Incredibly Miserably



by Travis Kraus 


    “Blonde and busty, just the way I like ‘em,” Phil gruffs to no one in particular, and no one probably hears him.  No one, too, seems to notice Phil’s squeamish response to his own remark, the guilty twitch acknowledging the ridiculousness of a pathetic man’s fruitless lust for an impossible woman.  He shifts in his seat, now anxious and uncomfortable for having identified himself by speaking.  He’s announced his presence when heretofore he might have passed as a fixture:  pool table, jukebox, solitary bar patron, american flag, so forth, and he’s vocalized a personal fault, not only to others who probably didn’t hear him, but to himself, making it feel more true for having attained decibels:  never in his life has he had full ownership of something for which he truly desired, nothing blonde nor busty nor satisfying nor anything.  His meager apartment and belongings echo the feelings of social displacement associated with his complete lack of ownership.  No permanence, no career ambitions, no real friends, no family, no prospects for procreation.   His lack of everything annoys him, like the humming of the several sounds simultaneously reverberating from every corner of the bar.  Beach Boys.  Sportscenter.  Jibber-jabber.  The desire for that something unattainable exists equally in every person, but a man such as Phil senses the chasm between himself and that something so intensely that he doesn’t feel entitled even to remark upon it.  His reflection of self in the something shames him.

    The pathetic man, of course, defines himself according to what he is not and what he cannot attain, or in other words, those things other people are and have.  The jarring image of the woman in this bachelor’s retreat had suddenly illuminated all of those self-criticisms and self-realizations, dimmed and aged through the act of suppression and disavowal, only to achieve the opposite degree of starkness with the emergence of combined desirability and unattainability.  

    The impossible woman will forever elude the pathetic man, for not only would she never associate with one beneath her in beauty and dignity, but also, tragically, the impossible woman exists only in the imaginations of men and not truly in reality.  She possesses, therefore, qualities and characteristics relative only to man’s desire.  Phil desires reciprocated meaningful tenderness, which, on his mental small-screen, most often takes the form of a young model-ish sex vixen, unconditionally devoted and wholly submissive to his wishes.  He would settle, of course, for someone tolerant of his wretched, self-loathing, unsightly bulk.

___________ right