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Monday, December 27, 2010

Colleen Stanton.

Her stomach rumbled as she ungracefully rolled out of bed, placed her feet on the cold floor, and sighed. Another day. Another fucking day. As she groggily made her way to the small, cockroach infested kitchen, she rummaged through cabinet after cabinet, only coming across stale Cheerios. When she shook the box, the crumbs were so nonexistent, they barely rustled in the plastic bag. The refrigerator was bare, its innards completely missing, like a mummy the Egyptians disassembled in preparation for burial. How fitting, that she would parallel her fridge to a corpse; she viewed the house as a tomb, some cavern six feet under the ground from which she could not escape. At times, it were as if the very walls were pressing inward on her, making her fat rolls on her hips and ass squelch under the pressure. She was only sorry it didn’t kill her.

Why she was looking for food was beyond her comprehension; she wasn’t even hungry. She never was, especially in the morning. Ever since she could remember, the thought of even the most appealing breakfast, poached eggs, Canadian bacon, perfectly toasted bread, was enough to make her yak. She placed the nearly empty cereal box back in the cupboard, neglecting to throw it away even though the trashcan was within feet of her. Colleen rubbed her crusted eyes with weathered, worn hands that smelled of turpentine and clay; even though she had soaked her hands for several minutes in the nasty chemical, she could not get the earthy smell out of her hands from molding pots and mugs yesterday. It was as if the clay became her hands, fusing with the very fibers of her sinew and marrow. Colleen smiled at the thought of being a real artist, even though deep down she knew she was nowhere close to being able to label herself with such a title. She barely made enough money to afford her living expenses, but this was how she liked it. The thought of performing a job day in and day out that she despised made her want to throw up just as much as the thought of breakfast.

Making her way to her Keurig coffee maker, she patted the machine’s smooth surface like it was her pet. It looked completely out of place against her filthy countertops that were splashed with food and unknown liquids, but Colleen didn’t mind the mismatched d├ęcor. In fact, she loved it. Best decision of my life, stealing you, she thought as she slid a dirty mug under the coffee-maker, and pressed a button. Colleen stood close by, watching the machine go through its motions, and within a few seconds, her not-so-clean cup was filled with piping hot liquid. Like magic, you are. Fit for a queen. Minus the grime around the rim of her mug, but she could ignore that small tidbit of information. It wasn’t like her lips were a stranger to this glass. For being a bit of a germaphobe, Colleen could ignore such things in her own apartment, but God help James, the only waiter that would serve her anymore, if there were a water spot on her fork at the diner around the corner from her shithole residence. Something about other people’s mouths touching the silverware from which she also ate grossed her out to no end. Colleen would have brought her own set of utensils had she not been so damn consumed with her artwork.

While she reminisced about her infamous adventure from which she had gained her prized coffeemaker, she absentmindedly meandered her way around the accumulation of dirty clothes and smashed soda cans that lie as still as dead soldiers. Had you tested her navigation skills in the dark, she would have amazed you; the piles of shit on her apartment floor had been there so long, it were as if the obstructions had become permanent fixtures in her house that could not be moved, even if she had the volition to do so. Colleen shuffled her feet across the peeled linoleum floor of the kitchen to what appeared to have been a nice living room at one time but had the appearance of being trashed in a recent frat party: Doritos were thrown about the room, a lamp knocked off of the table, dirty dishes and Tupperware containers were stacked on the end tables. The only semi-clean table was the coffee table. How stereotypical, she thought with a smile, as she placed her mug on the table and sat back on the rotting couch that smelled so much of mildew, it could gag the termites that infested her walls. The only smell that overpowered that of the mildew and mothballs was the sweet stench of the death of mice and rats hidden deeply in the walls between her and her asshole neighbor’s apartment. Colleen couldn’t understand why the rats and mice would want to live there, what with her neighbor blaring music at all hours of the night so loudly, it was enough to shake the pictures Colleen might have hanging on her walls, but did not. She had sold every picture frame that had ever held any artwork or photograph, whether it was made from her hands or not. Not that she missed the memories. Not with all of them floating around her brain, able to be recalled willingly or unwillingly to the surface of her mind’s eye.

Her stomach growled again, a gurgle of disgust, as if rebuking her for not eating. The thought of food still repulsed her. She glanced down at the coffee table, with its cracked class and rusted metal, and picked up the razorblade that lay on its cragged surface. Sliding it through her fingers, she contemplated how easy it would be just to slice her wrists, to end what had been forty-seven years of a misshapen, misunderstood existence. She laughed at the idea; only pussies dealt with life by killing themselves. And she was too much of a stubborn bitch to concede that life had beaten her. Colleen leaned forward, scraped the powder into a pile, and tapped the razorblade clean. She contemplated it, observing it like an old friend. Her stomach obnoxiously thundered, begging her for food, pleading. Suddenly, moving with a purpose no one would have thought Colleen Stanton would have possessed, she lurched forward, positioned herself over the cocaine and inhaled a long, deep breath. Feeling the sudden simultaneous calming and coming alive of her limbs, Colleen Stanton leaned back onto her moth-eaten couch and sipped from her lukewarm mug, thinking to herself with a slight upturn of the mouth, Breakfast of fucking champions.

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