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Marta, Close Your Legs.
The first thing Marta thinks about in the morning is sex. And that's even before she's had a cigarette.
Meaghan Elise is currently studying at the University of Melbourne. She has been published in the Melbourne publications 'Farrago', 'Meanjin' and 'Eloquent Barstards'.
Marta, Close Your Legs.
WARNING: Language included in the following text can and may offend.
‘Marta, close your legs.’
Marta winds down the window of her friend’s Barina and yells to the couple kissing on the path, ‘Get a dog up ya.’ Marta said the same thing when she found a transvestite fucking her friend on her futon. When they asked if Marta had any condoms she threw a roll of glad wrap at them. No one is allowed to enjoy sex if Marta isn’t involved.
Marta’s idea of contraception is telling her latest fuck to ‘pull out or else she’ll bite his dick when she’s sucking him off.’ The random penis shrinks out of Marta, she pulls her skirt down and rolls herself a joint with someone else’s pot.
Marta swings from the tram in white sandals and strides. Placard waving piss ants scream blue murder at her but Marta hears nothing but the Chemical Brothers through her head phones as she pushes into the building. A women rubs Marta’s back in an anti-clock wise soothing motion while the life is being hauled from her uterus. It’s not 1964 and nothing is new and Marta is instructed to change the bolt of gauze every few hours.
Marta reverts home and dozes uncomfortably in the foetal position and wakes up because she has rolled and felt wet and gluey. Her thighs are black and her sheet is bleeding onto the mattress. Marta strips, showers, throws up and pushes the vomit down the plug hole with her toes. Too tender to replace the gauze, Marta hovers over the toilet with a bared arse reading a copy of The Big Issue.
Marta’s friend lands in and tells Marta apathy looks good on her. Marta spits ‘fuck off’ and contemplates pissing on her friends shoes when she isn’t looking. Marta and her friend venture out to the pub and inhale alcohol like it is smog-free air. Marta’s friend has been in Spain and has brought home atmosphere by the suitcase and stories of the best fuck of her life. Marta tells her friend there is no such thing; her friend tells Marta to close her legs.
‘Be my bridesmaid?’
‘You marrying this fuck?’
‘I love him.’
‘I love a man in a dog collar, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to marry one.’
Marta is surprised when her friend puts her suitcase in the back of her car and tells Marta she’s got a tank of petrol she needs to use. ‘Get over yourself Marta’ and a toot as she drives herself away.
Marta sits cross legged in an A-line skirt on the tram that is taking her towards a higher education. She can smell herself and she is repulsed and she puts her bag over her cunt to keep the scent from reaching the boy sitting near her. The tram driver winks at her when she gets off, assuming she is a dog on heat. Marta runs to the toilet and scrubs her vagina folds and misses her lecture and goes home and changes her underwear.
She turns on the washing machine and threatens to throw her body in there with the bleach, the sheets and her knickers. Instead she draws a knife and her wrists and goes to the pub to find someone to fuck. She seduces him with buoyant boobs and bouncing conversation and doesn’t mind getting carpet burn when she brings him home and does him on the floor.
Marta pulls her skirt down, rolls a joint with someone else’s pot and tells the guy not to come back. He steals a cigarette, says ‘fine bitch’ and forgets where she lives the moment he walks out of the flat. If her walls could talk, Marta would tell them to keep it down as she rubs tiger balm into her temples to ease the sex induced headache.
Just when Marta was emerging from baby fat, she was rolled in the hay and wasn’t asked for a permissive nod. Her thighs were black that night too and she stained her jeans and his hands. It started raining ice and he put his jacket round her shoulders and left her where he had found her. She stammered home and ignored her Peter Alexander pyjamas and fell asleep in the hall way with her head near the toilet door.
Once awake, Marta pushed her eroded body into the shower stall and scorched her skin with the water until that was the only agony she could feel. Marta stepped out of the shower, dried her insides and shook the whole night from her shoulders along with the water that clung to her skin.
Marta meets up with friends in a pub that sells beer to you when you are pissed. She used to get drunk in the haze of happy hour and stumble home in the sunshine. Half asleep and seeing double, Marta would tap out words on her computer stained with mango juice and vodka. Marta used to produce piece after master piece but now all she writes about is the loneliness of a posing nymphomaniac. No one would crave Marta’s words to be their own.
Now she gets drunk, falls over, embarrasses herself and spews verbo-crap to anyone who is not asleep in their beer. ‘Any of you mongrels listening?’ Marta asks and is answered ‘no, I haven’t got any cigarettes left.’
Marta’s name swells in thick blue ink on the toilet door. She’s drunk and she’s lost and she’s wondering what urinals are doing in the female toilets. According to the words on the stall, Marta is the fastest fuck in the city. Marta wishes she had a penis so she can piss on the words. Instead she dives a wad of toilet paper into the bowl, pulls it out and scrubs and scrubs at the wall. The paper breaks away but Marta keeps scrubbing. She’s using her hands, her knuckles, there’s blood. The writing blurs a little but Marta can still read her name. It hangs in front of her like an irreversible sin and Marta turns to the toilet and vomits up her stomach.
She dejects herself before anyone else gets a chance and drunkenly dribbles home. She bolts the door behind her as she sheds her beer soaked pants and falls asleep under a thick blanket of pseudo-comfort.
Marta calls her mum while she is standing wet, wearing nothing but a towel.
‘I can smell baking bread.’
‘A doctor should sew up your hole.’
‘I don’t know what to do.’
‘You deserve everything you get.’
Marta hangs up the phone and pats her burning vagina. She pulls on her cotton underwear and walks to the doctors and sits down in the waiting room and crosses her feet. The doctor slides her a prescription and warns ‘be careful of who is sliding into you’ and Marta swears she hears him call her a slut as she leaves.
Marta crucifies herself on her clothesline and her dress sticks to her legs. Yesterday’s underwear hangs beside her with mucous stains that won’t Preen out. Her bladder is full and her body is bleeding and her head is hung with blunt pain.
Marta sags inside and scratches herself on the sex stained couch. Her breasts are itchy and Marta swears at the possibility of being pregnant again. ‘Fuck me,’ she carves out into the air that smells like cum and sluggish cigarette smoke. ‘Fucking cunt,’ and an ashtray is thrown across the room and Marta resides that it was all his fault.
|READER'S REVIEWS (3)
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"Quite a realistic character portrayal. I think I used to know her. Every generation, every era, every society - they all have their share of Martas. My only criticism - that you began 13 paragraphs with her name." -- Richard, Oh, USA.
"Surprised that there is only these two reviews after so many viewings. Meaghan, this is high-power writing, more like a prose poem than short story. You have a grip on the visceral, that's for sure. I find no real fault with this, keep writing." -- Wallace.
"Despite all the blunt language and up-front description this story is actually full of disapproval and distaste for sex. It's an anti-erotic story. Marta is presented as a monster because of her love of sex. It's actually quite a cruel and even patriarchal story, seeking to put down women who don't conform, or so it appears to me. What it does though, it does extremely well. " -- David Gardiner, London, England.
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© 2001 Meaghan Elise
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