Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Successful Cannibal

Seen waiting for the Red Line to 95th at about 8:30 a.m.

The man had a belly of Hitchcockian proportions that jiggled when he breathed, which he always did calmly and evenly. He was the model of assurance; he knew that he was in control. He wore a too-short tie and a fur cap that covered his ears. As he approached the meaty woman, he licked his lips.

“Excuse me, ma’am. May I eat you?”

The woman turned to face him. “What?”

“I said, ‘may I eat you?’”

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Nothing’s wrong with me. I’m hungry. It’s perfectly natural.”

“Fuck off.”

“May I ask why you won’t let me eat you?”

She leaned forward and pushed her angry face towards his, which was completely composed. “You can’t eat me, sir, because I am a human being! With a life! And a job! And I don’t feel like ending all that right now. I suspect most other human beings feel the same.”

“You’d be surprised. What do you do at your job?”

The woman had not been expecting this line of inquiry. “I work at Burger King.”

“Is that what you want to do? Is it your dream job?”

“No! Of course not. I’m not stupid.”

“Certainly not. But why aren’t you doing what you want to do?”

“Well…lots of reasons. There was this guy, so I put off college—”

“And do you have anyone else now? A man in your life to love you? A woman? Children?”

“No. There’s no one.”

He took her hand and massaged it between his moist palms. “How old are you?”

Her eyes flicked to the ground. “I’ll be forty next week.”

“I see.” The man wrapped his pudgy arm around the small of her back. “What would you say if I could give you a purpose? If I could make you appreciated more than you ever have been?”

“I guess…I guess I’d say, ‘tell me more.’”

“That’s what I like to hear.” He kissed her forehead and ran his tongue along her earlobe. “You, my dear, are the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.” 

Oh, you know. Cannibalism. Such a cheerful topic. Tonight: gogo class graduation. Gotta go rock some isis wings

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Marie

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 9 a.m.

I don’t like it when it snows. I feel like I get lost in it all—pale skin fading into the constant white, light blonde hair whipping around in the bluster. The summer is better. When the sun first tears through the clouds, it shines off my skin like it’s looking in a mirror. I become blinding bright. Difficult not to notice. As the warm days wear on, the sunlight sears my cheeks and arms and shoulders and makes me a little darker, a little more human.

My phone says it’s supposed to snow every day this week. What if I stopped coming to work? What if I stopped seeing my friends? Would they even notice? Would they see something familiar in every blizzard? Would they hear my voice in the gusts that rub their red ears raw?

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I was representing my place of employment at the Loyola career fair. So that was kind of hilarious. I'm kind of ready for the winter to be over now. Sunshine on my skin would feel good.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gerry

Seen on the Purple Line to Linden at about 8:30 a.m.

Because he knew nothing about basic data usage, Gerry (46) did not opt for the higher data package with his new iPhone. This did not stop him from streaming TV shows—mostly “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Cheers”—every day during his commute. He was cheerily oblivious to any problems. His phone was smart. Purchase technologically-advanced phone, enjoy endless entertainment. Gigabytes meant nothing to him. When Gerry saw his first bill, he had a heart attack and died.

Because his wife Martha (47) blamed Gerry’s phone entirely for his death, she smashed it against the brick wall of their condo building. She did not blame her butter-heavy cooking or his family’s history of heart disease. She kept a land-line for the rest of her life. She even paid extra when the cable companies stopped offering them.

Because she loved her father, Gerry’s daughter Jenny (15) filmed his entire funeral on her phone. When people came to their home afterwards for snacks and further condolences, Jenny stayed in her room and uploaded the video to YouTube. She wanted to remember the last time she saw her father’s body, and she wanted the world to remember him, too.

I am sleepy. Hope everyone had a good weekend. If anyone wants to come, I think I'm going to go to Double Door tonight. They're having a night of 50s and 60s music called "The Hop." Need to dance my stress away. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Paddy

Seen on the Brown Line to Kimball at about 8:30 p.m., February 21st, 2013

Really I should be better than this. A twelve-pack of Miller Lite? Acceptable in college, certainly. At any respectable college party, Miller Lite would be far preferable to the usual shit—Natty, Keystone, what have you. In college, I’d be a king.

When you’re my age—30, but passable as 28 or 29—when you’re my age, Miller Lite doesn’t cut it anymore. When you’re 30-but-passable-as-28-or-29, you’re supposed to be an aficionado. You’re supposed to spend your evenings at places like Hop Leaf with your well-off, nicely-but-not-too-nicely-dressed coworkers. You’re supposed to drink the darkest stouts to show your manly good taste, and you’re supposed to compliment the girls on their choice of whatever tripel, because that’s pretty good, for a girl.

Later you’re supposed to marry one of those girls, and you’re supposed to have the engagement party at Hop Leaf with their fancy beers because that’s where you got to know each other and it’s so romantic. And then maybe 15 or 20 years after that, when you’re fat and you never go out and you just watch football on the couch, then you can have Miller Lite again because nobody cares, least of all your wife. Actually, she might care, but she won’t say anything about it. She’ll just get silently bitter that you’re no longer the man you were between your Miller Lite stints. She’ll probably stop having sex with you.

Anyway, when you’re my age and you go to a party, you’re supposed to bring something like Fat Tire or Bell’s Oberon or Le Fin du Monde, or at the very least a Goose Island variety. But Miller Lite is cheap, and it’s not so heavy, so you can drink way more. And I like it. Besides, I don’t really think I need to justify myself.

What better topic for Friday flash fiction than beer? Tonight I am watching Doctor Who with Gena because duh. We're going to attempt to go through as many of our favorites as we possibly can. Too bad I already wore my Doctor Who panties this week.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yaya & Lukey

Seen on the Red Line to 95th at about 5:45 p.m., February 20th, 2013

Before she could stop him, Lukey licked the seat in front of him. He then ran his tongue over his one tiny tooth that was growing in, as though he were savoring the bouquet. She bounced him up and down on her knee. “No, Lukey! No! What will your mother say when Yaya tells her?” Lukey giggled and smashed his face into her chest.

It wasn’t the germs she was worried about. Kids need germs. None of this Purell, Bactine, purified water nonsense. If you do that, they’ll grow up sickly and weak. Her real worry was who had sat in that particular seat since the last time they cleaned the car. It’s not like the CTA was known for shuttling around Nobel laureates. It was more likely Lukey had been lapping up the essence of a homeless person. If he ends up lazy and self-pitying, his Yaya will know why. Or worse, a schizophrenic! His mother would never forgive her for that one.

On the bright side, it could have been a college student—if Lukey was lucky, maybe even a valedictorian. She never went to college, so the idea of a university in her grandson’s future made her proud. A successful businessman, perhaps? That wouldn’t be so terrible. Then Lukey could take care of her in her even-older age.

Well, what’s done is done. That one little lick won’t determine everything, she knew, but she hoped Lukey had swallowed a good soul, for his sake.

The cocktail reception and play last night were good. I really need to learn how to schmooze better. Tonight: gogo class. Excited to shimmy and shake.