglet was too uncivilized for any of that. She belonged with the reptiles and the serpents, to feed them, in those murky abysses full of filth and feces, where the only God that appears is the one whose duty it is to extinguish the final and last traces of life. To put it simply, she belonged first to the butcher, then to the dogs, and finally, to piles of trash no one could be paid to touch.

She pulled out her cellphone and took a selfie on the riverbank, then another and another and another. Then another, and another, and another. Smiling her big, rotten smile, and throwing up the peace sign with her chubby red fingers; her nails painted an even brighter red, she made sure to keep the flash on, and held the phone high above her fat, piggish head. “I’m so, so, so, so, so, so, so beautiful,” she thought, holding back tears, swiping through the seventy-odd selfies she had taken in the scheduled span of twenty minutes. She was convinced that God was in her cellphone, smiling back at her. The contours of the genesis of all creation held themselves suspended inside the pixels. One day, the secrets of the universe would unveil themselves to her, it would only take discipline and devotion, and the sacrifice of everything that made her human.

It was 11:33AM. Time to make her way down to her regular café; for some people watching and meditation over a warm cappuccino and cold glass of sparkling water, at the very least.

When she wobbled into the restaurant, ass cheeks red and hanging out, knees bloodied up by shards of broken glass, and her hair particularly disheveled after seeing an exceptionally talented and beautiful artist on Instagram, the bartender made a hopeless guffaw, and quickly beckoned her over to a smelly, dingy, sunlight-less corner of the bar.

This corner was typically reserved for storing ashtrays overnight. It had a half-moon curtain installed, to hide the utilitarian storage use. Though the bartender desperately wanted to deny her service, he legally couldn’t, so instead, he regularly stuck her next to the stench of sanitizing alcohol, mildew, spit, and cigarettes. He took pleasure in cloistering her away from the joyful clientele, and though she repulsed him, he developed an affinity for her predictable and dumb acquiescence. As usual, the cooks brotherly punched each other on the backs, preparing to concoct her meals, and the employees as a group, each winked with inside jokes at her expense; commiseratingly whispering how they wished, again, that as soon as she arrived, she would have left.

Unphased, she ordered her favorite lunch, the same thing she always ordered when she felt like humiliating herself by eating in public, even if she were technically hidden away. An ice cream sundae with two chocolate scoops and two vanilla scoops, with lots of whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, a chocolate crêpe, a nutella crêpe, two cappuccinos, and a liter of sparkling water, with four whole lemons, please. It wasn’t just the sugar that had ruined her big, ratlike teeth. It was also her habit of biting into whole lemons at a time, and letting their acidic juice dribble down her chin into her glass of bubbling water beneath. “Anything to feel something”, she thought, whenever the sour lemon juice made its way to the abscesses of her gums, and down into the raw, exposed nerves of her deep and wide cavities.

The servers brought her desserts seemingly instantaneously, and she devoured it up in under thirty minutes. Her stomach turned upside down and spun around inside; her face glowed redder than pink, and her pupils dilated as her vision went blurry from the sugar rush. Lovingly, almost tenderly, she grasped her phone and held it close to her red face, as if ready to plant on its shining surface a big wet kiss. Instead, as per her schedule, she began to scroll for an hour to digest.

She felt as if she were losing her mind. The endless faces and contorted body parts: auto-tuned, heavily painted in makeup, distorted with prosthesis; zoomed in pores and tiny strands of hair to prove how real everyone was; wide angles, tiny, editorial-like photographs taken by drones, pixelated webcam selfies, legs splayed apart, boobs smushed together in tubes; nylons stockings shop now, cheap trendy purses shop now; bodies walking parallel to mirrors, bodies walking towards mirrors, bodies walking away from mirrors, iPhone in spindly hands, big hands gnarled like roots around small phones, claws grasping phones like cadavers escaping freshly turned soil of their own graves, phones becoming the center-point, bodies becoming weird, tentacle limbs sprouting from the perfectly rectangular phone, bodies slim and rectangular, becoming the phones, long fingers and longer fake nails, long fingers like spider webs; thin, tanned legs in new skirts for sale, abdomens in new ruffly tops for sale shop now, thighs like flower stems erupting from new lace dresses shop now, human bodies poured into suits of rubber and leather, shop now. Her phone screen became wetter and wetter as she swiped faster and faster. Unconsciously, she drooled on herself, and her sugary spit spilled down her neck, onto her chest, then down to her hand and onto her sweaty, salty, greasy, almost seemingly breathing and alive phone. She bit her lip when swiped to better view the selfie of a slim, athletic and muscular man, and her rotten teeth were so soft and decayed, that they turned a little to mush when she pressed them against her round and red lower lip. She simply swallowed the rot, unthinkingly. “He’s supposed to hurt me,” she whispered to herself, wincing with subtle awareness that a man like that could never love her. “It’s supposed to hurt to love something, that’s why all the love songs sing love hurts.” Her heart was racing, and the dull pain of remembering her inferior social status knocked her out of her hypnotic Facebook trance. She put her finger into her mouth and sucked off the sugary sweat, staring into the emptiness of the closed curtain that surrounded her. Breathing deeply, she closed her eyes and focused on sound of everyone, just outside, chatting and laughing during their pleasant lunch break. Beginning, again, to weep, in her helpless pitiful loserdom, she wondered, what if she squeaked? Would anyone hear her? So she squeaked, and nothing happened. Then she squeaked again, and still nothing happened. Then she poked her fat, and smiled wide, and thought to herself, “I’m such a pig, so I guess I should oink.” So she did.

The server immediately dropped a glass. A quiet settled throughout the café. The guests looked around, wondering what they had just heard. The server laughed it off, and his colleagues quickly assembled to sweep up the mess. Everyone decided to pretend they hadn’t heard what they thought they had. Normal social behavior recommenced. No one said a word about anything. The broken glass was a perfect distraction, the broken glass was all anyone heard.

She smiled her dark smile, behind the dark curtain, pleased with herself that she had made an effect, though just as quickly did she become awash with the guilt for having disturbed those innocent guests. She was guilty, too, of either coercing, or surprising that server into breaking a glass. The guilt grew heavier. She had forced herself into the lives of the other clients, when she knew full well that she was meant to remain hidden. The guilt was becoming hot iron that weighed heavier on her than the sugar acidifying inside her stomach. She had pushed herself, unwantedly, into a world that had no need for her. Sinking lower and lower, upon realizing that not only had she interjected herself into these strangers lives, but she had done so without their consent, almost like a rapist, without even saying hello, just by making a strangely loud and disruptive sound. She was so disgusting, so desperate. She took up so much space already, and now she had imposed her existence onto people, who she knew, should never, ever, ever know the mere idea of someone like her… If only they knew, that mere centimeters away, in the obscured corner, covered in sweat, sugar and drool, rabid like a diseased animal, with her rotten smile and her fat tied up like meat wrapped in plastic at the butcher… If they knew… She couldn’t bear the guilt of infecting those bystanders with her exhaled air. She knew that she was guilty of everything, but she thought it was an esoteric unveiling of the nature reality. Because to her, reality was inherently criminal for obscuring and masking its true nature from those who had the misfortune to observe and perceive it. The universe was a criminal, indeed, she nodded to herself, for deceiving its inhabitants, for lying, and for giving instead, a double face, and forever remaining inaccessible to the colonies of life that sprung from the womb-like serenity of warmly glowing starlight… So true, she thought. So wise. Finally, her meditations were paying off. Her tireless work meant something because she now understood something.

Of course, she began to weep again, since her fat was a massive endocrine organ, increasing her estrogen levels, and causing her to cry at the drop of a hat. Her internal monologue began to speak again, reminding her of her unpardonable guilt and stupidity. A seemingly endless torrent of shame barreled through her ignorant head. “You’re guilty of indecent exposure, you’re guilty of bloodshed, you’re guilty of pollution, you’re guilty of unethical consumption under capitalism, you’re guilty of having an internal monologue, you’re guilty of competition, you’re guilty of envy, you’re guilty of pride. You think you’re so much better than everyone, not to compensate for the fact that you’re much worse, but to dilute the truth that you’re simply average. Your only defining traits are incompetence and a lower than average IQ. You just can’t play their game, you don’t understand the rules. Your pride wants you to think you’re special, when really, you’re just average. You’re a savage on display in a new type of colony. You’re boring. You’re ugly. You’re guilty of everything. You’re guilty of adultery. You let the unemployment agent fuck you, even though you knew he had a wife and kids at home. The same with the metro station guard. You’re guilty of lust too, which is infinitely more unforgivable because of how repulsive you are. You dream of Instagram models who would wash their eyes out if they so much as inadvertently noticed at you. You gave countless blowjobs because you’re such a glutton you can’t bear to live without your throat full. You’re guilty of gluttony. You’re guilty of spreading ugliness with your physical form. You’re guilty of wanting when you shouldn’t need anything, when you’re already so spoiled by having everything. You’re guilty of making the world disposable because you endlessly want and want and want. You’re guilty of the landfill that contains the accumulated waste from your mother’s pregnancy, up until this very moment, with your handkerchief full of snot. Where do you think that will end up? You’ve polluted the water supply with your makeup strewn tears. You’re guilty of murder when you think about annihilating the world because you can’t accept reality for what it is. You’re guilty of vanity when you think you’re special enough to be sacrificed, when you too impure to be slaughtered like the pig you are. Who even let a pig like you out into the world? Exposing its pink, pig skin with neither dignity nor shame? Oinking in public? You ought to be exsangu-“

“Get out, now, girl.” The server sneered at her, his floating head appearing bodiless between the curtains. “Put the cash on the table and get out. See you tomorrow, piggy.” He stifled a laugh and quickly drew back the curtains. It must be close to 2PM. The low tide hour, where employed clientele would be returning to work, and the tourists would be leaving to drift off to their next site seeing.

She held the tissue up to her shiny red face and wiped away the smeared liquid. She felt so much better because he had called her a girl and a pig. It was time for her afternoon walk. She put her phone back in her bag and removed the cash, placing it to her nose and inhaling it, before gently unfolding its creases, leaving it on the table and giving it a goodbye kiss.

/ / / Will add second part if I can enter this world again. XO


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