Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Hour of Surgery

I'm sitting on a surgery table, discussing with my doctor what should be done about my arms and legs. He tells me they're perfectly fine. “This is nothing but hypochondria, Ms. Brundige.” But I insist on some kind of surgery. I tell him, “I will pay you out-of-pocket to cut my arms and legs off. Please...”

With a hefty wad of money in his pocket, my douche-bag of a doctor prepares the anesthetic and lays all necessary utensils on his tray. I lay there on the table, waiting. I feel nauseous just thinking about it, but I know I have to be practical. “I've depended too much on these limbs,” I mutter to myself, over and over. “I must find a way to live without them.”

The procedure begins all too slowly, and I catch my doctor, in my peripheral vision, puking into a trashcan. “What a wimp,” I think to myself.

“I can't...” he groans.
“Then I will,” I say.

Taking a deep breath, I press a razor-like tool into my right leg until it is bleeding unstoppably. I continue onto my left leg, embracing the pure pain of it all. My doctor runs to my side (not so disloyal after all) and yelps, “I'll do your arms...” He slices and dices my little arms, and now I am bleeding all over.

My doctor blinks in horror, “Emily...What have you done?

Flinching at my throbbing, self-inflicted wounds, I wonder the same thing.

First came the shock, then the horror. Last came the sadness, the astounding grief that weighs deep in my heart, in my empty stomach that wishes to be left alone. The individual person inside me begs for my attention. I had abandoned her so long ago...

Sealing some ghetto bandages over my wounds, my doctor offers, “Would you like to go home with a lollipop today?” He's back to his old routines.

I tell him, “No, not today, and not for a very long time.”

Sprouting creature-like crutches from within, I limp down the hall, climb into the elevator, and go home...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Punchy under the Pancake Sun

The sun beat down on Punchy, her heavy breasts slippin' and slidin' around in her slightly undersized sports bra. She wondered if truly fit people felt nothing wiggling or bouncing around on their body as they jogged, and whether the pace at which she jogged was "normal" or humiliatingly slow.

The extreme heat of the sun was causing Punchy to sweat terribly. Sweat beads slithered down her shoulders, chest, and nose. Punchy looked straight into the sun and told it, "You're too much today."

Curious, Punchy tasted the sweat bead sliding right below her nose, above her mouth. It wasn't salty, as she had expected, but sweet.

Sweet perspiration!

Punchy looked up at the sun again, this time with one eye closed. The perfect bright circle had transformed into a short stack of buttermilk pancakes, dripping in old-fashioned maple syrup.

"Nope, can't be," thought Punchy.

She kept on jogging despite a burning desire to collapse onto any of the grassy yards she passed. If only Punchy could carry Katie around with her, in her shorts pocket, or perhaps in a fanny pack--that would be more comfortable for Katie. Katie could continue to provide Punchy with pep and discipline, both of which Punchy needed but had troubling providing herself.

Ten more minutes and Punchy's workout would be complete. She treated herself to another face-lick. This time her sweat tasted exactly like maple syrup. Her food-inspired daydreaming beckoned her to gaze up at the sun again.

Punchy was sure of it this time. The sun had indeed been replaced by a plate of giant pancakes.

Punchy extended her tongue almost automatically. The pancakes seemed so close, yet they were so completely out-of-reach.

At that moment, there was nothing Punchy wanted more than to reach out and grab those glistening, golden flapjacks, and of course...eat them.

So she did.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Punchy under the Pancake Sun


Punchy was craving her favorite heart-attack-inducing food, the fried twinkie. There were two restaurants in the L.A. area that served fried twinkies: Mel's Diner, and a seedy but artsy joint called Lulu's. Punchy punched her roommate in the shoulder, begging, "Can we please go get fried twinkies?" Punchy's roommate, Katie, rubbing her bruised shoulder, told Punchy firmly, "No."

Punchy announced that she was dieting three days earlier. Katie was trying to act as her conscience in this and many other food-related scenarios. She was Punchy's friend, after all.

Katie was very healthy looking. She ate whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, although she generally tried to avoid foods such as fried Snickers bars, soda, ice cream, and pancakes. She didn't think too much about it. Food was in the background for Katie, like the trees and sky. Her brain distinguished hunger from appetite, she was perfect, etc.

Monday, 4:00 pm. It was actually time for Punchy's weekly jog. She thought she'd start with the goal of exercising for 25 minutes, once a week, and then eventually become Super Punchy, sprinting long distances every morning, no water required.

Katie also reminded her, "Yo Punch, isn't it time for your weekly jog?" It helped Punchy to have a babysitter like Katie around. Punchy was less inclined to bring crates of snickerdoodle cookies home after work, and more inclined to get off her ass and exercise, do some dishes, and maybe even some laundry.

Punchy sighed. "You're right." She slowly changed into her sport's bra and yoga pants, and walked out the door, water bottle in hand.

When Punchy gazed up at the sky, she noticed the sun looking bigger and brighter than usual. As she began to jog, her fat jiggled around uncomfortably. She had to find the right beat, a perfect rhythm of fat jiggles that remained constant with each step she took. Once she had found her fat jiggle groove, Punchy jogged on forward, feeling instantly accomplished after passing two houses and three apartment complexes.

Five, ten minutes passed until Punchy had reached what she called The Final Fifteen. Those first ten minutes were a breeze in comparison to the dreaded last quarter. Hyperventilation had already set in, but what was worse was that Punchy was beginning to feel hungry again--not for a fried twinkie, but this time for a full-stack of pancakes, dressed in runny maple syrup, melted butter, and a few fresh strawberries on top. And maybe just a baby squirt of whipped cream?

If it weren't for her hyperventilation, gravity's occasional pull on her excess body fat, the uphill course ahead of her, and her newly added (and ever-growing) pancake craving, Punchy may have had a successful afternoon run.

And then there was that sun again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Girl with the Curl (in the Middle of Her Forehead)

Twirling my luscious brown (graying) locks is my girliest habit to date. I walk with dumpy posture. It's a miracle if I ever remember to close my legs while standing or sitting. But I constantly touch my hair.

Is that a good thing? Attractive or irksome? Probably the latter, but finger-combing my hair is me meditating, de-toxing, or whatever those body-health-paranoid kids are doing these days. I twirl and twirl my little graying curl (in the middle of my forehead).


I used to be a writer, but now I am a cartoonist. I am currently trying to pick up the pieces of my literary past: the him's, her's, I's, and me's. Hopefully this will involve my writing some new short stories.