Girl Trouble – Schuyler Mitchell

Flor is more beautiful than me — that bitch. She has beautiful, shiny blonde hair. She has perfect, angular strong teeth. She has delightful, tiny little eyes that glimmer like a Chrome XElement S-Line Premium Motorcycle Hubcap 3000. I want to feed her vegetables: leeks, carrots, collard greens. The leeks will look so elegant when they slip in between her rose-colored lips, and I’ll watch her happily as she crunches and crunches with her head flung back, gossamer throat exposed.

So many vegetables. Flor is going to be so glowy, healthy, and full when she rides on the back of my 2019 Tamiya Harley Davidson 16041. We’ll tear along the interstate, weaving nimbly between the semitrucks and SUVs. Maybe an 18-wheeler will try to swallow us and she’ll be so scared that she puts her hands around my waist. Maybe when that happens, I’ll speed up, and we’ll go so fast that my skin will billow into hers and my hair will tangle up with hers and my spit will fly out of the corners of my mouth and into hers. We’ll whip past all the local women, and in the blur and rush and engine hum they will think, my god, look at that one: That one beautiful girl.

Maybe. Or maybe it will be like it was last time, with Aliza. Aliza was smarter than me — that cow. So, I tried to poison her dog. (His name was Nathan.) I would slip things into his bowl whenever I came over for dinner: garlic, ibuprofen, fertilizer. Just a little bit; it’s not like I wanted him to die. I just wanted to know if Aliza would notice, if she’d detect his coat getting duller, see the light fading from his eyes. I wanted Nathan to get so lethargic that he would become sluggish and boring, and then Aliza wouldn’t want to hang out with him anymore. She wouldn’t want to take him for walks in the park or rub him between the ears or kiss him gently on the belly. She would have to do those things with me.

I don’t know what happened to Nathan; I think he was fine. I never found out, because Aliza stopped inviting me over for dinner after she saw me in the bathroom stealing her SmartRx Gaba-V Kit Gabapentin. A real shame, because Aliza was a great cook, even though she never ate her vegetables. Who doesn’t eat their vegetables? Maybe she wasn’t that smart after all.

Maybe. Or maybe not, but it’s not like Daniel is any smarter. He isn’t more beautiful either, because he doesn’t have hair or teeth or eyes like Flor’s. He barely has any hair at all. He is funnier than me, though, but that’s okay, because he’s a man, so he’s supposed to be.

We watch a lot of TV together on my gray couch while he rubs my feet. Every morning, I wake up early and make us breakfast: coffee, eggs, toast. Every night, he falls asleep first, and I stare at his face and count each pore and freckle on his nose until I join him in slumber.

Sometimes, I still think about Flor and Aliza — those whores. It would have felt so good to crawl up inside their ribs, to wear their skin like a glove, to floss my molars with their curls. I would have bathed myself until every inch of my body became pure and real and good for them. If only they’d let me. If only I hadn’t been too scared to get to know them.

But Daniel is nice, so it’s okay, really. He holds my hand sometimes, even when it’s hot and sweaty. Other times, he helps me fix up my motorcycle. He’ll never ride it; he’s too afraid to break the speed limit. But, I must admit, he’s pretty good at sautéing cauliflower.