(A Love Story)
Words by Jasminne Morataya
Images by Brandon Yung
She (the giant loser) possessed dumb vindictive horse eyes. They were incredibly round and emitted a faint, possibly supernatural light. In life she (the pathetic child nihilist) was vivacious and bright like a fresh cabbage and always quite hopeful. This woman (this stunted brainless goblin) did not realize that she (the worst person to ever live) was condemned to lose forever and ever in a series of increasingly painful circumstances, a fact made more merciless because it was all the result of a single decision that could have easily been avoided. Each loss compounded the subterranean self-hatred in her bloodless beating heart, a feeling she (the shit smeared on the walls of a poorly maintained high school restroom) would never be able to express in any sort of language except the secret vestigial one where she (a flaccid micropenis) went to the grocery store and cried automatically every single time the misting system cooled the produce.
At the end of the day it didn’t even really seemed to be her fault, really, that the big black void worm burrowed its way into her body, every single day piloting further and further into an endless, unyielding despair. She had been to a few therapy sessions as an adult and had been convinced that everything bad that ever happened to her had been the result of loving, but ultimately destructive parenting. The mother, who squeezed her whole life into the unwilling chapsticked mouth of her only daughter, tried to appease the vast emptiness of her wasted body with alcohol. Her fake mayonnaise stepfather consumed huge quantities of cheese and meat, and as a result was filled with rage and indigestible animal fiber. They would smother and smother the girl and until reaching a critical obstacle, and for a night or two she would disappear out of the living room window while they argued about the bills or the relatives or the sins accumulated in the house of abject unhappiness and middle class pain.
It was during one of these moments of loving but ultimately destructive parenting that the ouija board materialized at a friend’s house. They had made contact with the worm around 10:30, while eating sour candy and drinking pineapple soda. She was 13. Her friend felt the air become leaden and evil and vainly tried to persuade the girl to abandon the board and come downstairs, but eventually made the descent alone.
The worm had taken complete control, and her greatest wish had been fulfilled. She would never feel alone in her heart again. There would always be someone to understand where others failed to.
The ancient, undulating worm fed on disappointment, and knew that disappointment would always be greater when preceded by a mild success. So it was like that her entire life. Mild success, crushing, ineffable disappointment. The woman, the post-girl, died many times throughout her life. She met many prideful men, for whom love was…expensive, mercenary, and always fleeting. Proof of purchase kiss with a dimensionless boiled egg body. She tried so hard, she meant so well. She failed at everything because the worm convinced her of her failures in advance, and for a long time her life was impossible.
When she met the Nice Boy it seemed like everything had Worked Out™. It was a beautiful exploding moment in time. But with time she tried to relate her problems to the Nice Boy as she often did with the worm, who validated her every word. And the Nice Boy criticized her, reproached her for the sorry state of her life, made her feel as if she did not try. He picked apart every aspect of her relationship to the worm, who had never ruined her life without consent. The worm poisoned her, he said. The worm was preventing her from living a full and productive life, he said. The Nice Boy tried to change her, attempts which were met by resistance and a type of cold confusion, her reproachful horse eyes big and hurtful. She had coexisted with the worm for such a long time, and with the Nice Boy such a short one, and in the end it made perfect sense as to which one should leave.
And it was the two of them alone again. The worm piloted and the girl was led. To the very edge of the world the girl walked, and when she finally fell off into the good ol’ hereafter there was no one but the void worm to catch her.
Jasminne Morataya, 17, goes to Cal Poly Pomona as an Agricultural Science major, an option secondary to pursuing what she sees as her pessimistic artform. She currently plans on planting gourds in the future, until her death.