There’s an actual living beast that inhabits my body. I can feel its blue eyes staring out of my green ones when I look in the mirror. I can feel its bellylaughs in my gut when I cry. I can feel its farts emanate from my ass and its belches expel themselves from my mouth. It is a flatulent beast.
Sometimes, it likes to poke me from within. I can see its fingers bob and weave under my skin. The fingers threaten to break through my flesh, but my skin is thickened by fat and the infernal digits are unable to penetrate the barrier of corpulence. Other times, it curls up inside me in a fetal position and peers out of my nipples, using my tits as fleshy telescopes. It likes to do this when I’m with someone in bed. It loves to see them scream and run out. Then it laughs at me, saying I’ll always be alone.
This monster always has lived inside of me, and I have no way to get it out. I’ve tried crowbars and hammers and air horns, but it is deeply embedded inside me – a sadistic barnacle clinging within. It nests in my shell. No one believes in its existence. I’ve tried to tell people it is there, but they give me sidelong glances and slowly back away from me. The beast also finds this amusing. It likes to come out when I’m alone and belches and farts and repeats this refrain:
I’m not going anywhere
I’ve got you until the end
Yes, I’m not going anywhere
I’m your only friend.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
He He He He He
Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho
At times, the beast likes to take over my vocal chords; I can feel it pulling them like a puppet master. Words that aren’t mine flow out of my mouth and insult the people closest to me. I’ve made a lot of them cry. Well, I haven’t. It has – only the voice sounds like mine.
It makes me give mean looks to strangers and roll my eyes at things people say, making me look like I don’t care. But I do! I do care but it won’t let me show it.
The beast also knows how to freeze my heart with nitrogen so it will shatter into a thousand pieces at the slightest touch. Shards of broken heart fall into the hollows of my feet and cut me when I walk. Then it makes me eat pie. It eats pie so I’ll gain weight. It laughs at that, too. And the cycle repeats itself while it just continues to laugh at me. The monster knows fat women will always be alone—so it keeps me in that state just to torment me and sustain itself.
Sometimes it gets to the point where I want to die but I was raised Catholic and suicides go to hell, so I’m stuck. And it knows this because it is a smart beast. Very smart. It uses its knowledge to its advantage just to terrorize me. It subsists on my tears, fat, and anxiety. Those things are its food group. It must indulge in order to be a well-fed, healthy beast. Even monsters are not immune to the requirements of a healthy diet. And it is well-fed. The fat, the anxiety, the tears are not going anywhere. I suppose I’ll continue to feed the beast, so it will be the healthiest damned monster that ever inhabited anyone’s body. I guess that is something I can be proud of once this life comes to an end – I successfully nurtured my self-hate until it absorbed me in its entirety.
Natasha Cabot is a Halifax-based Canadian writer whose work has been featured in Thrice Fiction Magazine, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review, as well as several others. She recently completed work on her first novel, Patriotland.