The garbage fire of 2020 demands a little levity, and I am here to provide. So, here are some silly vignettes about unlikely relationships. You are welcome.
Under a Rock
Korg looked deep into his little bug friend’s eyes. The diner where they sat enjoying their meals—French toast for the one, a pile of mealworms for the other—was the sort of place where one can ask for a pile of mealworms and actually get it, so their shared table drew few stares. They could have this moment to themselves, without the distraction of gawkers. “Those weren’t eggs or cysts, were they, Miek?”
The Sakaaran insectoid with knives for hands did not answer, but her eyes told all.
“I looked it up. They were pheromone pellets,” Korg paused, eyes warming. “They were a gift for the one you love.”
Miek nodded. Her antennae moved in a way that Korg was almost certain he should read as blushing. Korg took her exoskeleton blade in his large stony hand, and she scratched a heart into his palm, desire radiating from her many squirming limbs.
“Well, old friend, rock beats scissors,” Korg pronounced as he stood, sliding the rest of his French toast down his gullet in a single motion. He led Miek out of the booth and lifted her into his arms. “But today, love beats everything.”
As if on cue, the gangly green-clad form of Loki teleported into the scene. “Do you peasants need a hand with anything?”
“Oh yeah,” Korg answered as Miek nodded. “We have no idea what we’re doing and could use some expert assistance.”
“Looks like I came to the right place.” Loki smirked. “And soon, so will you.”
Ferdinand and Hortense
Veronica looked deep into Ferdinand’s lustful eyes, his desire matched only by her own. They lunged at each other from across the table, bodies demanding, hands and mouths complying, plates clattering. Nerves in a panic, she followed her most natural instincts, unhinged her jaw, and latched onto his neck so hard that her teeth met somewhere between his collarbone and his scapula. She embarrassedly swallowed a mouthful of Ferdinand’s torso larger than her own head and looked on his shocked, horrified expression in dismay. Her formerly lustful suitor collapsed in a disjointed heap as she retracted her jaws. She squeaked out, “Oops.” She covered the cost of his meal and walked home.
It was hard being Veronica. Her nerves made a lot of decisions harder, and folks like Ferdinand who could see past them were few and far between. She hated these long walks home alone afterward, along with the awkward calls from her suitors’ families. Those were the worst.
When she got to her door, she kicked off her shoes and left her things in a heap on the nearby table. This would be a good night for watching Cake Boss with a tub of ice cream and maybe a live mouse or two. But this night would not go as she expected.
Veronica opened her bedroom door and took in the mess inside. Her vases and figurines were knocked about onto the carpet, her dresser was askew, her laundry basket was on its side, rolling softly. It was a disappointing sight after a disappointing night, and she picked a bit of Ferdinand out of her teeth as her eyes arrived at the center of the room.
Something seethed and pulsated to life on her bed, rearing up to ogle her with cold, dead eyes. Its scaly, feathery hide shone in the moonlight filtering in through the fluttering curtains, a rime of purple and blue against her burgundy bedsheets. It jerkily raised a clawed, reptilian wing-paw with a chittering hiss, beckoning her forward. “Veronica,” the thing greeted with a voice like a thousand tin-whistles fighting each other for dominance as oily red sauce dripped out of its skin, “I wanted to surprise you, but I got nervous and dropped the roses and then this happened.”
Veronica smiled at this being, its sweet, musky smell of bat pheromones and chili powder bringing her to a more peaceful time. Hortense was supportive of all of her endeavors, especially her current attempt at polyamory, and her earnestness always brought warmth to Veronica’s life. It was hard not to love Hortense. Who wouldn’t love a velociraptor hide full of tacos and angry bats? Certainly not Veronica. Veronica loved her to pieces.
“Oh, Hortense,” Veronica sighed, collapsing into bed next to her longtime lover. “I did it again.”
“Oh, honey,” Hortense shrieked, embracing her partner with all the twitchy grace of a velociraptor hide full of tacos and angry bats. “Tell me all about it. I brought wine. And mice.”
“You’re the best, Hortense. Feel like watching Cake Boss tonight while we pretend we’re not home when the police arrive?”
“It’s already loaded.” Hortense tried to uncork a bottle of wine and Veronica swiftly took it, bit off the stem, and spat it out the window, to the frustration of her neighbors. She poured two glasses.
“To you, my saucy love,” Veronica pronounced, placing one glass in Hortense’s paw and clinking them.
“To you, my bitey lover,” Hortense returned, and they sipped.
Veronica smiled and wrapped her arms around her greasy, squirming lover. “Thank you for being here. I don’t know what I’d do without my favorite velociraptor hide full of tacos and angry bats. I love you, Hortense.”
“I love you too, Veronica. Mouse?”
“Oh fuck yes, I am famished.”
“Let’s get this out of the way: I am smoking hot. Yes, I know. I’m the kind of explosively hot that makes people gather around for warmth on dark winter nights, just hoping my high-temperature radiance will land upon them. You’re welcome.
“I’m a high-energy kind of gal looking for someone who wants to paint the town black with me. My diet is absolute trash and you don’t get to change that. If you want someone who eats like they’re not a giant dumpster fire, date a recycle bin. I’m for someone who knows what they want and what they want is a lover who has an excellent rapport with the local raccoons, who trust her with their life. My lover must be okay with a variety of unspeakable fluids at unexpected times.
In my spare time, I like to:
· Accumulate pressurized gas until I detonate, spraying the surrounding area with disgusting trash effluvia that may or may not be on fire. Sorry.
· Satisfy my maternal instinct by helping large quantities of insects find mates and raise their families inside my body.
· Share my reserves with my garbage truck of a family until I am empty inside and need someone to be several little spoons, ideally also with my raccoon friends.
· Pick through the detritus of other people’s failed hobbies to try to understand them better. You learn a lot about a person by how many times they throw out knitting starter sets.
Message me if you:
· Appreciate the scenic, volatile beauty of a giant dumpster fire.
· Like the sound of expired cans of beans exploding due to thermal expansion.
· Are an American black bear.
· Know how to pick locks.
· Own a gas mask.”
Brunhilde reviewed this dating profile as the high-pitched scraping sound of metal dragging against concrete and the low-pitched accents of small explosions approached her table. She looked up from her smartphone, no mean feat given her status as an overturned garbage truck emblazoned with at least fifty crude spray-painted penises, and saw its writer.
Amidst the roar of the flames and the shrieking of the other restaurant patrons as they fled the premises in abject panic and the feeling of an expired can of beans spraying her with superheated food waste as it exploded from her date’s exertion, Brunhilde was smitten. She had found the one who would set fire, not only to several adjoining buildings, but to her heart.