Sunday, November 17, 2013


She got them because when she wears them, she feels like a movie star, like an animated character, something more approximating a sex kitten than anything she ever feels by herself. And as such, they give her power, the only kind of power a girl can really feel, because maybe you can talk men into doing things - paying you, respecting you - but you haven't got any real power over them until they want you. 

They come from Indonesia, or China, somewhere gray with industrial dust, and green with predatory vines, full of small brown people who smile widely at foreign cameras, their teeth rotting in their skulls and the stained walnut sheen of manual labor and poverty. In those places, the visual images of beauty have been laid bare, stripped of the intellectual justifications of the West - women are either pretty, or they are cattle. She was told once, in a moment of first world poverty (which is the kind where you don't go to the bars for a few months and you live off processed cheese) that she should move over there, with her big blue eyes and huge tits she could make a killing just by being a hostess at some bar. The person telling her that didn't hear the stink of rape in those words, not hers but all the girls in that world who wouldn't look like her, and therefore not be okay. If she had brown eyes and darker skin, there would be no talk of adventures with moneyed businessmen, there would only be settling for the first somewhat gentle guy to think she can keep a house and have babies. There would be no long studied conversations about self-awareness over cocktails, there would be only work, cook, worry, get fucked, get a few hours sleep, wake up and do it again, for the rest of your life. Know that you aren't good enough for anything else - cling to the daily pains and suffering as the only things that actually make you an individual. 

The lashes are long and shiny and black. She wipes off her mascara before going to bed, and the unnaturalness of them sticks out even more - the plastic black against the soft, thin brown of her own. 

Whose lashes are those? Were they ripped off some child in Africa? She smiles at the girl asking the question, but she wants to point out they were only made by a child, not physically tortured off one. What's the difference, really? Older, richer, desperate women have been sucking the youth from children for centuries, to stain their lips and drape soft things across their skin - an entire class of Madame Bathorys, Countesses of Blood. 

When she wears them, people tell her how pretty she looks, what has she done differently? They can't even remember what she looked like before, not enough to know, even though it's obvious - they could never be real. But people still ask, are they? As if doll things could occur naturally, aren't they supposed to?

She goes to sleep with them on, and dreams of plastic hair, plastic lips, plastic dresses and stockings and shoes and plastic skin gleaming unblemished and powdered perfect, of men pulling out plastic - sitting across small tables enchanted by things that have been manufactured for them, to keep their attention, like ravens or trolls. Then she dreams deeper. She dreams of factories made of sheet metal walls, dirt floors packed down and crawling with fleas and lice and roaches, of eating cheap noodles out of lead painted bowls - the bland bleached flour taste sour and slick on her and she sees more men. They are everywhere, their faces grown bulbous and elephantine by years of drink and smoke, not even the same creature as her but Men, who demand money, who demand work, who grope and poke and laugh, who pull her hair and tell her why she is ugly - all the reasons she is ugly and useless and no one will ever love her because her skin is not white and her figure isn't thin, and she doesn't smile, why doesn't she smile? 

It doesn't matter, if she smiled they would just tell her that her teeth are too crooked to suck their cocks properly, and then kneel her down in some back room and push it in between her cracked and dry lips, because nothing is good enough for what they deserve but they'll take it all anyway.

She dreams of drunk men in uniforms, thick with fire and brimstone and the command of craftier men than them, dreams of them rushing in like wolves in the middle of the night to tear their wooden houses apart, to cut the communists' heads off with piano wire, to slice open their faces and tongues, and she sees the women huddled in their night clothes, being pulled away to the jungle one by one as the soldiers feel like it, and the next day she will see those same men in the town, running their soup stands and hat shops and those same wolves will cower to the bigger, badder wolves in suits, who eat and shit Western money, but no one would ever think to cower before the stone, the concrete boulder sitting on her chest, underneath which lives her pain. It waits inside her, inarticulate, unknown to even her, leaching it's toxins into her bones and slowly smouldering into a fire. 

She wakes up and knows it is a lie, it's an idea of an idea she saw or heard somewhere, but she feels the stone inside her own chest - a pebble in comparison, but building building building like a dirty snowball. In the dream, she felt fury and fire. In the morning light now, she feels only the desire to be numbed by it's persistent coldness, until she can't feel anything, and can only go through the motions - smile, manicure, pick something cute, reapply lipstick, smile in the face of humiliating rudeness because you're just a girl and you shouldn't be crazy.

1 comment:

Who wants to fuck the Editors?