The Iron Corset


please tell me I’m not the only one who is shocked beyond belief! I feel numb I’m so upset. This can’t be real!! How can you guys say this won’t change anything? This changes EVERYTHING. I don’t even know what to think right now.


– Holmes24


Bad things sometimes happen to good people. This is one of the few things I believe in, but that’s not pertinent. Now, I’ve never been one for the celebrity gossip rags or that fake smiling shit of the likes of Mary Hart but so, by god, this one hit hard. Pouring my cereal this morning, radio says something about Clay coming out of a closet. A closet? What’s that supposed to mean? Then Marie comes charging in, looking all smart like she knows something she shouldn’t, taking jabs at me. Talking about him. Saying bad things. I tell her to shut up and fix me a sandwich, so she gets to it. We may be living well now, but I still love a good sandwich. Meat between the bread and so on. Bit of mayonaise. I start defending him, saying he must have faced some awful hardships growing up looking the way he does and who cares anyways and shut up. Then I say it. I just let it out. I love him. Months of agony and it came to that. You should have seen her face. Didn’t like that, not one bit. Who the hell do you think you are and so on. The usual questions. I answer with wet garbage. Put that sandwich in the lunchbox. She does. She accepts my love for him. Knows it means nothing between me and her. She gives me unconditional support, my little iron corset does, cinching up the flabby bits of life to make me more appealing. More ready. Or at least that’s what I tell her as I head out the door, spinning at the last second to throw the sandwich in the trash. I don’t eat that shit anymore.

Marie says she loves it when I give her unappealing nicknames.

We’re both terrible liars. Terrible as in, we lie a whole lot, not we lie, but poorly. Sorry, I like to instruct. I don’t like to think of it as teaching because to teach is to imbue the act of instruction with some sense of neutered dignity and institutionalized false respect. Or at least that’s the way I see it. I simply tell people what to do and they do it. If they know what’s good for them, that is.

At least that’s how it used to be. Now I’m a simple vendor. The tools of my trade? A trenchcoat, one hundred percent vegan snacks packaged individually in ziplock baggies, and a boom box for the slow times. It’s not a boom box so much as it’s a portable radio with a cassette deck, but it has given new life to my mix tapes of old. Turns out my taste was just as bad then as it is now. Still, it lends a lifelike appearance to my daily ritual.

I head downtown to the health food store and set up in the parking lot. I’ve learned a few things about people over the years and I’ve learned a few things about myself. One of them is that I often forget what I’m thinking halfway through.


One Response to “The Iron Corset”

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