August 30, 2012
That seems like an obvious statement, right? It's not like hordes of modeling scouts are scampering through maternity wards with lighting rigs and cameras evaluating infants for sexy potential. They're not shining flashlights up expectant mothers' vaginas, whispering about the "it factor." They have no file cabinets stuffed with detailed womb profiles. Too bad. If they did those things, my path would've been straightforward. I never would've never endured a moment of insecurity. I never would've felt a moment of sadness or doubt. I could've streamlined perfection from womb to tomb.
Most supermodels are discovered in their teens, or early in adulthood. Having breezed through puberty with grace, dignity, and the awe of their peers, they arrive (on the scene!) with angular cheek bones, big bright eyes, and slender legs. All without effort. They (not so miraculously) find themselves among other pretty people. There vultures spy, awaiting and expecting them. Then, cameras. The world worships. Just that easy.
I didn't have that. Sure, I was a pretty good looking teenager. But I wasn't spectacular. I was a slight bit overweight, awkward, and certainly not aloft with breezy confidence and the expectation of adoration. I didn't have The Destiny. I stumbled into my magnificence via an all too common weakness.
Addiction has positive aspects, you know. They don't tell you that.
All of us, pretty and ugly alike, took our turns with substances. (except the hardcore academia nerds, but come on, fuck them, right?) For you, maybe, it was only beer and weed. A lot of us, though, disappeared for whole weekends, hiding in warehouses and forests, trying on different styles of blood chemistry. Call it youthful curiosity if you require justification. I tried them all. The ecstasy was good. I liked the instant fellowship. Acid was really intense, but it scared me sometimes. Heroin? Fashionable as fuck, but too dangerous and taboo, at least in my crowd. Cocaine, though? Fuck yeah more more more. Deviate my septum, right fucking now. Amen and hallelujah! I was all about it.
It took a while, but I got motherfuckin' skinny. And it looked damn good on me, gotta admit it. I was a mess, yet they all loved me. I had something. It was like being tickled constantly.
I know, I know, I'm dancing around it. Teasing. We do that. I'm getting to it, promise.
High school ended just in time. I flew off east and landed in the Big Apple. West Village, of course. (you expected that, and you were right to) NYU barely took me, but admitted I got. Was I a hipster? Maybe. Not too much, I like to think. It's not like I was a college radio DJ or anything. I didn't get carried away. At that point, at least. But damn if I didn't feel on top of the universe. The world? My oyster. Sex smothered me.
I could detail more about the college experience, but that's all irrelevant bullshit. Let's face it: I was headed for the center of the universe, and I fucking knew it.
Hmm. There I go getting a head full of ego steam again. It's hard to step back, at this point, and be realistic. Fuck it, though, I'm hot shit now. You love me. You'll pay attention. You have no choice. My middle name should be Compelling. Ahem. Back to the story. Sorry. Not really.
It wasn't until the art gallery opening that the world laid down gently and spread its legs wide for me.
There I was. Laughing, drinking, and pretending to like vegetable dip. You know, just socializing. Being sociable. Waiting for the inevitable sunshine that I deserved. Sneaking off to the bathroom for a bump. I don't remember the names of the gallery or the artist, but I can tell you the canvases had some sort of misguided crap best described as Jackson Pollack interpreted as geometry. Garbage, but nobody said so.
A man grabbed my shoulder and laid it on thick:
"I can make you. Are you ready to be stalked?"
Naturally, I had a bad reaction to this ominous sentiment. I shoved him off, called him a creep, whatever. He stood there, implacable, offering superior knowledge.
"Fine. You're not ready. Take my card. (which he handed to me) You're perfect. Christ. I need your face. I need it now."
The fuck? I stepped back, setting down my ranch drowned baby carrot. Nervous, scared, and yeah, excited. He continued.
"Clock is ticking, darling. You only have moments. I want to dress you up. I want to muse you. I can make the whole world sit up and take notice of every last eyelash stabbing the atmosphere. You got what I need. Make me money, sweetheart, before you grow old. Happens fast. I can make you famous. That's a promise. Give me a chance, and your life will magnify into something so amazingly good. I want you to be my supermodel. Wear my clothes. Wear my designs. Strut for me."
When I managed to close my gaping mouth, my gorgeous ass was smart enough to take him seriously. He was an awful creep, granted, but his confidence seduced me, and i decided to let him in. For my own glory. I believed him.
I made the right decision.
So here I am. My tiny ass sells panties. You're not even sure who I am, after this little confessional, but I guarantee you desperately want to fuck me. Yeah, they give me money. They give me cocaine. As much as I desire. I have it all.
And I'm still young. I'm not old.
Steve Giles used to write a lot at Tinfoil Viking Science. He doesn't anymore, though, because he's a lazy fuckup with nothing to say.
August 28, 2012
August 26, 2012
August 24, 2012
Tessa McSorley is artist and writer from Gainesville, FL who hoards sketchbooks. She has a screen printing studio in her garage, and her dog likes to sit under the table as she prints. She recommends Bisquick's Extra-Easy Pizza Recipe. You can view more of her work at tessamcsorley.com or howtomakeart.com.
August 22, 2012
Neal Kitterlin lives in Matteson, Illinois with his wife and daughter. He has work published in PANK, Housefire, and elsewhere. To the best of his knowledge, he has never been in a room with a supermodel. Find him at infinitegestures.tumblr.com or on twitter @NealKitterlin.
August 20, 2012
August 18, 2012
--from the September 1952 issue of Pageant magazine
Now I spend at least ten minutes each morning
working out with small weights. I have never cared especially
for outdoor sports and have no desire to excel
at tennis, swimming, or golf. I'll leave those things
to the men. Despite its great vogue in California
I'm personally opposed to a deep tan.
By nature I suppose I have a languorous disposition.
I move my weights in circles until I'm tired.
Now I have to worry about eating too much.
Before I take my morning shower
I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate
I keep in my hotel room. When it's hot, I break
two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork,
and drink them while I'm dressing. I supplement this
with a multi-vitamin pill, and I doubt
any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast.
Every night I stop at the market near my hotel
and pick up a steak, lamb chops, or some liver
which I broil in the electric oven in my room.
I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat
and that is all. Frankly I've never considered
my own figure so exceptional.
Amanda Laughtland is an English teacher and the editor/publisher of Teeny Tiny Press (http://teenytiny.org). Her most recent collection of poems, Vital to Victory, is available for free from NAP (http://issuu.com/napmagazine/
August 16, 2012
August 14, 2012
by Casey Hannan
I was in a church choir once, but I just whispered. There were other boys who could sing. I only sang in the car with my mother. She lied and told me my voice had a creepy beauty. She said it was like if spiders could sing. She circled one of her hands around my wrist and told me I would be a spider if I had to be anything else. I told her she would be a sewing needle and thread.
My mother said, "Thank you. I'd be useful in so many ways."
My mother's a supermodel. She has a new family who doesn't know she's a supermodel. Her husband is a librarian and her children know how to make their own clothes. My mother says it's important her new children have a skill. She says they don't have good faces yet. I say they look like models. My mother says there's a difference between models and supermodels. I ask about that difference and my mother won't tell me.
I've lost a lot of weight. My mother hasn't said anything about it. Being skinny is the bare minimum. I've always had skinny wrists. I have nightmares my wrists are full of snakes. That's why I tried to cut them out once. My mother was there. She put her hands over my eyes, and I fell asleep.
My mother's in town for a fashion show. We only drink. I've never seen my mother eat anything but breakfast. That was a long time ago. We were eating scrambled eggs and she said, "Just think about yellow food and how weird it is." Now I think about it every time. It's the weirdest with lemons. They look how they taste. I can squeeze lemons into my water all day and not get tired. My scars stand up when I squeeze. I've been doing exercises so I'm not such a spider anymore.
My mother has a purse full of airplane vodka shots. We sit on the edge of a fountain and drink. My mother tells me how her husband collects pictures of naked women. One folder on his computer is all supermodels. My mother is in there twice, but her face is painted.
"He knows my tits, though. I bet he knows. I don't have this many old friends getting married. That's what I have to say to travel."
"All my friends are getting married. They're turning into birds and making nests."
"Don't act like you want kids. You don't."
When my mother married her new husband, she made a nest of pillows on my old bed and put scented candles in it. She never lit the candles because scented candles are expensive. She took the lids off to let them breathe. The scents were grass and laundry. My mother had me again for a little while.
I ask my mother about tickets for her fashion show.
"It doesn't have to be front row."
"Listen, sweetie, I'm not really in town for a show this time."
My mother lifts her shirt and shows me a purple swell on her belly.
"I rolled over a brown recluse in my sleep. I can't be in a bikini yet. Maybe never again. It looks worse than it is. Just the end of my career."
My mother is crying. She drinks an airplane shot. It looks like she's sucking poison.
I say, "You can do makeup over it."
My mother takes my wrists and runs her thumbs over the web of my scars.
"You don't," she says.
There are some pigeons on the fountain with us. They're putting their beaks in the empty vodka bottles and knocking them in the water. A cop on a horse comes by and tells us to pick up our trash. My mother walks behind the cop and pulls the horse's tail. The horse kicks my mother in the stomach. The cop smacks the horse, and the horse kicks again and again. My mother tries to cave in a little more each time. She's a needle and her hair is snipped thread. The horse kicks my mother invisible.
BIO: Casey Hannan lives in Kansas City. He's seen a man milk a venomous snake. The man had no thumbs. Casey is lazy at www.casey-hannan.com.
August 11, 2012