He floats inside his plastic kingdom, the only world he ever knew. His eyes bulge, from bloat or maybe it's the shock of death. She can imagine him here in the darkness, stunned to be facing this black step alone. Or it could have been daylight; it could have happened yesterday, or conceivably the day before. She only needed to feed him every few days. Brie covers her mouth to quell the queasiness. No no, she fed him. And if you look down near the castle, some flakes are settled near the drawbridge. Asshole did not die as a result of negligence; he died because she imbued him with such meaning. Every dick move by every guy she's ever dated became a trick in Asshole's treasure chest. Cute surfer dude attorney for whom she wanted to bear children decided to end it at date four? Thanks a lot, Asshole. Saw that accidental text he sent calling her "bat shit crazy," the one intended for his friend? Stupid Asshole, you can't even send a text message! This she'd say to him as he hovered near his faux kelp garden, fluttering his little flamenco fins, just taking it. Like some voodoo priestess, Brie was able to attribute every dating disappointment to this innocent scaly being, but the trick's on Brie. Now that it's official that she's the asshole—and boy if this isn't painfully clear from the very different feeling in her butthole this morning on account of Benji's probing of it last night at the Goalmates gala—the goldfish has been released of his duties, leaving Brie the one and only true asshole in this apartment. No longer can Brie go around believing that life's unfair because men are pricks. Nope, you won't see it reflected on your paycheck yet, Ladies, but men and women have achieved asshole equality.
Brie plunges her hand into her goldfish's watery crypt and scoops his limp sodden body up with her fingers. She sings, Momma take this badge off of me. I can't use it anymore. It's getting dark, too dark to see. Feels like I'm knocking on heaven's door.
Stern, doleful steps to the bathroom.
Would you know my name? If I saw you in Heaven...
She lifts the lid and lays him gently to rest in the toilet water.
"This is my fault," she tells him. "You died for my sins." She grabs her phone from the counter and snaps a tasteful mourning portrait. No filters, just death in its original color on a Saturday morning in Los Angeles.
The whoosh of the flush is delicious with drama. Brie drops her pajama pants and takes a seat on the toilet, heeding a strong urge to move her bowels. She searches for his number in her phone and dials him.
When he answers, she says, "I need to see you."
He is trying to put her off.
"No, today," she insists.
He agrees and she smiles. "See you soon."
She finishes her business and stands, turning to the toilet. Quick fact—she learned this from that fireman she met on Match.com—there's a question on the psych evaluation for firemen, asking whether you look at your own poop after you go. If you say no, then they know you are a deceitful person because everybody looks at their poop. It's human nature. Brie looks down at her human nature and sees that Asshole didn't flush.
Insult to injury.
"I'm so sorry," she whimpers. "For everything."
A second attempt, and Asshole is gone forever. Maybe it's time to give men a rest.
YOU ARE READING
Brie Baggio thinks she's ready... for marriage, kids, the whole shebang. She's pushing forty, and even though she's the Senior Anti-Aging Ambassador at Los Angeles's hottest med spa, Botox can't paralyze that nagging feeling that it's now or never...