The Narcissists, by Lorette C. Luzajic
1. We cover our scars in scarlet, all of us. We are lean and long and carmine, like flamingos. One swipe of the lippy, smear like a gash. We are all wound. We are haute couture stick figure skeletons. Red devils. We are all eyes, holes.
2. Teeter totter Gaga spikes. Rose red kid soft leather from Italy. Thigh high. I command the room. I was playing Truth or Dare like Madonna and her dancers in these same boots. Someone asked about the meanest thing you ever did. I said nothing, but my mind went instantly back, to an earlier place wielding this same power. My little brother is blue, and trembling, from too long in the ice-cold lake. I wrap him in a warm towel and press him against my big new breasts. He is twelve. Want to see them? I whispered it so softly that no one else has ever heard me.
3. You drive past the gallery wearing a PVC harness dress. Then swoop back. You can’t stand him in the limelight, or anyone else, really. You storm inside, disrupting the artist’s story over Chenin Blanc and Brie because it’s all about you. It’s only ever been about you. You wanted so desperately to be famous, but now it’s happening to somebody else. Someone you once called a friend. You want him to stop everything when he sees you, to tremble, to acquiesce his platform to its rightful owner. He laughs. He knows what you are. He remembers everything. You hate to be mocked. You are seething. He is still laughing. Lord, he says. Out loud, in front of everyone. You haven’t changed a bit.
4. In a fugue, the young woman marched to the rooftop. See me, she said, to anyone watching on Instagram. Stepped off, fell down, sundown, long gone. Without the camera, she doesn’t even exist. She is varnish, shell, shellac. All surface, all illusion. She hasn’t eaten for days, maybe weeks. She wants to watch herself bleed. Witness them fussing around her beautiful corpse on the ground. Her last thought is not, oh, God, what have I done, but OMG, how will I see myself disappearing?
5. We drape ourselves in red velvet, claw scattered stars with lacquered talons. We accuse those we used to love of unspeakable crimes, just to watch their lives crumble under the force of our lies. We crisscross our cuts, ram our fingers down our throat, drown our babies in bathtubs. We like it when you watch.
Lorette C. Luzajic
This small fiction is from the author's book, Winter in June (Mixed Up Media Books, 2021).
10/26/2022 10:33:01 am
Really enjoyed this, very lively writing.
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