Thursday, June 01, 2006

the appointment (by sabrina)

"Your appointment is on Friday, May 3rd, at 8 am. Please press 1 to confirm."

Beep.

She had just lost all the weight, and was looking to find vanity in new places. Sixty five pounds of strife and self pity were finally shed. Mirrors and windows were sufficient reminders, but it was only the photograph that would sate her hunger for approval. From whom, she did not know. But it would come from someone, and they would all kiss her newly lacquered toes and sculpted calves and maybe even reach hungrily up her tanned thighs. The manicures and tanning booths were the first of a string of appointments, designed to improve the improved. To improve those worthy of improvement.

The last appointment had arrived, and she knotted off the end of her silken string with a photo. She would find contentment through a lens finder, pride in a shutter. Strutting out into the clear air, the sky would look a little bigger today, and the sun would bronze more fervently. She would fly on black and white film. The arms would show their length and she would find her slender wings.

"Your appointment is on Saturday, May 11th, at 10:30. Please pr…" Her lover would not understand, reaching out to shut off the noise of the beautiful. He turned back into his pillows, unable to get close enough, breath slowing and heating the cottony space surrounding him. The smell of his skin was sweet and soft, but the beard on his face scraped roughly at all in its path. He was exactly this mix of sweet and sour, like whiskey of an origin and quality uncertain. When she walked in, sneering at the lack of mirrors in his room, he sensed but did not move from his cocoon. A lazy arm was stretched over his head, framing the dark curls of his hair like a brooding claim of cherubic mystery. She was tired of seeing him lay there, all limbs and ribbed torso. She hated his natural ability to be gorgeous. Yet this only made her desire him more, as if touching and consuming and loving him would make her new body more real, too. She slid her fingers under the covers, searching for his sides, because there she could find bones untouched by flaw. He swatted and shifted, her unseen silhouette slinking down from his imagination and into his groin. He fought it.

In an instant she was smashing her lips against his chin, cheek, and nose, in the way that people do when they cannot have enough. But for her it was only an urgency to feel a corporeal connection to this stone-cut man below her. She wanted to press through the layers of skin and fat and muscle and let her frame melt away into only the most desirable embrace she had seen in perfume advertisements. The only way to forget the fat was through sex. This was when he saw her as she is, without the cloak of strategic clothing and lights. His eyes were like a wetsuit, tracing and enveloping her form in a sleek foam. She no longer needed the clever angles. She wanted to show it all, tempted almost to peel away her skin to expose the smooth, hard bone underneath. Fully lying on top of him now, she fumbled awkwardly with the attempt at flawless sexuality which humans are rarely able to accomplish. She felt now that humanity was beside the point, anyway. Soon his pants and boxer briefs were pulled past those stubborn heels, clawing at the last piece of his chastity. She removed what little clothing she wore and felt a rush of excitement that comes merely with the act of showing. Needing and having were insignificant, and her arousal began to plummet after he stopped looking, pouncing and pounding into her narrow frame. Touching and sucking her skin was like breathing, but the air was thin and dry. He continued until the wave crashed over his brain, and she felt the triumph inside her. But the inside did not really matter; the outside, conquered, felt alive enough.

She woke up just in time to remember it was his birthday and to ram her head on the bedpost. Her hair was more matted than tousled, and so she dashed out shopping looking somewhat like a wet poodle. The store she was heading toward had shut down, however, due to its lack of appeal for any other day than the annual birthday. Nevertheless, she was determined. Every year he had made it clear that his birthday was to be spent as if it were the last day of his life. Twenty four hours of pure indulgence. It had become a tradition in the family, and she was not about to break the rules of a whole line of hard bodies aching for a brief reprieve. There would be thick cakes and roasts and gallons of liquor. His mother would sit tall with a mink shawl around her neck and a martini in hand, talking about how disgusting olives are and sneering at the fact that the relatives hadn’t shown up. The truth was, of course, that none of them ever showed up; they were alienated years ago by ongoing olive slander and gossip. The family had secrets and deception, just as every other one before it, and his mother was quick to pick up on the custom. She always became hysterical by the end of the night with ludicrous claims of treachery, despite the relaxing effects of the ten drinks she so deftly inhaled. Sometimes she would make one of the children would cry, but this was merely a common externality. The man’s father, on the other hand, sat quietly with hands folded, slumped slightly in his stained easy chair. A stocky, plump man with graying hair that defined the word disheveled, he was no match for the eccentricities of his Chihuahua wife. Still, he often mumbled senselessly to himself at the most perplexing times. Suddenly, everyone in the room, except for the babbling wife, would lean in and scrutinize this grumbling man, listening for some parcel of wisdom that would never appear. They never knew what he said, and he probably didn’t either. He would most likely die mumbling, blinking his cataracts-inflicted eyes one last time, serenaded by the omnipresent screeching of his inebriated wife all around him.

Standing with her eyes all scrunched up in front of the gutted party store, the girl grumbled and started off with an irritated gait. Unfortunately, the intensity of her irritation and the caused her to slam herself into a passerby; she heard the strange crack of skeletons clashing and felt suddenly that fate had taken hold. Looking up slowly as to imitate the movie, she saw a man more gaunt than herself, eyes sparkling with drugs instead of dreams. He was beautiful. He was so so beautiful, even up to the moment that he shot her in the head. Her eyes glistened, too; and then they glazed, and the memories were lost, swimming in a loveless and perfect body. The last appointment was made. And this perfect body was dumped into the ground like all of those before it, improved now only for the worms and the relatives who still look at its pictures.

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