Friday, February 18, 2011

Squalor, My Love

She knew she was the kind of person who might have a collection of wrapped fetuses in her freezer.

It’s one thing to be terribly off-kilter and quite another to know it. If nothing else, she was blessed with cruel perception.

The neighbors in the building threw her double takes the few times they spotted her during the year. The deliverymen were used to passing signatures under the chain on the door. They left the packages outside. Gladly. The air was fresher, and she waited to snatch them until they thumped down the dingy stairs.

She could have fetuses, you know. Definitely.

That was the only time she climbed from the squalor. The kind of happy you couldn’t besmirch with words. He came. Drunk usually. With wiry black hair and sweatpants. When he knelt on the bed, she would bend her neck back for miles, and he would suffer. She would bend, and he would wish to sprout five more greasy hands just to take her all in.

The rest of the time, she bagged and breathed solvents from the deliveryman. That’s also why she could gather fetuses, but not babies. Her body wasn’t just hostile, it was toxic. His sperm just fell out her. Maybe the freezer would always stay filled with just ice-burned chicken thighs.

He paid her rent. So that was good.

She waited for him between long hours. Maybe she would wash her matted hair.

Her skin wandered across her bones.

It itched for the knock on the door.


spacedlaw said...

Eeeek! Well done.

SarahA said...

Well done; in the sense, that your words written, are creepy and enjoyable too!

the walking man said...

You present this as such a reality piece that the reader can only hope, it isn't. Nice touch with the pen jason.

Cat said...

Creepy. I love the idea of fetuses in the freezer and the line "It’s one thing to be terribly off-kilter and quite another to know it."

Very nice.

Lee said...

The analyst and humanitarian in me seeks to get inside her brain and figure out what spawned the crazy.

mysfit said...

and this evolved from a moment of what if? or where? i am intriqued... i feel the touch in your writing - like sand...

jason evans said...

Spacedlaw, thank you!

SarahA, if the words evoked a response, then I'm happy. :)

Walking Man, that's a high complement. Truly.

Cat, that stuck in my head from a true story I heard or read. A woman died, and they found a couple newborns in her freezer.

Lee, me too. (At least you didn't directly flag the writer.) ;) This one was experimental. I started with that first line, then let my mind imagine who such a person might be. I wonder how close I came.

Mysfit, it's always very cool when you brush through on your travels. You're part of a golden age of blogging for me. But on to your question.... There's a lot poured in here, probably. It started with a desire to do something very different from what I've done lately. Something dark and twisting. I wanted a truly grabbing first line. Once that popped into my head, my brain whipped up more flesh for this character. I began to see her. I'm also intrigued by the extremity she has reached with nothing but a horrendously unhealthy love to tether her to physical life. Maybe it's not so unusual to live in emotional squalor. In her, it just spilled out to fill the external world too.

raine said...

I want a long, hot shower now.
Well done. ;)

Atrisa said...

I agree with Lee! But I can connect with the woman in her, punishing herself for that one moment of bliss.