Monday, May 9, 2011

"Pink Supernova"

Sweat sticks in my threaded eyebrows. Desert winds send my bangs flapping against my head and my dress, a tissue-thin turquoise sheet, seals against my frame; I am a shrink-wrapped Barbie doll. I am lying on a bamboo stretcher hoisted four feet into the air by six circus dwarves dressed as court jesters. I hear high-pitched chirps from wind instruments and the jangling of the jesters’ bells. A foreign mix of Moroccan sounds that remind me just how far from home I am. I lay still while the jesters run as quickly as their legs will allow. I tilt my neck down and see my target: a pink dot growing bigger and bigger, an infected eye dilating, a rose-colored supernova surrounded by grey. I am a guided missile shooting towards an elephant’s anus and the squealing eruption from his trunk tells me he’s not excited about this either. I am wearing a hat made of a beehive.

I wonder why I am doing this. My feet slip in and I am a child testing the water’s temperature. It is extremely warm. I wonder if this will be worth it. I’m up to my knees now and I am an adolescent zipping up a ski suit. It is full of goo. I wonder if I will ever be able to wash this off. I am in to my chest and I am a teenager in a sleeping bag. I can’t move my arms, locked in a colonic straight jacket while my feet balance on a bowling ball of feces. I wonder what my dad would think if he were alive to see this. I am up neck deep and I am at my father’s hospital bed, receiving the last hug he ever gave me. The elephant’s anus squeezes me just right and I feel more comfortable than I have in three years. I am confident and secure. Suddenly I know this is the right thing to do. I tilt my head up and smile big.

A firing squad of flashbulbs explodes in my face. I smile, I brood, I squint. Only my head is visible; I am just a hemorrhoid with sharp cheekbones. I do everything I’ve got, give them everything I can give them from the confines of this elephant’s rectum. The photographer yells it’s a wrap and a handler tickles the elephant’s trunk with a goose feather and he sneezes and I shoot out, a stinky human cannonball reborn with a drive to win. I am swarmed by flies and I have no more doubts. I will be America’s Next Top Model.

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