Paris Times n°13 ” Jie Jie Goes Shopping” By Matthew Carlson

Jie Jie Solla Bina was angry. So angry that she couldn’t see straight. She couldn’t remember ever being so mad, but the day that Gelledge had come to her house and stolen away her darling Yorkshires was too much! And right in front of her on her own porch too! How dare he speak to her that way – and then run off with her little puffy spoodles, one under each arm. All she could do from her then “floored” position (she had been expertly blocked away and down when she had jumped on the bastard) was to scream for her eldest son to come and help. “O” had arrived very quickly upon the scene but wasn’t gonna catch Gelledge with those damn tennis legs of his!

Terrible feelings of abandonement flew upon her like a flurry of angry vultures on that recently grey bobbed head of hair. “Alone, unloved, being abandoned, no one likes me, loves me…” The terrible thoughts were unrelenting mixed with anger too, drowning out the fears that came first. She pulled herself up and revenge swole within. She would get those dogs back and make Gelledge suffer. She hated, hated him! But she had to remind herself that revenge was a dish best served on a cold plate…

Later on,  at the Gendarmerie, she couldn’t help but lie, it was if she was possessed. She told the female officer that Gelledge had gone into her home (a lie) that he had hit her (another lie), & that he had given her several kicks in the leg while she lay on the ground (another lie) and then to top it off, (another lie, of course) that Gelledge had stolen cash from her purse! All lies, but it had felt so good at the time when she was saying it. Exactly like when she was a girl and those emotions were at their peak and so she would cut herself just a little bit; just enough. The searing pain would take her away from her emotional pain, giving her some breathing space. It was exactly like that. She hoped O would support her story.

The next day, alone at the grocery store, she fingered the fruits and vegetables in the produce department. She eyed particularly the armenian cucumbers and the botoxed carrots that were unaturally large. She sighed  as she stared at the squash and the other oblong fruits & vegetables, tracing their special silouttes with her own large manly fingers. Jie Jie was on a mission, a secret one: one of ‘a joining’ of sorts. It was a necessity in her life, a religious ceremony though she had no religious beliefs, in spite of the forced upon her private catholique schools. Far from her Mother, far from her Father….She had learned to only listen to herself and the bad advice that she gave herself. She would & could never share her true thoughts to anyone, had never done it. Her life was nothing but secrets. No one had a clue of who she was really.

Having chosen the largest egg plant she could find, she garthered a few other ‘organic’ food stuffs to go along wth her prized vegetable, which had an extra-ordinary length and width to it. Also, she appreciated the dark coloring of it; it was more purple than black, so much like the one time lover from Senegal she had had way back when. Before getting married, before beings someones’ wife, before she became someones’ Mother  and now someones’ grandmother for Pete’s sake and all that other crap. Though she was a lesbien in her heart & soul, she could still appreciate a well endowed member on a man. It hit the spot that a small penis could never reach, no matter how perky it was – or enduring!

She raised her upper lip in a dull attempt of a smile at the young woman behind the cash register, who responded with enormous white teeth, surely brightened by some ridiculous toxic product. She hoped that no one could read the anticipation on her face (which was practically impossible) ; she didn’t realize that her face had long ago been etched in stone. She paid for her things and walked away, eager to get back home. Driving back, those awful emotions came again to visit and she did her best to not listen, to not feel. Years of practise had given her the ability of at least not showing her terrible suffering to others. She thought of her Mother and all those moments of invalidating: what she felt, who she was, what she might some day want…All of it, stomped on and then again and again, until there was no trace of that little girl; her hopes, any dreams of a prince (or a princess) or anything magical had been crushed and then buried. She smirked for a moment thinking of how she had had the last word finally; for her Mother was not buried, was not anything after her death. There was no ceremony at the cremation. Jie Jie had just gone and picked up the enclosed vase (they called it an urn) the next day as if it hadn’t mattered at all, placed it on the floor in an unnoticed corner of her illegally built wooden house, next to her dead husbands’ cremated contents from a few years earlier.

Going into the bedroom, she placed the freshly washed monster egg plant on her bed. Everyone was gone, this was her time and she needed that egg plant badly! Laying a large towel on the bed, she then grasped the discret tube of jilly-jelly in a drawer of the night stand. She took off her clothes and laid down. There were no emotions yet, this was a ritual for her. And this time, she had surpassed herself by buying the largest vegetable penis ever. She had to have it inside and had to have it now! It would be a true joining!

The longing that she felt started far off in her being somewhere, as she closed her eyes: as if it was calling to her. Was it a voice? Some ancient ancestor or past moment reaching out to her each time? She slowly greased her egg plant with her fat man hands, spreading her legs in order to put the thing inside. It was immense, yet she knew she could put it in there. She had stuffed so many things up there before: bottles, vacuum cleaner tubes, the handle of the vacuum cleaner, her brooms (two at at a time), a sledge hammer (her sons’), her favorite bread rolling pin, a 1963 champagne bottle (still unopened),  a tennis racquet, her sons’ swimming pool net handle which was really long, but not very thick….anything that might fill her up. Her infrequent dinner guests would have been surprised to know what and how certain objects for food preparation had been used in order to satisfy the enormous void that was in Jie Jie.

Following a minor accident with a large wooden ball (it had splinters), she had moved on to vegetables as they were more pliable, flexible. She had to fill up the void, the emptiness. That was her goal. The black hole of her existence had brought her to this strange moment: a moment between her and an enormous egg plant. But as she slowly inserted the tip between her vaginal lips, the futility of it suddenly all came crashing down; the reality of what she was doing, of who she was. The reality of who she had never been; the reality of who she would never be either.The void was real. It could never be filled up. She ws nothing. Had nothing. Counted for nothing.

Her desire left her as quickly as it had arrived. Like an unwanted salesman that comes to you when all you really want is just to be left alone.

She suddenly pushed the now rejected gigantic egg plant lover away from her stretched out woman parts and began to cry. Her baby Yorkshires had been stolen from her! It was all Gelledge’s fault. She hated him; she’d get them back. He would suffer…..She hated her Mother, hated her Father too – selffish violent son of a bitch…Her Bordeline Personality Disorder filipped. And then it flopped. And then it flipped….and then it flopped. Like an automatic stuck washing machine dial, it just kept turning by itself. No one controlled it. Jie Jie lay there, suffering on her bed, going back & forth with the ticking; the black & white ticking of her mental illness.Tick, tick, tick went the washing machine dial. Her broken brain could do nothing else. There was nothing else.

Later on in the kitchen, her son asked, “What’s for dinner Mom?”

“Stuffed egg plant,” she replied.

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