I was born ugly, and because I was so ugly on the outside, I could be as ugly on the inside as I wanted to. A priest is not expected to speak evil words and a monster is not expected to show any mercy. But Catholic priests fucked the altar serving boys placed under their protection in the year X after 2000, and the word monster was nothing more than a matter of opinion…albeit clearer from case to case. Since I was more of a monster to the female sex, a rabbi’s ridden monkey with a funny pillbox hat, no chance of becoming civilized or housebroken, and no drive to take on any responsibility, most left me alone. But when I got the chance to mime the animal for the femininity, I was likely to take the stray and like a straw being given a home, I acted soon and rushed to pick my ape size cymbals up. Like any straw, I stayed as long as I could eat, howled against the postmen of this world, who neither listened nor cared for me, until I was thrown out to die on the side of the road, and born free I preferred living in the wilderness most of time to the comfort of my supposed new home. Most likely though, I was allowed to make room for a pet of more splendid breeding.
Nobody could stand me for a long time. I challenged everything that moved. I didn’t even stop at myself. I cursed the goddamn idiot in the mirror. Sometimes I even made him cry, but that was something that only I could do. Only when I was alone and usually at night when I had a bad time.
Here is the thing, you’re only as beautiful to yourself as the ugliest part you are mindful of. The girl with the airfield she calls nose, the boy with the surfboard forming his strangely growing eyebrows, the old man with the hump, the naive beauty with a mind with the performance power of jello. Their biggest problem with themselves was their looks. I was born with ugliness, outside and inside, and as with the dick’s length, you can’t change it without mutilating yourself. I didn’t feel like it. The defiance of the people against the reality already did well to strangle me. This boundlessness of all their beautiful words and the good persuasion to love everyone equally, only their next even more and the things that they planned on doing to “better” themselves. They shoveled me my grave with it when the talked about their whims, but at least I could expect beautiful flowers when they mourned a boy found without a name to adorn the hole I was buried in. With their talks, they turned me into a carcass and I would have liked to lie down on the street and end up feeding the rats. If I had fed the rat father, the rat mother, their rat children, the rat grandfather and also the insects hiding in their fur for a week, then I would at least provided for something else. The rats wouldn’t have spurned me. They never have. Among rats I felt most comfortable, I know that I will not be rejected. They only eat me when they are hungry and, as I said, to go to the afterlife as rat food was a wish I had been cherishing since I first lived among them. I was a butterfly that had torn its wings out and threw over the hair of a rodent as a disguise for the others.
I got up. Lying made me tired and thinking kept me awake.
No more liquor in the closets.
No more weed in the box.
“So, what the hell,” I said to myself “the rat-butterfly wingless man rose to go among the people to steal their nectar again and maybe, if the day was nice to me, rape their wives”. I put on my finest costume – jeans without holes in it and a white bodice, the only tear in it I covered with a hooded vest. When I threw my jacket over my shoulder, I looked at myself again in the mirror.
What a beautiful monster you are. I high fived him and locked my apartment door. I had nothing of value worth stealing, but I didn’t want those squatters to steal my roof. They shouldn’t take my liver, they can have the TV, but without a roof on my head in the rain, I didn’t like sleeping drunk by myself. Misery needs company and as was ready to take on some more misery
Before I jumped down the stairs, I checked if I had everything I needed. Mobile phone with me, cigarette box half full, wallet emptier than I would have liked it to be and the house key that drilled itself into my ass. It was time to mingle with the people.
I took the subway downtown. I was strolling back and forth and at some point, I was standing in front of the bar. It bore the name of a writer and I went inside and got to see the usual team of drunks. What would I have given for a little change? I would have sold my own mother’s bones. The boredom blunted me, I could have fought at home against myself. As soon as I thought of going, the change sat down four chairs further on a bar stool.
It was in the afternoon. I wasn’t expecting anyone but those with good reason to drink. There did not sit the usual hopeless man, beaten by the third ex-wife, shunned by his own children, there sat sin with a silver cross around his neck, which lowered her body into the chair. When I took it into my eyes, I had almost given way to fear, but the bosom between which it dangled held me tight for a few minutes.
Her face was pretty, not city-beautiful, it was land-beautiful, just more natural-looking. She wasn’t wearing makeup. I sat down on the stool next to her. She looked up at me. Her eyes were both brown, one a little brighter than the other, that was weird, but it was also quite likable.
“Servant of the Lord or sinner asking for forgiveness?” I asked her. She didn’t respond. She looked forward and pretended I wasn’t there.
“I just noticed your cross around your neck, thought I’d say something funny, probably not”
She wouldn’t let me touch her. I moved to the other corner of the bar, sat down on a chair with my whiskey and thought
In retrospect, I have to laugh about it. The ones that looked the least likely for a guy like me were the ones that attracted me the most. First the one with the cross that made me mope, and now the blonde at the bar. The one with the stockings and much too short skirt. The one who sat there drove her finger over her lips and then wiped the red into a napkin. She was probably okay. She certainly didn’t make me laugh and if she was special, she hid it well under her five layers of makeup. Not that she had to be. She just had to be what I wanted her to be. Because she looked beautiful in that smoke dimmed light. I swallowed because I imagined what it would be like if it wasn’t a finger she kept on circling. I took a deep breath and went through my plan in my head. I leaned back on my chair. It would work, I said to myself repeatedly. Someday something has to work out.
I got up and sat down on the stool next to her. She looked at me briefly when my butt touched the cushion and from this, I knew there was a chance and I didn’t get a second from this girl.
“Hey,” I said and nodded to her.
“Hey,” she said, looking at me with confusion and slight disgust.
I reached my hand out to her. She turned away. She gave me a view of her backless dress. Cunt I thought, although everything went according to plan. It made no difference in how she reacted to me. It just would have been easier. I’d get what I wanted, I knew that. For dramatic reasons, I left my hand hanging in the air. For two seconds, then I pulled my arm back and turned on the chair, looking at the bar counter.
I ordered two drinks. A double whiskey for myself and whatever she had. The bartender put the glasses on the counter in front of me. I gave her a smile without showing teeth, pushed the blonde’s mojito towards her and thanked the lady bartender for the quicks service.
“I am sure quiet people know, they’re interesting and not everyone deserves their attention, “I said and made sure I kept looking at the shelf with the alcohol bottles in front of me. I had thrown out the bait, now I had to wait and see if she bit. She turned back to me. Hesitantly, she sipped from the drink. In the corner of my eye, I could tell she was looking at me. I didn’t give her the same mercy. That was important. I raised my glass, took a sip and continued to play the unapproachable. The drink said I wanted to talk to her, but she shouldn’t think it was a bribe. If I had stirred up the water too much now, I would have scared her away. So, I stayed calm and took another sip. She seemed like she wanted to say something, so I tilted my head slightly towards her.
“Thank you…“ she said to me and raised her glass to sip from it.
“…Nat” I said. She was circling the bait. I guess she’s already evaluated the danger of biting. I put my eyes back on the liquor shelf. The water was calm, and she snapped.
“Regina,” she said.
“What are you doing here, Regina? What brings you here” I asked, talking with the right dose of interest and keeping eye contact in an appropriate manner.
“I don’t know, what are you doing here?”
“Drink and getting to know people” I started a new, “and I’m lagging a little behind with my drinking”. I smiled at her, looked her in the eyes, she smiled back, and I almost lost the thread in my head.
“So, the wind blew you through the door?” I used the momentum I had created. But I started too early and stumbled across my own fishing line.
She threw out a “hää?” and I knew what I was dealing with.
Did I perhaps judge a little hastily? That’s debatable. At that moment, she was just a fish for me. With a fish look and a fish face.
“You certainly didn’t just drive here from home without a reason, did you, Regina?”
“Yes?” she said, with that confused smile, the thought process of which was easy to read. Another Madman. Another incel.
She was just waiting for me to say something. I wasn’t in the mood to be her entertainer. I drank the glass while my patience tore with her. So I decided to end the conversation in a way that at least gave her a story for her friends. For some reason she came here, if there really wasn’t one, I gave her one to go now.
“Maybe I’m the reason you’re here, after all,” I asked her boldly.
Again I saw this confusion. It was appropriate this time, but I still only thought that confusion was probably also the facial expression she had when she didn’t think of anything.
“I don’t think so”
“Come on, sweetheart, I can see it in your eyes. You want me. I could pay now and we both get into a cab wildly smooching. I could start fingering you right now, then we’d waste less time talking”
I was sure I’d catch one or get a drink in the face for it. But most women aren’t like in the movies. They’re embarrassed, but they don’t say anything. She just took her mojito and moved from her chair to the other side of the bar. When she got up, I spun after her. I grinned and drove with my tongue along the lower inside of my mouth. She only looked around briefly once, only so much that she noticed it and disappeared at a higher pace through the crowd. When I lost her out of sight, I made another 180° turn on the stool.
With fish faces, it was easier to do something wrong, because you couldn’t do anything wrong. No interest in people is no interest in failure. I pointed to the glass. So I signaled to the lady behind the bar that I was ready to order.
“A quadruple… though” I stretched my finger up in the air, “give me this whole damn bottle.“
“Are you alright?” she asked and put the whiskey in a new glass in front of me on the table.
“I feel a little lost”
“Did the blondes rejection really plunge you into an existential crisis?”
I sighed, poured myself water and exed two fingers wide. The bar-lady turned around to the bar. I thought that was the end of our conversation. To my amazement, she started talking again. Did she perhaps notice my disdainful look?
“The fourth rejection in one evening. You’d think you’d be out to get rejected”
“Just too open for what I want”
“You didn’t mess that one up with openness
“Maybe I wanted to screw it up” I poured it one for myself again and I swallowed it in one go.
“That’s the fastest way to get rid of a female. Just be a pig” I said with a crooked smile. I put my fingers on the edges of the glass like a spider. I turned it a little, she was still quiet, so I took over the speaking for both of us.
“She wasn’t interested in me, and I wasn’t really interested in her. She wouldn’t have been worth trying”
“You’re assuming a lot about her pretty fast”
“I think I can guess who I’ll have a good time with and who I won’t. It’s not like I didn’t try. For a moment there, I had felt something”
“Yeah, your “the wind blew you through the door” she giggled. “What was that supposed to be?”
“A personal touch?”
“You’re trying way too hard. Seems pretty autistic”
She’s shaking her head. I laughed. I guess she was right,
“Don’t get me wrong. You bring overconfidence. The whole show at the beginning with the interest was unique, even though I’m sure you used it more than once”
“I’m not here to have my pickup tactics evaluated”
“Right” she dropped in a pointed tone and turned back to me, “you were here to drink and meet people. Oh, no, what was it again, you’re lost, right?”
I sighed again. I made sure it was deeper than the previous one. Then I poured myself a finger or two and dumped the swill down my throat. My sighs didn’t work. She turned back to the bar, wiped off glasses or investigated the cash register. This time I really thought it was the end of our conversation. I mumbled “I’m sorry” quietly and only to myself. She seemed to hear it because this time she sighed.
“You know, when you feel lost, don’t forget you’ve never known the way before”
While she was saying that, all my eyes were on her. She had a crunchy butt that only distracted me from her words. I, the pervert who just stared at her ass while she told me something that would have helped me if I had felt that way.
“Will you tell me where you got that?” I asked her back.
“No” she didn’t turn around, but I knew she was smiling.
“Then maybe at least your name?”
“No” she replied, but she turned back at me. I looked her in the eyes. She smiled with her whole face. Even the ears smiled. I almost didn’t notice. Because the eyes tied me up in that chair.
“Okay,” I said, and the brown ropes tied around my legs. Woven from the dry steppe grass that I had never thought I would find beautiful. But it was attractive in the white coat that enclosed it. I didn’t fight it. I wanted to give her everything I had.
“How about a glass then?”
I filled my glass and waited for her answer. She shook her head. I was disappointed. She saw that and explained herself:
“Since the last bartender snapped, they don’t like it here when people drink while they work”
“Too bad” I let her understand, accompanied by an understanding, a slight nod of the head and the drumming of those fingers that did not cling to the whiskey. I found a dead end with the girl. I was only always surprised when she opened a side door that could only be opened from the inside. She pulled out a fresh glass and I was probably more like the blonde before than I thought, because I didn’t even want to know how confused I looked.
I poured her a drink and I smiled, and we toasted. She kept the whiskey at her mouth. Ready and set up before I was, “I won’t sleep with you” she announced and dumped the double down. As unlikely as it sounds that I didn’t want it to happen, at the moment it was true. Because I felt proven wrong. She was something special and unlikely, it was much more exciting than I could imagine. So I did the same for her. Sealed it with the firewater and the words:
“Another dumping won’t cost me the evening”
At the end of the evening, I went home with nothing won but a good feeling. That was worth a lot for a few hours. My good mood made me lift another glass to her and then go to bed.
The next morning, I woke up. I was upbeat, and the world felt bearable. I wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee in the rising exhaust fumes of the cars. While the coffee was brewing in the machine, I looked out onto the balcony. As I had thought, the table was totally dirty, and the chairs could be cleaned again.
I lived on the top floor. Over my balcony, on the roof, birds were nesting in the spring. They stole my cigarette butts from the ashtray. I suspected they used it to build their nests, which was far more believable than a bird with a Camel in its beak, slowly dragging on it and telling the other birds, how stressed he feels finding worms in a concrete environment. So I bought an ashtray with a lid. That didn’t stop them. I caught one of them, one afternoon when I woke up, a bird lifted the lid and fished out the stub. I ran to the balcony, opened the glass door and shouted:
“You goddamn feathery foolish beasts! Can’t you see I’m trying to help you?”
The bird panicked, dropped the stump and flew away. When I started smoking inside, the problem solved itself. I took the ashtray from the living room table, dumped its contents in the garbage bag and placed it on the glass table on the balcony. By that time the coffee was three times ready already. Damn, the morning gave you energy. I drank it out comfortably, washed the cup immediately, pulled up the blinds, brought the bottles to the glass container, wiped off the dust and cleaned the windows.
It was afternoon, when I was finished and satisfied, I put my keys, telephone, and purse in my pocket, locked the door behind me, put my clothes and hairstyle in the mirror and drove to the bar, where I could drink and watch the city-centered steppe landscape.
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