Fear and Perfume
You are pulling into the parking lot of the One Stop Mart. There is a large muscular man with an iron cross tattoo and a red beard standing next to a motorcycle, looking at you. You pay attention to the space you are parking in. Don’t give yourself away, you say. Walk like you have nothing between your legs. Smile.
Check the mirror. Why haven’t you gotten your eyebrows done lately? Gender doesn’t care if you rebel against it. Look both ways. Step out the car. Lock it. Eyes on the door. Chest out. Smile but not at him. Smile to yourself. Don’t look at him. Open the door and walk into the shop. Get your coffee and go.
Pour coffee. No cream, no sugar; they will make you fat. Put on the lid. Walk up to the counter. Smile. Chest out.
“Will that be all for you today?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Here you go.”
“Thank you, honey. You have a good day.”
Smile wide and beam. “You too.” You passed. Walk out the door. The man is gone. Go to your car, get in. Good job. You’re safe. Drink your coffee. Make a note to get your eyebrows done. Breathe.
Monetize the series of tubes no matter how
no matter what goes up through them
no matter if it must come down
the bullets fly our stocks go up
and no one’s gotta worry about a thing
because we live in condos
drinking Johnny Walker Blue
and microdosing vaping popping addy
as the world destroys itself around us
Atlas Shrugging at those peasants
mortgages and private schools
but suddenly a shot burts out
and titans fall like redwood trees
and no one gives a fuck
except the media and Internet
all ready to give their hot takes
thanks to you.
Catherine B. Krause is a queer, disabled, and polyamorous transgender
woman living in Niagara Falls, NY with her girlfriend, landlord, three
cats, and PTSD.