Hell is impatient, Hell is unkind. It envies. It boasts. It’s eating a stale box of Lucky Charms without marshmallows and getting towed with $10 in your bank account. It’s not a get-away destination or on a map, it’s a rent-free feeling with an insatiable hunger, submerging itself into the crawl spaces of your anatomy until you’re tarnished and ugly, a gremlin-beast with four eyes and fangs. Hell is learning you’re Irish when you thought you were Swedish. It’s being the only person in the third-fucking-grade who forgets to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and getting pinched until thumb-sized welts line your forearms like polka dots. It’s kissing someone who wipes your saliva off their mouth. It’s winning the lottery and telling everyone you won the lottery, only to realize you’re dyslexic. It’s sitting in a waiting room, hungover and alone, contemplating where your life went wrong, pinpointing that one, crucial mistake that screwed you up indefinitely.
Hell is having out-of-body experiences all the time.
I’m in a fluorescent doctor’s office with sad, mustard-colored furniture, waiting to hear if I’m pregnant or just bloated. There are other faceless, pregnant-or-just-bloated people filling chairs too. Some wear wedding rings, some don’t. Maury is streaming on the television. I find this both inappropriate and deserved, a prologue to my future life as a Bad Mother, payment for playing Russian roulette with Bad Men. I’m not an idiot. I don’t hook up with every Super Sperm with an erect penis, I just find lonely people attractive, and I sometimes let them cum inside me in bar restrooms and beat-up trucks and motels, parking garages, weddings, bowling alleys, open fields, funerals. I take Plan B, which is like 95% effective.
When the nurse calls my name, I thumb a three-leaf clover and follow her.
Gabrielle McAree is from Fishers, IN. She studied Theatre and Writing at Long Island University Post. Her work appears or is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Tiny Molecules, Reflex Press, Versification, and (mac)ro(mic). Twitter: @gmcaree_