An Effortless Transaction – GRSTALT Comms



It’s very well packaged – double boxed, covered in layers of bubble wrap and padded with foam peanuts, the final layer is sweet-smelling medical bandages.

I unwrap the bandages and let them fall across my feet.

It’s here in my hand now, real as anything – a tiny index finger, some dirt or dried blood under the scuffed nail, the skin pale, greying, I run my finger along the scratches.

It’s the same one from the photo, I can tell. The seller told me it’s from Syria.

This is by far the best thing I’ve bought on Grey Goose. Most of the stuff on there doesn’t match the description or even have photos. But who are you going to complain to?

I was willing to take a chance on this one – the seller, Buzzsaw236, has a rep, there’s nothing on their profile but glowing feedback about how effortless they make the whole process.

They always get delivered by the same guy – his car’s packed with boxes, he bangs on the door three times, shoves the package at you, takes a picture and rushes away without speaking. 

I keep it refrigerated at night. I rub lotion into it so it smells of cocoa butter.

I buy a pouch for knives and start carrying it around with me. Just knowing it’s there fills me with a kind of strength that I can’t really explain. I don’t know what it is, but it’s like I’m absorbing all the life and excitement that was inside it when it was the furthest point of a body, feeling the world for the first time, storing all the new sensations for future comparison.

At work I go to the toilet and take it out of the pouch – I stroke it, lick it, suck on it, tickle myself with it. I want to take everything from it before it decays too much and the power goes.

One night I cover it in lotion and guide it slowly inside me as I’m bent over the edge of the bed. I move it in and out – slowly at first, then quicker and harder, it starts to slap and squelch. When I slide it out of me it’s gummed up with lotion and mucus. I clean it off under the tap and I see that the nail isn’t there. I squat over the toilet and rummage inside until I locate the nail and ease it out. It drops into the bowl. I look at it floating for a minute, then I lift it out.

I cry because I’ve ruined it. It’s ugly now, not intact, worthless.

I wrap it back up in the bandages. They still smell sweet.

I wait until it’s dark and I go to the park. I dig a hole, put it inside, and start to cover it over. But I get disturbed by movement around me. Then there’s a noise, like an animal in pain.

I go back the next morning before work. I try to find the spot where I made the hole, but the ground is covered in used rubbers, empty bottles and trampled cans. 

I need to order another. But nothing’s the same. There’s nothing on Grey Goose that makes me feel the way the finger did. There’s ears, nostrils, toes, lips. But none of them speak to me.

A big finger tree is going to grow and rise above the houses and point me out.

I go back again when it gets dark. I try to retrace my steps, set my mind back to that time.

I think I’ve found the place and I start digging. I bring up a bundle of bandages, but when I unwrap them there’s a small skeleton inside – like a person, but small enough to fit in my palm. I cradle the skeleton in my hands, its spine is curved and its head is indented on both sides.

I use the bandages to make a hammock. I put the skeleton inside and hang it over the bed. The hammock starts to rock, but it’s so soft that it’s hardly noticeable. I can’t figure out what’s making it move. The room is still. Everything is bolted and latched and properly insulated.

I wake up struggling to breathe in the middle of the night because I can hear the noise again, the animal in pain that scared me off. I can’t decide if it’s coming from inside or outside.