Everyone had been so happy lately. Samantha Giles, who everyone called Sammy Gills in elementary school, then Fishy Gills, then ugly Fish Face with Gills in middle school, and finally, Period Blood Soaked Puffy Gilled Cunt Slop in high school, had grown out of her cystic acne and monetized her pigeon-toed posture into a fashion blog that was popular among young housewives in mid-tier cities. But beyond all that, Samantha Giles was engaged to a good man and she was only twenty-five! A quarter century and not a year more!
"Came home to this spread #luckiestgirl #whatdidIdotodeservehim #broughtHawaiihomewithus #stillonvacation #hecooksmegourmetmeals #Imakepoptarts" she captioned under a picture of the suckling pig her fiancé had prepared. But something had disturbed Lillian about the photo. The pig appeared to be burned through. It was severely desiccated and looked like it had been rubbed in tar. Even if the casual viewer could look past the crime scene of piglet-arson, there was still the issue of Samantha's fiancé's face, two-thirds of which colonized the upper-right quadrant of the photo and gave the impression of a man who had just completed his first killing spree.
Lillian showed the picture to several friends from high school who knew Samantha, some college friends and even a few from grad school, but when none of them gave her the reaction she was looking for, she forwarded the photo to a few massage girls she used to work with before she went independent. The girls at the massage parlor were so different from her that it was almost shameful. But it was also exactly what she wanted—a domain where she could stand apart without having to point it out, the way mediocre rich men did. They could afford to have ego without charisma, confidence without originality, but not her. She was a poet from the academy!
In school, her cohorts leaked elitist precum all over their poetics and Lillian had joined in without wholly committing, something she had done her whole life—dip a toe in every puddle. While everyone else was applying for the same shitty adjunct positions in Rhetoric and Comp and vying for the precious few poetry fellowships given out each year, Lillian trolled Backpage until she found a job posting that wasn't in ALL CAPS, had no ~, @, $ or * characters, and used decent grammar.
When she got the massage parlor job, she would carry around small press chapbooks that her former classmates had published, hoping some bored hooker waiting for a john would ask her what she was reading, at which point Lillian would read aloud, "Only the macrobiotic rational of kitsch, forswearing fraudulent immunity to libidinal marketplace, circulates certain types of letter drones," to which her hooker friend would respond, "All I got out of that is this fuckin' nerd needs to get laid."
If she was reading to a client who needed to think of himself as educated, intelligent, and insightful—anything really that distanced him from being a fuckin' nerd who needed to get laid—then the response was more likely to be along the lines of, "He shortchanges the role of libido in poetry. For example," and the client would look greedily at Lillian's naked body, "Your body of poetry quite excites me."
"The hell is a suckling pig anyway?" Lillian's friend Bethannni with three n's from the massage place asked. "I'd never eat something that's been suckled."
"So no human babies," Lillian said. "Seriously, though. Look at this useless shred of cunt lint. Does this bitch really think she's blessed ?"
"What'd she ever do to you? It's just a food pic."