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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
the range of emotions on the walk home

Submitted: September 23, 2008

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Submitted: September 23, 2008



I hold my breath just before stepping off of the Path. Journal Square, as of late, has smelled like the center of a forgotten Dumpster, its contents completely rotten, nearly completely disintergrated from its original forms. Despite my deft sensory shields of my fingers and self-asphyxiation, the smell manages to choke me still and make my eyes tear. I notice other departing passengers gag dramatically, laughing to themselves at the silent, yet obvious joke allthewhile looking for someone to share it with.

I stay to myself, hitting the escalator in a feigned rush. An old woman whose smell of cod liver oil manages to overpower the garbage heap of Journal Sqaure stops suddenly. My Type A personality threatens to emerge as I'm forced to wait the thirteen seconds more than if I'd walked up. I sigh heavily, weaving my way around her rudely as she shuffles from the top. I hit the turnstile with my right hip today and step onto the second escalator.

Despite the waiting heat, it's cool in the underground, yet open station and I momentarily wish my home was here in this smelly, dirty hole. I entertain the idea of sharing my space with the various crackheads, beggars, police, and unknown species of animals that frequent the space. I change my mind. It's not that I'm in that much of a rush.

Truth is I have to piss.

I practically run up the last stairway and immediately regret doing so. See, I'm fat. According to modern scales and official standards, I'm what you'd call obese. According to media standards, I am grotesquely obese. And fat people do not run, no less run up anything. My obesity is a resilient, if not an impressive one. Despite my worsening poverty and tendency to skip a meal or two due to lack of funds, I have lost a mere pound or two here and there. At least something is sticking with me.

I step out from the shade and protection of the various overhangs of the Square and into the relentless sun. Immediately I begin to sweat. Nothing like a fat girl sweating. I want to slow down, maybe stop, but my expanding bladder and weaking sphincter is telling me otherwise. Time is of the essence and not even my extra fifty-two pounds of weight can stop me.

I'm momentarily distracted by a white boy with earpeircings the size of quarters, brilliant red hair, and thousands of freckles on his face. It's beautiful to me, his face. His pale skin becoming a canvas to tiny brown stars and a silver rod or two. And for a flash I see me kissing him with a sense of familiarity and intimacy I can hardly explain. I smile at the thought, but he doesn't see. His slate grey eyes have already left mine, unimpressed, and I am still walking in the opposite direction.

I forget him just as quickly and am nearing the huge intersection of three streets with apprehension. The succession of lights leaves most pedestrians waiting for what can feel like eternity when you have to pee and it's hot as Hades. Naturally I greet the intersection at the beginning of its cycle, leaving me stranded on one side. Suddenly I'm overwhelmed with a sense of disappointment at how monotonous and routine, yet unfamiliar my life has become.

I worry about bills.

I worry about getting to work on time.

I worry about work.

I fucking worry about inane shit I cannot control.

The thought is heavy enough and perplexes me enough to last through most of my walk home, the heat and sweat deemed unimportant. I cross the last main intersection and nearly get struck down by a Jersey City Police van and almost regret not being so.

I'm not suicidal. Just need an excuse to lay flat, my walk home abruptly incomplete and my need to pee relieved by such tragic circumstances. No one would look at the girl who just got hit by a fucking van in a judgemental manner if she were to pee herself. Plus I wouldn't have to worry about work in the morning.

Then again, I'd have to worry about bills once getting out the hospital, since my CharityCare is up in June and I don't get paid for any days I'm not there getting yelled at by various doctors who for some reason think that I, a lowly customer service rep, have the power to change Horizon's policy.

The fantasy takes me home. And immediately my bladder's sphincter knows.

I barely make it to the toilet in time. Save my panties, I am dry for the most part and decide to shower. Suddenly I break out into a sweat.

Christ, it's hot.

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