How to fit in
What have you done now he said. I was holding my hand up to my face but was crying and laughing like you do when you have done something idiotic, again.
Please just help me I said.
Ok ok, just stay calm he said like I was a small animal caught in a trap, which I basically was, if that trap was a vitamin container clamped on a girl’s lip. They were always telling us how birds got caught in our trash but I had never seen it but then I was still thinking about the ones in the oil. Now when I saw a bird stuck in something I would give them a sign that I understood, then get my boyfriend to come help them because I was useless and would probably get caught too and then someone else might come along or another animal and they might get stuck and then we were a picture book.
I am calm but it hurts, it really hurts I said, every word hurting because my lip was caught under a tight plastic lid. Maybe when it came off I would at least have big lips like some girls did but mostly paid for. I didn’t know how to pout though. I was thinking all this mostly to stop myself passing out from pain or dying of embarrassment.
He was used to me getting stuck in regular things, like chairs and bathrooms or clothes, but never anything this weird. When we met and I said I wasn’t like other girls I think he hoped I meant in a sexual or snack way.
How did you even do this? he said and I could tell he wanted to laugh but he knew that it would make me laugh and that would hurt.
I couldn’t get the top off I said.
So you tried to prise it open with your mouth?
Yes I said because there was no point lying. He knew I was like a wild animal and if I couldn’t get in something I was going to try and tear it open with my mouth or chuck it against something. I didn’t tell him I already tried throwing the vitamin bottle against the wall because our landlord had already complained about the weird dents all over the place.
Why didn’t you ask me? he said because like all humans he wants to serve a purpose, even if it’s just opening shit for people.
Because I’m impatient! You know that. So shit like this happens, ok! I said getting upset, at myself mostly. I was the opposite of calm. If I was a small bunny in a trap I would be ripped to shreds from all the wriggling by now.
He laughed then. He couldn’t help himself.
It’s not funny! I said but it was.
It is a little he said.
Not if I’m stuck like this and this is how I look from now on and you have to warn everyone before they meet me about it and tell them not to look at it or mention it and it’s all they can look at and all they want to know about so I end up gouging your eyes out just to distract people from my lip and then we’re that couple.
We’re already that couple he said.
Ok! Jeez! I don’t know what to do though he said and he always knew what to do, so as well as fucking myself over I had broken him.
Get it off me! I said starting to cry again.
It’s not a bee, keep still he said.
I would prefer a bee right now.
Sorry but we’re fresh out.
Just get it off me I sobbed.
I don’t know if I can he said and I wanted to scream who did I marry but we weren’t married because we didn’t agree with it but more likely because this was a glimpse of what our wedding would be like.
I always thought it would be you stuck in something I said then.
Thanks he said and I told him how I grew up hearing all those stories about boys and hoovers and pies or worse, pets.
Again, thanks he said, wrongly assuming I thought he was better than most boys.
I think we’re going to have to go to the hospital he said then in a dad voice.
I can’t like this I said.
So what, you’re just going to never go out again?
Maybe I said because there were worse things. TV was good now.
C’mon, you can put a scarf on or hat or bag or something he said starting to look.
Ok, but I want a nice bag I said.
Fine he said just pray there’s one of those boys there stuck in a hoover or worse to make you not look so daft he joked and I appreciated it.
I picked a scarf in the end because I wanted to look vaguely normal and we drove to the hospital.
I tell him people will think I’m hiding something but they will never guess what.
I have to go and move the car he said leaving me alone in the Emergency room.
I’m sure they’ve seen worse he said knowing I was thinking of running away to live in the woods because if the reports were true most of nature was stuck in our garbage anyway and I would fit right in.
There was a boy there who seemed fine. He could have been waiting for someone but I preferred to think he got off on injuries because boys are gross, says the girl with a vitamin pot stuck on her lip.
What did you get stuck in? I asked the seemingly healthy but possible pervert.
It’s ridiculous he said.
More ridiculous than this I said showing him under my scarf. I was never that forward but I figured I would be in the woods soon.
The boy couldn’t help but laugh.
I know, I’m ridiculous I said because I was.
Ok, because you showed me yours he said and he showed me his finger where a small pistachio was clamped.
Say hello to my little friend he said and I laughed and it hurt.
It hurts like fuck he said.
Yes, but at least it’s on your finger I said.
Ok, you win he said because I did.
Unless a hoover boy shows up he said and I laughed and it hurt.
Sorry he said and I believed him because he was clearly kin.
My boyfriend was back then and he told me he found out they have a special team that go out and unwedge people that have gotten wedged in places, who knew he said. I knew.
I introduced him to pistachio boy.
So you have never been stuck in anything? I asked my boyfriend, realising this was a conversation we should have had years ago and should have been the deal breaker.
Nope he said.
Not ever? Not in a chair or a bathroom stall or inanimate object?
I’m always getting stuck in things, this is my first nut though Pistachio boy said wiggling his finger and we all laughed.
Maybe you should go get a coffee I suggested, getting a bit bored of him laughing at me and my kind.
Ok, sure, want anything?
This fucking vitamin bottle off my lip? I joked.
Compromise with a Sprite?
I can’t drink a Sprite you asshole I said and he apologised.
Best and worst place or thing you got stuck in? I asked nut boy.
Best, movie theatre seat, I reached down to get an MnM and got my arm wedged between the seats. I got to see the next movie for free while I waited for the fire department to come though. They said they expected me to be fatter when they showed up.
I can imagine I said my best was hands down when I got stuck in the bathroom at a wedding. I hate weddings so it was fine. My mum is still convinced I did it on purpose.
Worst was the time I tried to get through a fence and misjudged it completely he told me. I was stuck there for hours and all these kids kept prodding me with a stick.
Fucking kids I said. My worst was similar to your best. I got wedged between two chairs on a boat when I reached down to get an MnM. I was a little fat kid. My mother was really cross. She said she would have gotten me more MnMs. She said she couldn’t believe her daughter would eat floor candy.
You haven’t lived till you’ve eaten floor candy he said.
So I lost some weight after that anyway. Not because I didn’t want to be the fat kid anymore but because I knew I had a life of getting stuck in things and places ahead of me so I figured if I was smaller there was more chance I could get out of things, less of me to get wedged.
How did that work out? he said and I showed him under the scarf again and felt like a flasher.
My boyfriend was back then.
Here you go he said handing me a Sprite.
And I got you a straw before you ask he said opening the soda and popping the straw in for me.
Thanks I said.
You are ridiculous but you’re still cute, even with that thing clamped on you he said then.
Why thank you nut boy said.
Lucie writes odd things that have been in Barrelhouse, Splitlip, Catapult, The Millions, Five2One, Vol1Brooklyn and Epiphany forthcoming and has two honourable mentions from Glimmer Train. She’s writing two books because she says she has to be difficult and that her writing won’t change the world but it might make someone laugh.
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