There is a woman who resides inside my stomach, just passed my gullet. Her name is Bertha and I don’t think she likes me. Sure, she feeds off of my nourishment, that is an evergreen of truth, but she also consumes my doom without excretions and this is what has caused my dissonance with Bertha ever since, well, even since I was a child – I don’t know what she was during that time, nor at all if she ages. It’s a confusing matter.

            Now I was such a fool for beauty. I do get wound up. The woman that I desire would often be at parties and the occasional get together as I would be so very far – many states away – and, yes, she would send me snaps of her nights upon the town, but I would be ever weary, with Bertha chomping down. Bertha would gnaw and I would bawl and puke and sing such an incredulous chorus of screams, even though I trusted my beloved with all of my future and all of my dreams. Bertha is super mean, I guess is what I’m getting at.

            My father would walk into a room and although I could snap him into pieces of two, the fool would create a rumbling within me. This man kept a tight ship, taking a few pills from mother’s prescription, believing himself to have further enriched our well being with his foolishness as we, the children, thought he did fuck all at all to preserve the reserve of oxygen that sustained humanity. He didn’t agree with any sort of assessment that suggested so much hatred, so he was quite physical, which didn’t cause Bertha to have a single bit of alarm, oddly enough, until after I brought him to both his elbows and his knees, floating above his blood and his own urine, relenting and then whispering a word or two – one of them must have been please. Bertha then sunk her teeth. Luckily, I could have walked away and had a shot of tequila, vodka, or my babe’s favorite, gin, or whatever was on hand to stop my distraught oddities apropos finding bridge from idea to begin

            The first day of work, or, rather, any few hours before a long tenured occupation, would always be spent beside the toilet. Bertha hated sharing and caring was only a strong suit if it meant caring about me: the stupid fucking brute. She sprouted, from subtraction, a pain to anguish deeply, that would often cause me to regret ever having wished for money. I’d still go, regardless, because goddammit my abdomen is not a maddened captain residing over my decisions. Pay checks are worth the derision. 

            At this point, I am writing this story upon my sixth can of beer, watching a film representing two twin men with little fear, and I am disappointing – the only thing that I enjoy is my new and full beard. Bertha doesn’t mind it one bit, which is easily grown if I choose not to move and stay exactly where I sit, relentless in my pursuit of nothingness, which isn’t fun as far as my pulse does beat, regardless if Bertha continues to eat, the beast

            I am relieved at the fact that I have a house and a dear to hold me closer. I’ll never be a bravado boaster, but let me be me with my own words: I am who I am because of my curse, for if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am, indefatigably – as happy as a man like me could ever want to be, however relentlessly.

            Keep chewing, baby. Thanks for the encouragement. Now, excuse me – I have work in the morning and life is never boring …

           Not even to Bertha, who may not like the taste, but she must get a kick out of the face that I make. If not, I’d rather that I not learn any more because it’ll get worser and that’s only worth it to a soured loser. Thank you Bertha – my bruiser. 

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