Still Life with Energy Drink

Still Life with Energy Drink

Still Life with Energy Drink

A Flash Piece by Gordon Brown

        The cashier at the gas station has fingernails like tiger claws. Thick and yellow. Curling backwards. I wonder how she wipes her ass when they’re that long. The princesses of the Qing Dynasty wore theirs long to show they didn’t have to work in gas stations. Or to work anywhere, but especially gas stations, if there had been gas stations during the Qing Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty they had servants who wiped their asses for them. But they didn’t have Tweety-Bird tattooed on the inside of their forearms like the cashier does. I can see it when she hands me the receipt. I don’t know what about it makes me so angry and upset, but it does. I don’t show it though. I just say thank you and the cashier just wheezes through her yellowed, horsey teeth. I’m walking back to work when I start thinking I’m being too harsh. I start thinking that I’m being awful snooty for someone who buys Full Throttle Blue Agave Full Flavor Energy Drink from the Chevron station up the road. I start thinking that I get a little up my own ass sometimes just because I got to learn about things like the Qing Dynasty and psychoanalysis and Peter-Paul Rubens and all the things that other people never got to. And maybe if I stopped to consider it I would actually realize that Peter-Paul Rubens would’ve thought the cashier was beautiful. Plump and squat and lovely. As beautiful as any goddess he ever painted. And if he was alive today, his still life paintings would have to be different. Things like – “Still Life With Watermelon Flavored Vape Cartridges.” “Still Life With Empty KFC bucket.” “Still Life With Fish And Jugs Magazine.” Still lifes are the ones with fruit and flowers. Where there’s always a skull hidden somewhere in the painting. The artist’s way of reminding you that life is fleeting. All is temporal. Rotten and wilting as any fruit or flowers. It’s supposed to remind you that you’re not special. That I’m not special. And that maybe I shouldn’t get all stuck up because I don’t have a Tweety-Bird tattoo on my forearm. Or because I know about how the princesses of the Qing Dynasty wiped their asses in spite of their long fingernails. Or about psychoanalysis and Peter-Paul Rubens. But then I think about if what Peter-Paul Rubens would have done if he caught a glimpse of the faded, cartoon canary inked on the wrist of his gas station Venus. I bet his eyes would’ve popped out just like in those Tweety-Bird cartoons.

        And that makes me feel less guilty.

Her Livestream Confession

Her Livestream Confession

From the Archives: How To Tell Whether You're Fucking or Making Love

From the Archives: How To Tell Whether You're Fucking or Making Love