I don’t give money to homeless people

“Could somebody spare a penny?” Said the homeless man with organically green hair. I tried to tune him out, irritated by his shamelessness. I walked past him most days. Except when it was raining. He was never there when it was raining. I mostly hated him. I dreaded the sound of his demented voice. I tried my best to avoid eye-contact. 

One day in May he waved at me, and I smiled back. He ruined the moment by saying, “take me home with you!” His homeless lady-friend sneered, “yeah right!” I loved her for backing me up, for giving him a requisite reality check. 

Early June he surprised me by hollering, “why aren’t you jogging today?” I ignored him as usual. 

He no longer asks me if I can “spare a penny,” because he knows I’m a frigid bitch. 

We silently acknowledge each other’s existence. His glassy eyes gleam with laughter. Maybe he finds my face amusing. I don’t find him amusing at all.

He disturbs me. But we are friends now. He’s earned my trust or something like that

I don’t know. 


Fat Girls on Tinder

I don’t hate fat people. 

My dental hygienist is fat, and I would have nobody else clean my teeth. She is gentle, careful, thorough. She doesn’t make senseless small-talk when I have tools in my mouth. She’s a wonderful woman.

But fat girls—in the context of online dating—scare the shit out of me. The fear is crippling. I’m constantly imagining how it might happen again—finding myself trapped on a date with a conniving, corpulent con artist whose Tinder profile is the paradigm of false advertising. 

It happened last Thursday. I was in Boston (for the ASM microbe conference) and staying at The Marriott in Cambridge. After a sushi dinner alone, I was craving connection, intimacy, some reminder I was more than just a cog in the corporate machine. 

I decided to pull up Tinder in the hopes I might get lucky. I came across Summer’s profile: MIT student, strawberry blonde hair, trusting blue eyes. To my surprise we matched and she messaged me first. 

I eagerly invited her to grab a drink at the hotel bar and braced myself for the same, lame, quotidian excuse: something came up; I’m really tired; my uncle just died suddenly. But instead she wasted no time, asking for my address and confirming she was on her way. I couldn’t believe my luck. 

When she sauntered up to me, I was overcome with wave after wave of denial. You’re not my Summer. You’re a whale. You’re a taxicab. You’re Kim and Kanye’s massive Calabasas mansion. 

But her eyes were the same as the pictures, and I knew it must be her: this egg-shaped piece of lard. 

I suppose I entered panic mode, which allowed me to hide my disgust. She reminded me of an overstuffed sausage. I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying, something about bubble tea and Cambridge and sports. I became genuinely fascinated with her ability to carry on breathing when she so clearly radiated death, disease, decay. 

Would we like another round? Hell fucking no. I signed the bill for our fifteen dollar gin and tonics, my hand trembling. 

The whale looked at me expectantly. Would I like to show her my room? I told her I was very tired, absolutely exhausted, and we parted with a hug that made my skin crawl. 

Sometimes I think about what might have happened if I had taken her upstairs. I’m not certain she would be kind enough to suffocate me with her pale, fleshy boobs before sinking her teeth into my sensitive sinews. I can almost hear the sound of her powerful jaws pulverizing my body into a lifeless pulp. Crunch crunch crunch. 

Separation of blood

I’m typing up my pendulum lab report when I feel something warm trickle out of my right nostril down my lip. It lands as a red drop on my keyboard: blood. 

Delighted, I grab a plastic sauce container I’ve saved for the occasion and position it under my nose. I lean forward and let gravity do its thing. The bottom surface becomes a blanket of red. With each drop the crimson pool rises. 

Unfortunately my platelets kick in, forming a clot and stopping the flow when the cup reaches roughly three quarters full. I violently blow my nose to dislodge the occlusion, adding just enough volume to give the harvest a consummate appearance. 

I lick my upper lip clean and crawl into bed, drowsy and drunk on my own flavorful claret. I try to savor the taste, but sleep comes too fast. 

Nervous knocking. I groggily open the door. It’s Cute Chris, and I reflexively wipe the drool off my face, thankful I just had my eyebrows threaded (theoretically mitigating my ugliness).  

Cute Chris is the most effortlessly angelic human I have ever met; and while I’m not delusional enough to think him 100% flawless, his gratuitously humble nature coupled with his aptitude for linear algebra are enough to make me want to have hours of unprotected sex with him. 

He sincerely apologizes for waking me up, but I tell him it’s alright, totally ok. He needs the practice test: slept through class this morning. I fix my messy pony tail and step aside to let him in. He stands patiently in the middle of my room as I rummage through my backpack.

I hand him the packet of problems. He’s staring warily at something on my dresser. Is it… blood? 

Yes it’s blood. I suffer from 1) allergies and 2) shortage of facial tissues. This combination of factors led me to collect my fluids in the only available vessel: a sauce cup.  

I catch him staring at my fully stocked box of Kleenex and copious rolls of paper towels. A troubled look tints his characteristically seraphic countenance. 

He thanks me for the packet. I tell him no problem. Anytime. 

He leaves too quickly, and I want to die a terrible death. Not really, but this is the only mantra that is able to mollify the debilitating despair that crawls up my throat, through my brain stem and into my temples where it threatens to linger for eternity, mercilessly radiating shame and humiliation forever and ever and ever. But I’m going to die I’m going to die I’m going to die. 

The next day the blood in the cup separates into two, distinct layers: clear plasma on top, red platelets on bottom. Of course: gravity likes heavy things more than it likes light things. The world is a centrifuge, but my body stubbornly resists equilibrium, fighting tirelessly to maintain a steady state.

“But I’ve escaped,” my blood whispers to me, “and you’re never going to get me back.” 

Objectifying Women

Dagny adjusted her fifteen-inch Macbook pro screen to what she considered to be a more flattering angle before accepting her boyfriend, Hank’s incoming FaceTime call.

“Hey babe,” he scratched his hairy chest, “you look fucking sexy.”

“Aw thanks,” she purred, tilting her head playfully to the side.

“Unbutton your shirt for me babe. Let me see those amazing tits.”

Dagny frowned. “Aren’t you going to ask me about my day?”

“It’s just that you turn me on so much,” Hank explained, “babe I’m sorry. How was your day?”

“Jesus Christ, Hank! Don’t pretend like you care when I know you don’t. You’re like a walking boner. All you do is objectify me.”

“Babe don’t do this,” said Hank, putting on his best puppy-dog face, “you know I care deeply about you.”

“Yeah about my boobs,” Dagny scoffed, “would you even still be talking to me, if I didn’t possess breasts?”

“Aw of course I would,” said Hank, depressed by the dismal thought.

“What if I was in a horrible automobile accident and lost my legs?”

“I would still talk to you if you lost your legs,” he said after pausing a moment too long.

“Ok what if the damage was so bad, they had to amputate everything from my belly-button down?”

Hank cringed, horrified by the image of Dagny as just a torso, a mere stub of a human. No ass? No pussy?

“…As long as I get to look into those beautiful eyes.”

“What if,” said Dagny grinning maniacally, “in the accident my body caught on fire and all that they could salvage was my brain, which they placed in a vat?”

Hank blinked. “Well if you were just a brain in a vat, I couldn’t talk to you now could I? And you couldn’t hear me for that matter.”

“Ok, ok,” Dagny agreed, recognizing the inconsistency in her argument. “What if they were able to hook my brain up to sensors and a computer that could speak, allowing us to communicate? Would you bother?”

“Of course,” said Hank, his brow furrowed with thought, “but I’d have to—you know—find someone else to fuck.”

They both laughed.

“Babe give me a sec,” said Hank, standing up to reveal his pale belly and deplorable basketball shorts, “I need to take a piss.”

Listening to the familiar, comforting sound of Hank urinating, Dagny began to wonder if she would even be herself without her corporeal presence. Her mind was uglier than her exterior—her thoughts fleeting and deranged compared to her tangible tits—her soft and feminine figure.

Indeed if she were reduced to her consciousness she would be nothing but a question mark. She was no Stephen Hawking. She had nothing valuable to offer The World aside from her warm and fertile body.

How to be a Successful Sugar Baby

“I want a sugar daddy,” says the club promoter, stirring her gin and tonic wistfully, “but I would never—like—do anything sexual with him or anything.”

“Interesting,” I say.

 I chug my pineapple vodka. 

I am often overcome with a feeling of horror when I realize the person I am conversing with possesses an aggressive disregard for economics, cause-and-effect, logic and the like. She may as well have said, “I want to be a professional basketball player, but I would never touch a ball. I fucking hate balls and sneakers and black people and running.”

A sugar baby is essentially a shrewd, discerning prostitute who possesses the skills to generate revenue without the help of a pimp or an escort agency. 

She is gifted with an innate understanding of human psychology and uses this to supply a service tailored specifically to the client’s tastes. She is able to make him feel special and desirable all while being paid, a seemingly paradoxical conundrum few have the finesse to navigate.

Needless to say, successful sugar babies (grossing six figures) are as rare as successful entrepreneurs. Many try and most fail. The majority don’t try at all: acquiescing to simpler arrangements like escorting or investment banking. Indeed self-employment (the lucrative kind) demands a fuck-ton of faith coupled with concupiscent persistence.

“Are you serious about becoming a sugar baby?” I ask.

She’s texting someone. “What was that?”

“Do you really want to be a sugar baby?”

“Well like yeah,” she puts her phone down, “I really need the money.”

“It can’t come from a place of desperation—” 

“What?” She laughs nervously. 

“Sugaring is a pretty… nuanced art I think, and if your only motivation is money I don’t think you’d find it…very rewarding—“

“Are you on drugs?” She looks pissed.

“No I’m sorry—“ I hiccup, “I’m just like really fucking drunk.” 

Panic attacks

It’s 3 a.m. and it’s snowing and my Uber driver cancels on me because he’s an evil communist. 

I seek refuge in the lobby of a high rise apartment complex, and the curmudgeonly doorman tells me I need to wait outside: this building is for guests and residents only. 

I mutter “fucking asshole” and choke on my tears.

Meandering down the slippery sidewalk, I check the Uber app and see I’ve been charged a ten dollar cancellation fee.

I vow to exclusively use Lyft in the future. My blood boils with poison.

“Why the long face?” asks a kind voice in a British accent. 

I look down to see a white guinea pig. I’m surprised he’s not shivering. It’s fucking freezing out. I want to put him in my coat to warm him up, but I don’t want to invade his personal bubble if he happens to be one of those prudish types. 

“I need to get to Columbus Circle from here, but I don’t know how. Can you help me?”

“I would but—“ 

His fur appears to be melting into the snow. All that’s left are his beady, black eyes. I think he must be dead because they’re no longer blinking.

It occurs to me that I’m next. My heartbeat is faltering. I feel like a passenger on a crashing plane. Only I’m losing control of my own body. 

I run into the street and flag down a yellow taxicab. 

“Call an ambulance!” I scream hysterically, “I’m dying.”

When I say the words out loud I feel very sad. I can’t die now—not when life is so full of pleasure and possibility. And my poor parents: they love me too much. 

“What are you waiting for?” I wail at the stunned driver, “I’m having a fucking heart attack!!!”

Being bad at things

One of my dreams is to be a stripper: to hustle for cold, hard cash. I want bitches to throw me Benjamins as I gyrate to Juicy J. I want this more than Mahatma Ghandi wanted world peace. 

I called Penthouse Executive Club to schedule an audition but hung up after the second ring. I’m terrified I don’t have what it takes. 

My dance style is best described as “aggressive.” I like to hump, and I like to be humped. I don’t dance with my ass or my shoulders or my hips. Rather my movements originate from the area surrounding my belly button. I’m pregnant with rage, and the rage controls me. 

An Australian girl at a Parisian night club described my twerking as “demonic.”

I suppose what I lack is femininity. I don’t know how to dance like I have a vagina. I do know how to dance like an epileptic experiencing a whole body seizure. 

A private lap dance from me would likely result in the client muttering “what the fuck” under his breath and storming out of the club with an eerie sense of dread. He would later suffer night terrors about the experience, waking up in cold sweat screaming for his wife. 

I’m trying to determine why I want to be a stripper so badly when I would so clearly suck at it. I think it stems from insecurity coupled with a thirst for glamour.

I often fear I am unattractive and awkward, especially compared to my disgustingly beautiful best friend and those glowing Korean chicks who calmly sit at tables in racist night clubs. Their eyebrows alone make me feel like Susan Boyle if Susan Boyle was untalented and Chinese-American. 

The title as a bona fide stripper would combat it all: bow down bitches, for I am hot and confident and the diametric antithesis of nerdy. My resplendent rump on your lap shall cost you as much as a Starbucks barista makes in three fortnights. 

But sometimes dreams are just dreams. Especially when fueled by something as shallow and unsubstantial as desire for prestige? 

What I really want to be is a writer because I fucking love words and sentences and how they fit together. But I can’t do it because it’s too important to me.