Why does anyone feel the need to advise me, anyway? Is it because I’m polite? Because they know I’m never going to tell them to get lost, just grit my jaw and look bored and hope that the body language conveys my point.
“Why do you let people burden you with their baggage?” Isolde asked me with a snort. I frowned. “Don’t oink at me – its not something I want happening to me. I’m actually like, kind of torn up about it. Really.” I looked at her feet, propped up on my bench. She looks like a vagabond but the soles of her feet are always clean. “Do you get unsolicited advice?”
“What do you do about it?”
She sat up and looked at me, annoyed. “I tell them to go fuck themselves.”
“No, not really.” She sighed. “I try to cut them off before they get to the advice part, and if that doesn’t work I try to politely like, hand it off, you know? Like ‘oh that’s nice look at those strawberries’. And if it stilllll doesn’t work I say ‘Well we all have our lives to live, don’t we? And nobody can learn from anyone’s mistakes but her own.’ ”
It actually sounded good to me. “Think I could use that at work?”
“Sure . . . when you want to get super-fired.” She mimed a giant explosion.
The first time I saw him I thought only that he was very tall. I didn’t feel like meeting new parents – I had the most epically skinned knees from some good idea turned bad, had just returned from the doctor who had stopped just short of pronouncing me the most unmarriageable girl possible, and I don’t like it when only one parent shows up to the interview, especially sans children. They can tell you all they want about their kids as a description, but at the end of the day it can range anywhere from accurate to bullshit to complete delusion.
Anyway, he was tall, and he smiled at me as if we knew each other, so much so that I said “Do I know you?” just as the director asked him “Do you know our Lola?” and he shook his head. No, he didn’t know me, hadn’t met me, mouthed my name like I was a rare fruit. I sighed. I wanted no part of this. He came towards me with his brilliant smile – and neglected to see the plastic ‘gym’ at his feet. He fell head first, completely unprepared, and some little voice began yelling “Splat! Splat!”
I slipped out, still limping slightly. Like I said – I wanted no part of any of it, whatever it was.
I’m upset and unhappy – but it only matters to me, doesn’t it, in the end? My feelings sit inside me like a great roiling rancid ball but no one can see them or feel them but myself. And the only way anyone would ever know was to ask me and people, they really don’t ask. If you megaphone your problems and sit on a hilltop crying whatever the modern equivalent of ‘unclean’ is – ‘suspicious lump’? ‘cancerous tumor’? ‘deteriorating injury’? – then well-wishers and emotional support will flock to your side. You can ascribe to them your own motives; I’m surely neither cynical nor naive enough for the task.
But if your jaw is kept clamped shut the ball will stay, and all your analogies about Prometheus may or may not hold water but they’ll stay within the confines of your body too. So I find myself looking out at the city and watching the cars, and wondering how many people feel just like me and how many people have wondered just that – and so forth and so on with all the hulls of our empty selves standing like sentinel cicada husks as witness to what we once were.
Maybe the morning is a fresh start and maybe it’s the greatest purveyor of vapid untruths the world has ever known, but either way it feels fresh and hard to deny. Sure, I think, everything can be okay so long as there are mornings that look and smell like this one, and if I’m lying to myself it isn’t injurious to my emotional health, at any rate.
Occasionally I want to ask what happened between them – Isolde and RJ. I imagine he cheated but its a casual supposition. There was something unsavory about him, you know? Something maybe not entirely right about him at the core.
I think the robots heard (saw?) that I was denouncing their robotic sex vending shenanigans (great name for a band) and now there is nothing but chaste spam in my folder. Really. It all concerns itself with search engine optimization, and it’s written with a very concerned tone, as if the spam robot is my concerned elderly aunt and I am wearing a hopelessly frumpy dress. You have a very lovely figure, my dear, if only you would show it. Let me take you over to Mrs. Schneider’s so that you can have your colours done. The internets will never ask you out or tell all the nice people googling ‘hard bitch daycare’ to come see you if you don’t do something about the way you look . . .