Fruit meat and nut oil

By , Malibu, CA
I never asked to be here, she thought. I never received an invitation. It never arrived at my doorstep giggling with anticipation. I never found it bathing in the beams of sunlight that coruscated from the webbed awning. It wasn’t adorned in a sparkling ruby envelope, tempting me to dig my fingernails into the flesh of its diaphanous crease. The sealed gum region of the envelope didn’t smell of perfumed jasmine or taste of layered coats of grease and vinegar. Streams of daffodil confetti didn’t leap from the pores of its canvas to greet me. Pressed silk, veneered in embroidered, sleek typography never paved its way across the milky paper bearing the words: You are cordially invited to join us, here on earth—as a human—as Ferris Layne.
But, it happened anyways.
...

Ferris drove down the street just as the sun had begun to set— forming apricot blossom clouds that swam effortlessly across the sky. The smell of cypress pervaded the air, a mossy aroma, and she submerged herself in it, drenching her skin in its gente glory. She felt like a cup of coffee: filled to the brim. As the bouquet of scent started to fade, Ferris felt the warmness inside her solidify. Now, she was solid—Now, luminous copper replaced her organs. She was a statue from the inside out. It was hard for her to move. Infatuated by this fossilized feeling, she almost didn’t see the car in front of her slam on its breaks. But, she did see it, and with a swampy gesture, she moved her foot and animated her once statue-self. The traffic worsened and Ferris searched for temporary solace in the anxious faces that sat in the cars surrounding her. She looked in her rear view mirror, but found something else.

At first it was just the tip of his head. Her eyes dragged downward and she saw his gaze gravitate towards her. He had feathery brown hair and inky black glasses that framed his pebbled turquoise eyes. Ferris collapsed into the amorphous sea of these crystal eyes and he didn’t look away. This meant that he loved her. This meant Ferris wouldn’t have to be alone anyone. He would run out of his car, yank her by her wrist and tell her to never leave him. She would run her bony fingers across his buttery hair and down his cream colored cheek. His caramel coated voice would melt all her previous thoughts away and there would only be silence. But, the traffic subsided and the man behind her turned left. He didn’t get out of his car.

In a few moments, Ferris was home and she fumbled her way up the stairs and fumbled her way to open the door and fumbled her way into the unlit kitchen. She stood there for a moment, in the dark, and looked at the apartment she had grown to hate. She felt excruciatingly tall— like she had grown ten feet and the world below her repelled the mere sight of her face. She reached for the lamp and the room was temporarily splashed with orange warmth. Now, she felt small. She knew what it was like to be a tiny cell, convulsing under a microscope, gyrating her hips and knees, looked at with one wincing eye. She felt cramped in her apartment, she felt cramped in Los Angeles, in the United States, on Planet Earth. She pictured luminous matter, dancing beyond earth’s atmosphere. This nebulous muddle of celestial gas would take one look at this blotch many people call Home. It wouldn’t have to speak, it wouldn’t even have to think, but it would wonder:

“ Say, what’s that little dot over there? ”
“ Where? ”
“ Right there? ”
“ Oh…beats me.”


Ferris was small.
A gust of wind sent sharp goose bumps up her spine and she untied her braided hair. It bounced down her shoulders and curled around the fabric of her knitted sweater. She felt unborn. She felt sluggish. She craved a pulpy woolly nest to rest her feet and muddled mind.

She would take off all her clothes. She would surround herself in fruit meat and nut oil. Plums&beets&peaches&rasberries&almonds&cashews &macadamias. She wanted it to resemble the womb. It wouldn’t be gory—but wholesome. She would stay there all night until her artist roommate would find her. He would call it art and she would call it a snack. He would hang it in his gallery and the whole city would wait in line to get a glimpse of his latest piece. The man with the turquoise eyes would be there. He would see the portrait and realize that he loved her. He would apologize for making a left turn and for not getting out of the car. He would invite her to dinner but she would be too proud to accept. She would tell him that she had a previous engagement—she was invited somewhere else.

But she hadn’t been invited somewhere else and she didn’t have an artist roommate and she didn’t bathe herself in fruit meat and nut oil.

She walked over to her bedroom, her husband sat, reading quietly on the bed. She said hi, and he waved back.





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