By Jessi Deere
BEWARE. I am a monster. I have tufts of dirty greenish hair sprouting from my follicles. I drool and gnash my ugly teeth and my eyes roll round in my head. My tongue is smelly and drain-rat fat and it lolls and flops from my mouth. I should star in horror films, but even they don’t want me. I’m a dirty, ugly monster.
Back when I was seventeen, I wanted red rose flowers. I fluttered my lashes at sweet, pretty girls and tried to make them laugh. But, God, when I swung my love around, I made mothers and children scream. That’s when I decided, as anyone would, that the sky and the sun and the daylight world were not designed for me.
Mother, you bore me, you birthed me, you fed me. I’m just like you, I swear. I’m green and hairy and disgusting and scary, but I’m just like you, Mother, I swear. I’m disgusting like you. That, I swear.
I climbed to the bottom of a deep, damp well, where I could live in darkness. The algae was rough and it cut my hands and I bled as I clung to the ladder. My stinking fur was glazed with slime and I squelched around in the mush. I have polio, smallpox, arthritis and AIDS. I’m alone and sick down here. I’m sick.
I went to a Russian freak show once and saw a boy with breasts. I saw fantasy humans, diseased and deformed, with metal stabbed into their skins. I saw scaly, tree-swinging monkey-fish, and a woman with a pink, swollen phallus. It seemed, I think, the place for me. I’m a freak show. I’m a freak.
I don’t look in the mirror much, so I don’t know what’s wrong and what’s right. I hacked my feet from my ankle joints and I glued them onto my wrists. That’s right. I sliced one leg off below the knee, and I gouged out an eye or two. I pulled my nails from their fleshy red beds, and I thought: ‘that’s right, that’s right’.
And if I should ever get pulled from my well, I’ll wail and shriek ‘don’t look!’. For I swear, I’m a sight that will ruin your eyes. I’m a witch and a toad and a hideous thing with blisters and boils and moles on my cheeks. But worse than that, take a look at me, and you’re damned, condemned to Hell. I’m worse than Judas, and I’m worse than you. I’m a sinner, Lord. I’ve sinned.
Jessi Deere is an 18-year-old writer and student from Sydney’s Northern Beaches.