Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

★ ★ ★ ★

FICTION

‘An Introduction to My Lord “Pretty Please” Schillerkiez & Regina, BSc (Pharm)’

Good evening. My name is Lord Schillerkiez, but my friends call me Pretty. ‘Pretty Please!’ they shriek when they see me, their tiny tongues slithering up my earlobes (‘Do it again!’ I giggle), as we slosh, hand-in-hand, down the street.

I got a thing for ears. You got a thing for me?

I don’t blame you. I’m an impressive man of shark-like build with swishy curls. Big cheeks, horsey walk.

I bump. You’ve probably seen me jumping on the bahn.

Today was a warm day. I was wearing pastel purple pants on my tall, poky legs when I saw a woman watching me. She was yakking on the phone with pimples and an aggressive fly perched on the rim of her glasses. We locked eyes. I felt jabs of love so hard I wanted to retch. I couldn’t help it: I lurched and wrapped my arms around her waist. She blanched, froze, like a rat had died in the choke of her neck.

‘Quit it, Pretty!’ my sidekick Regina batted my knuckles. I unclenched my hold on the young girl’s jean pockets. Deep breath. Regina, my buddy, a notorious former Saskatchewanian apothecary (like in Romeo & Juliet), slapped me in the face. She sputtered, breathing heavily, ‘You can’t just— you have to—’ She gave up and rubbed my back, overwhelmed by her own emotions. We don’t have much in common but we meet on the Level of Impulse. She sighed, muttering ‘I wonder if one of the reasons people have children is so they don’t feel so disgustingly out of sync.’ 

I shrugged. ‘I don’t know.’

Later that night, I was eating a burrito when a lady stopped and stared: ‘Sir, I’ve never done this before but…’ She took a deep breath and gulped: ‘You just… you make me feel… can I take off my jacket?’ I nodded, quizzically. She took it off.

As if a shock of electricity had coursed up her arm, she placed her hot palm directly on my mountain-like cheek, and gasped; her eyes darted. She was humiliated. She nearly cried: ‘I don’t usually act like this…’

‘It’s fine,’ I chuckled nervously. She turned her face up to me with big wet eyes. I held it in my hands and kissed her sweaty nose like a cat.

Regina, always by my side, sneered.

And then, with a jolt, the lady with the jacket ran across the street, eyes wide, stopping only to glare. What was she looking for… in my face… in my body?

I don’t know.

But I’ll tell you what happened next. I know it’s cheesy… I winked. I throw out energy like fireballs and she felt it. She looked like she’d jumped out of an icy cold shower for the very first time.

What is it about me? What makes people wonder? 

Is it the power of Contrasts implying fullness: my bashfulness & confidence, secret severity atop a cute, crunchy smile? Perhaps it’s my spongy brain that takes in information like long, thin flaps of American cheese.

I’m an aggressive lovemaker. You can tell that about me. My passions are like the fat, thick waves of a comfortable cushion.

‘You look like the combination of Elvis as a potato and a baby as a killer!’ Regina once teased me, exasperated by my indomitably incomprehensible appeal.

‘I see that’ I puffed up, noting my reflection in a tiny shattered piece of glass.

Women have always responded to me strongly, even when I was a little boy. They couldn’t get enough, and I had nothing to give. Ever since then, I’ve been wondering: Why

What’s that Kerouac shit about girls you love walking in the other direction breaking your heart? I’m like that, but I follow up. My love is perambulatory, fluttering, petering… it overwhelms me.

See the black of my eyes? Is it Expanding or shrinking? That’s the Art of Confusion that abets me accidentally. I’m sexy in the falcon style, like a daguerreotype of someone long since dead, probably dead when they took the picture. Do you love me?

‘You never told me your real name’ Regina looked at me intently, as we headed home. I stopped to light a cigarette and stumbled. So tired. Regina plied me with drinks she made: ‘Olde Canadian Hemlock’; ‘Deadly Nightshade Shandy.’ She rushed to my side, took hold of my bags. Tiny boys in starched shirts strained to get a peek at me. I was in a teasing mood: ‘I can’t tell you’ and serious too: ‘I’m not good enough. But it has something to do with my father. He was a bold man. I was shy.’ 

Under the weight of my bags, I saw Regina’s shoulders straining. I thought: I’d like to kiss them. With the last of my strength, I pulled her face close with the power of my palms and wrists. She looked at me sideways and I looked back wondering: Why

—ML

* * *

Hi, I’m Regina and I’ve come to this section to say Goodbye to My Lord Schillerkiez. I draped his inert body onto a park bench like the pietà and we reclined, as if on a seashell. He jerked up gurgling, then it passed. I know about poison. It was part of my training in underground Canadian pharmacy work, but I bet ML didn’t mention THAT, did he?

Well, I’m hurt. Envious. Too good at my job.

What was I so in love with here? The shiny hope and reach of the surface desperately seeking anything inside and finding nothing? The big soft eyes implying reciprocity but meaning Help?

Shall I? Impersonal intimacy feels like a trick but worse: it’s not. An exhaustive! summation! The implication as The End—and I’m doing it alone. This is IT.

Time to party!

Time for the burial, mourning and cradling of the deadest piled-up babies.

Let’s measure out the droppers. I always travel with a few deadly tinctures.

Let’s never stop. I was always so mad at the stopping.

—R

Rebecca Katherine Hirsch is a theoretical playwright whose play “Bad Activist: Sex Politics, Palestine & You” was performed at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Dixon Place in New York. She wrote a piece for Rhizomes Journal (“Lay Psychoanalyzing Palestine as a Zionist Nightmare”) and is the creator of Humble Mumbles, a semi-extant podcast about hubris and Fish Fry Berlin, an undead story series about Humphrey Bogart, inexplicably located on Instagram. She is currently working on a salacious, morally dubious novel about American Jews in Palestine. 

1 Comment

  1. Munzer

    Great story!!

    Reply

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