Fifty Shades of Neigh – Part Thirteen, Several Pages of E-Mail Filler

Last time, on the young and the feckless, Hanna went to a Brony party and was amazed to discover that adult men who masturbate to My Little Pony are actually rather strange.  On discovering that his girlfriend was not prepared to adopt his weird hobby wholesale, Crispian threw a snitfit and agreed that she probably should flounce off to Florida to stay with her polyamorous, macrame-addicted mother.

 

*

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Hey Shitlord – sorry I missed you this morning. I found some resin in the bottom of my sock drawer and on top of the booze me and Jesús were fucked up by ten and unconscious by one o’clock. So I’m guessing your My Little Pony sex-party was a bust. Where are you?

_____________________________________________________

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Several things –

  1. I am not a shitlord. I don’t even know what a shitlord is. a) I am female therefore the correct title is ‘lady’ and b) how can one be lord of shit?
  2. It was not a sex party. It was just a My Little Pony party. And I don’t want to talk about it.
  3. I’m at the airport Starbucks. I’m going to Florida for a couple of days.

Hanna

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Bullet points, Hanna? Really? Your asshole must have the gravitational pull of a small black hole. If Crispian Neigh ever disappears off the face of the earth we’ll know exactly what he was trying to do to you at the time.

  1. It’s fucking easy to be lord of shit – shit is shit. If you’re lord of shit it means you’re not shit, right? – it’s a compliment. If I wanted to insult you I’d call you a Shitpeasant. It’s totally feudal.
  2. If you didn’t want to talk about it you would never have typed ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Dish.
  3. Say hi to Teresa for me. And tell her to stop sending us those fucking macrame  potholders – I just unpacked about six of the things and between them and Jesús’ pubes it looks like it’s 1974 in here. You’d think he’d have watched enough porn to know most guys at least trim these days.

_____________________________________________________

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

I don’t know anything any more. I’m so confused. I really really like him, but he wants to talk about ponies ALL THE TIME. And his friends are even worse – they’re completely obsessed. Crispian is furious because I asked him if he could maybe tone down the pony thing and he accused me of trying to hide who he is. What do I do?

Hanna

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Have you tried dumping him?

_____________________________________________________

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Somehow I think you missed the part where I said I really, REALLY liked him.

Hanna

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

I didn’t miss it at all. It was just kind of cancelled out by the fact that you hate his weird obsessive hobby, you don’t seem to like his friends, he doesn’t care to compromise and I know for a fact that you’re grossed to fuck out and back by My Little Pony porn. (As you should be, because that shit’s fucked up.) You have two options here, and I’ll bullet point them – just for you. Because I care. Sort of.

  1. Stay with Crispian. Attempt to ‘fix’ Crispian. Try to turn him onto Nineteenth Century literature and shoplifting and all the things that turn YOU on.  Eventually admit defeat and seek refuge in alcoholism, spending sprees and      emotionless but hot and heavy affairs with your tennis instructor.

2. Copy and paste this into your next e-mail.

Dear Crispian, 

After a lot of soul-searching I have come to the conclusion that I can’t be with you because I don’t want to be with a man who jacks it to My Little Pony. Face it – it’s just not right. You should probably seek psychological help. Thank you for the good times, 

Hanna.

Try it. You’ll feel so much better.

_____________________________________________________

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

Are you still mad at me?

Hanna.

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net

Hanna,

This is a difficult letter for me to write. I find it hard to articulate how hurt I felt last night when you asked me to compromise, to tone down my essential self. Please allow me to explain.

I was always an unusually intelligent child, and it was for this reason that I was bullied at school. My interests were not those of the average teenage boy – I was sensitive and preferred the world of my imagination. I remember the derisory laughter of my classmates when we were asked to do a presentation on ‘My Greatest Achievement’. Not for me the home run or the swim trophies – I opted to present an introduction to my novel ‘A Dwarf and His Lady’ – a Lord of the Rings fanfiction about the forbidden love between Gimli and Lady Galadriel.

The remainder of my academic life was spent largely as the recipient of what are known as ‘swirlies’. Occasionally chocolate.

So you will forgive me if I seem unusually sensitive about my hobbies and passions – my chagrin comes from a place of loneliness, suffering and pine-scented disinfectant.

Crispian

_____________________________________________________

To: Crispian Neigh bronynproud@neigh.net

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

This is so strange. Did I ever tell you my middle name was Galadriel?

Hanna.

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Hey again Shitlord. It’s been like three fucking hours. You come to any decisions yet?

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Hanna, seriously. Did you e-mail him?

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Come on, Hanna. Reply already. Did your plane crash or something? If you’re doing what I think you’re doing then you’re an even bigger asshole than I previously thought you were.

_____________________________________________________

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

My plane WILL crash if you don’t stop e-mailing me. It interferes with the equipment and makes them fall out of the sky. So stop it.

Hanna.

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

There’s no way you’re still in the air, unless Florida has moved two whole timezones east in the last three hours. You did it, didn’t you? You went for option A. What are you going to do? Start him off on Black Beauty and hope he’ll come around to Middlemarch? It’s not gonna fucking happen, Hanna. You’re not going to prove your womanhood in some way by nurturing him into a new, acceptable, non-freakazoid shape. You’ll just end up disappointed, lonely and drunk.

_____________________________________________________

From: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

To: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

I can stop drinkfSDF ANY time i like. and I dont like tennus mom says hi

Hnaa

_____________________________________________________

To: Hanna Squeal serendipony@houyhnhmn.com

From: Kate Hannigan mrsjpinkman@gmail.com

Yeah – you have problems.

*

I dream of moths. I am the moth. I am dusty and drawn to the light. The flame is so hot and it burns, but I flicker, flutter, my tiny wings beating against the heat haze. I feel it scorching my antennae but I cannot resist. It singes, and it smells. I wonder what it means?

As Hanna Squeal awoke one morning from uneasy dreams she found herself transformed in her bed into a gigantic moth.

Oh. Apparently it means my Inner Goddess has woken up before me and she is in a deeply sarcastic mood.

It’s Kafkaesque. Seriously – you wander around with a headful of cliches like moths-to-flames and expect me not to make fun? What are you going to whip out for an encore? Icarus flying to close to the sun? Literal fruit standing in for forbidden fruit? Pandora rummaging in her box?

– I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Figures. You’re the most illiterate English Major to ever train for the fast food service industry. How’s your head?

– Mothy. Feels like something is pupating in there.

Probably a brain tumour. That or it’s the four wine coolers, three Bloody Marys, two Cosmpolitans and the partridge in a fucking pear tree you chugged since yesterday afternoon.

I ignore her and close my eyes. There is a rushing sound around me; it sounds like the ocean, mainly because it is. The room smells strongly of jute. A hundred macrame potholders dance on the ceiling above my head. There is another smell too – something singed and salty that penetrated my dreams. I reluctantly recognise the smell as vegetarian bacon.

I am in Florida. The last thing I remember is e-mailing Kate, but that was kind of fuzzy. And it’s true that I had a couple of drinks on the plane but doesn’t alcohol affect you more at higher altitudes or something?

Depends how much you drink of it.

– I don’t like you this morning.

Likewise. It’s dreadful enough inside your head without everything smelling like the ghosts of Keith Moon, Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin had a drinking contest in there.

– I am under a lot of pressure, okay?

No you’re not. Either dump your unsuitable boyfriend or don’t. It’s not exactly ‘To be or not to be’, is it?

– It totally is.

Only if you’re thirteen.

My mother calls from downstairs. I swing my feet onto the floor and feel something wet down there. Oh – my period. I’d totally forgotten about that. Ew – it’s running down my leg.

I half mummify myself in toilet paper while I search in my suitcase for tampons. I did have one in my purse but it had been in there so long that the paper wrapper had worn away and the end of the tampon, poking out of the top of the applicator, had gone all frayed and fluffy and covered in face powder and purse-crud. I feel like using it would be putting myself at risk of some kind of unspeakable infection.

My mother knocks and peers around the door. “Hannie, are you coming down to breakfast?”

She sees my clumsy toilet paper wrappings and understands immediately. “Oops. Do you need a pad?”

“If you have one.” She’s over forty. Does she even need them?

She comes back with a winged thing, and there the similarity to sanitary pads ends. It’s made of quilted cloth and velcro strips and the cloth is printed with various names of the Goddess. I blink at it for a moment before I realise that she wants me to use one of her craft projects down there. I suppose I should at least be grateful that she hasn’t taken up making macrame tampons.

“Um…” I prevaricate.

“Hanna, what’s wrong? These are the Goddess Pads I sell in my Etsy store – I get great feedback.”

“I know, but…cloth?”

“Yes. Reusable. It’s so much greener than the throwaway protection. It’s so moving to me that you should still be in sync with my cycle after all these years,” she says, her hand on her heart. Her voice catches a little. “If only you had a diva cup, then we could collect it and do some mother and daughter menstrual painting.”

I have no idea what she is talking about, and a small voice in the back of my head whispers that this is probably for the best.

“Come on down when you’re ready,” she says. “I’ll tell Uncle Bob to keep your hash browns warm for you.”

I clean up, brush my teeth and go down to the kitchen. My Uncle Bob is standing behind the kitchen island, wearing an apron that says “Kiss the Non-Gender Specific Cook,” amongst other things. He doesn’t appear to be wearing much else. He’s bald, beardy and incredibly hairy.

“Hey pumpkin,” he singsongs. “How’s my girl? How are you feeling?”

“Fine.”

“She’s having her Goddess Time,” says my mother. “So we must treat her extra special.”

“Oh God…Mother, do you have to tell everyone…”

“What, that you’re menstruating?” she says, her hands descending on my shoulders. “Why not, honey? It’s a normal, healthy, beautiful thing for a woman.” She kneads the nape of my neck. “No wonder you were pounding them back last night, baby – so much tension in these shoulders! It’s all that caffeine and rain getting you down.”

“Sunshine and OJ will fix you right back up,” says Uncle Bob, coming out from behind the kitchen island to hand me a glass of freshly squeezed. As he turns back to tend to the hash browns I see that the apron is the only thing he is wearing. That can not be hygenic in a kitchen.

I sit down beside Uncle Chet, who is maybe three years older than me. I can’t remember him being quite so…oh my. He wears a pair of tattered old jeans and nothing else. His hair is a tangle of dark gold curls and the bright morning sun glints on the red-bronze hairs in his day-old beard.  “Hey,” he heys.

“Hey yourself,” I murmur. “How’s the…um…root chakra situation?”

“You know,” he says, shrugging shoulders that I swear got bigger since I last saw him. “Rooty.” He grins, showing a couple of hundred perfect teeth and calls to my mother. “Hey Teresa – can I be a pain in the ass and get first dibs on the hash browns? Only I’m gonna be running late if I don’t go soon.”

“Coming up!”

I watch Bob and my mother clatter around the kitchen. Their living arrangement is weird but it seems to work for them. Then Uncle Tate comes out (Glasses, goatee, dark hair – he’s Canadian and has a little tattoo of a maple leaf over his heart.) and sees me.

“Here she is,” he says, kissing my hair. “The prodigal kid. Rumour has it that your love life has taken a turn for the billionaire.”

I’m just about to say that it’s nothing like that but Uncle Tate swoops down on Uncle Chet and kisses him – a real kiss, sloppy and slow, with lots of tongue. Uncle Chet is close enough to me for me to feel the tension in his body as he responds. My Inner Goddess is making small, strange squeaky noises.

“I’m just passing through,” says Uncle Tate, by way of explanation. He runs his hand through Uncle Chet’s golden curls. “Have a good day at work, you.” Then he leaves to go do his tai-chi. I feel weird.

“You got a job?” I ask Uncle Chet.

He nods and digs into his hash browns and gross vegetarian bacon. “Yeah. I’m a tennis instructor.”

I swallow with some difficulty and stare down my Inner Goddess, who is sporting a tennis outfit. It’s nice that she’s finally got with the programme but she has a racquet in one hand, a dirty martini in the other and an even dirtier told-you-so expression on her face. Not for the first time I suspect her of collusion with Kate.

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