Glad To See She Smiles (Second Draft)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a girl who seemingly loves life, but does not love herself. It is an examination of her contradictory and personal struggles with an eating disorder.

I appreciate any comments/feedback/criticism (in fact, I'd prefer some criticism!), and I really hope that you all at least enjoy reading it! :D

Submitted: April 07, 2013

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Submitted: April 07, 2013




I think it odd that the girl who claims the meaning to life to be love, had once not loved herself. She admits to the practice of swallowing fingers down her throat and purging her body of love. She did not eat, at least, not the sustenance you and I may indulge in over drinks at a cafe or diner. Instead, she feasted on herself, not to satisfy her own vain hunger, but to ignore her own craving self.

And it is with this heavy history she reveals to me that she believes the purpose to our existence is love. Inside my flesh, one could occupy their droll, leisurely expenses by recording the echoes of snickers myself seemed to vomit. But, as it was, my expressionless face remained so, and I simply nodded to provide feign succor, in a moment when all comfort was strictly my own and she seemed quite uneasy with the prospect of sharing more. My own curiosity played it's torrent of a self in my head, and I considered the journey this girl must have traveled to go from pouring her love out deliberately, to voraciously devouring it; and what consent the remainder of her body must have played to her mentality.

My only reply concerned how silly that notion be, and that hatred was just as powerful as love, though a quite fallible feeling when compared to complacency and unconcern; a coldness in the wake of such triviality concerning things such as love, an empty emotion, one that one could waste as wandering in an abyss and one could be pressed to find the irony in one seeking love, because then one would only love oneself. So, as it were, the fault in her attitude was that she had no love for herself; so how could she so vehemently espouse it, and then advocate its significance to others? And it is this event that has struck me so appreciably tonight.

I cannot validate or favor her beliefs, and her argument (though it was never an argument until I chimed in a veiled refute) is marred by the fact that one cannot demand I love when they do not love themselves. Once, before her supposed rebirth, she may have suspended our conversation to trail off to the bathroom and expel the scraps of late morning watery globs of slop, then return gleaning the odium of herself from her horrifically gaping mouth, spitting out words of the nauseous and venal monstrosity she named love—named after the absenteeism of compassion she felt for herself. What can love do? I inquired. To let her respond would be a numbing of sense and self, so I fled before such spittle could leave her means of love.

All she could do now was caress the device in which she exchanged loves and consumed them and flushed them and gorged them and expunged them and construct it into a human sluice where love was but the scribbles of mischief carved into the stone walls, spray cans strewed about the place, dented and gasping. She could hold on to herself— however, that would be a vain exercise.

Let it be better that she simply return to familiar fields and once again retreat to the tile and filth that is her loveless abode, and may she lick the porcelain in joyous respite, for these few moments are truly without love or dignity, kneeling before the grace of God, and she defiles the nature that once brought her such bounty as breath or pleasure. She squashes her cheeks against the porcelain, and with impish grin she rubs the strewn stains and speckled blotches with tender expression, and in glee she murmurs to the throne that such a Queen as her should be so fortunate to have such a throne as this, on which the Queen may have but absolute dominion and worth, and be blessed by blossoming strands of gorgeous self-righteousness and exquisite self-loathing.

In this passion, her throat giggles. Her fingers slither across her tongue, admonishing the remainder of her body the impending orgasm of self-realization, and then they kiss her gums and shine her teeth and then they amble down the throat. Her face retracts as if something foul has just struck her nose. Her once delicate cheeks and her once light chin both flail as if something was slowly burning them. Her lips dance up, and her teeth shiver. Her body becomes rampant with fluttering sensations darting her nerves. She gags with the ferocity of wolves, all their snouts snarling and bloodied, trampling across barren and cold mountains, howls thundering through valley, and growls trembling the reserve of the earth itself.

Fangs dig their way out of her mouth, and soon a head follows. It's fur appears the hue of ash, but it's eyes the flames that scorched the woods and remained the said ash. The front paws dig out, and try to stable themselves on the seat's lid. The wolf bows it's head upwards in manic grief, and it's maw expands open like the bowels of hell, and all sorts of fumes and smoke erupt, clogging the room and soiling all the walls and all the mirrors and all the grime therein. She struggles to support this beast, her eyes smeared with tears and her gaping jaws trembling with the reserve of the earth itself.

Her body quivering as one would expect, supine to the weight of the beast, and with disgusted fury she desperately attempts to clamp her jaws shut. Her teeth tear through the wolf's flesh, but she's halted by bones that cannot be cut, and then he shrieks in an agony all his own. Her hands reach with the last scrap of fervor present, and she grips the yelping beast by its maw, and pulls inwards with all her crude might. One may chuckle at such futility, if one were inclined to behave in such a heartless humor, but most would simply submit to their own ennui and not even bother a response.

And it is this image, the wolf bled from her mouth, the spouting ash and blaze, the love of ugliness—and the apathy of her own physical domain and the weakness of her own personal esteem—that breeds mercy in similarly weak beings and amusement in those who stand afoot, gazing in disbelief and yet, only such can be expected from the dim humanity she claimed we should love.

She suffered through the entire battle, but at its end, her and the wolf, this grotesque abomination of feral frailty in human spirit, exhausted themselves of whatever love had fueled them before, whether it be love of self or love of life or love of lovelessness—and any hatred once present, crumbled away, banished from her essence akin to so many previous substances before. They prompted to consume each other, which one may find comicality in, as many men before me have found it even more odd to think about the girl who ate herself and still wasn't satisfied...I recall she had quite the smile.

© Copyright 2019 Cory Cortez. All rights reserved.

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