Pretty Princess

(This is a story I wrote for my spoken word album. Check out the full album here.)


This is a story. The story of the continuing adventures of Pretty Princess, her many tragic loves, meals she ate, and her preferences in consumer cosmetics.

In the morning she, scoffing at the cowardly preferences of the plebs, preferences like orange juice, oatmeal, steak, and eggs, insisted on a tuna salad sandwich on two toasted pieces of rye bread, and she would follow each bite with a small sip from an eight ounce paper cup of Sanka. For digestion, she said. Many in the kingdom experienced self-doubt in the customs they’d long held, their pale mockery of the potentials held in the breakfast meal, and started eating tuna sandwiches every morning. Those young maidens who didn’t were stigmatized from ever finding suitable suitors.

In the afternoon she took three Fruit By the Foot rolls and, after removing them from the paper, would, for a good deal of time, knead them in her hands until they were perfectly round like the pearl earrings she wore to bed. On their roundness reaching a quality acceptable to her understandable perfectionism, she would dip them in slightly moistened Sanka powder and wash down each bite with a small sip from an eight ounce paper cup of Sanka. They were small bites, almost nibbles. You might imagine her bobbing her head quickly and nervously at them like a squirrel. But this is because your crude regrettable mind was never meant to comprehend the true daintiness possessed by her majesty, Pretty Princess.

Some wondered if Sanka was the secret of her curious and sanctified luminosity. Many sad lost souls, hoping hopelessly they might derive the path to her beauty, who thought wrongly her beauty was the result of a rational process susceptible to reverse-engineering, experimented with Sanka in a variety of delivery systems. Systems that bordered at times on the alchemical. None discovered the secret. There were accidents. Horrific accidents.

Some wondered if in fact there was no possible way to match her daintiness; if God had simply smiled only once, on her and her alone, that God left her here to float among us out of the understandable spite he held for all who were not Pretty Princess, spite understandable. Because they were not Pretty Princess.

Reports came of large rocks inexplicably falling from the sky on the humble shacks of the peasants, and in each story, on each rock, were purportedly scrawled the words “Tough Shit” or “God Don’t Like Ugly”. The town mystics could do little but speculate whether the hand-writing matched that found on the earlier rocks handed down at Sinai.

We couldn’t bring ourselves to hate her, we couldn’t even bring ourselves not to admire her; when we were told taxes were raised her image sat atop the letterhead; we couldn’t revolt. Not against that face. We could muster little beyond “daw” and hopeful glances at our daughters, knowing such a phenomena as Pretty Princess was verifiable, she was real despite the playful titles we threw in her direction, titles that she hardly needed to deflect; she was protected in a sort of force field that filtered without fail such aspersions. So we glanced at our daughters, eyes cast in slight optimism. We thought, somehow, they might someday, though chances were slim, be like her. That they might seem when they walked to be forever in mid-skip, that they could make the most trivial of trinkets seem the most precious of jewels by the force of their presence, that they mightn’t age but ripen perpetually without the attendant signs of spoilage, that their metabolism might render the special alchemy when fed the Sanka.

When she attracted men, the most fair and eligible, they would be reduced not by her haughtiness or disdain, for she was incapable of either, but rather the magnificence of her totality, to the most pitiful groveling wretches. And in the ways these men were diminished we did not empathize or feel pity with them, but felt more thankful and warm for the enchantment she exerted on us all. Her magnanimity in not casting them aside like insects touched us deeply.

She had a soul of untold beauty. But of course she did. She was Pretty Princess. Our memories of lost relations, fond acquaintances, over time they all came to sour, but our recollections of Pretty Princess would never curdle; they never could. They didn’t work in the way living memories did; they sat with calm confidence waiting to be admired or coveted the way gold bars do in vaults.

And like gold, many were maimed, several killed, for seemingly no better cause than that they had the audacity to look at Pretty Princess. No greater cause was necessary. She was Pretty Princess. She was the momentum and inertia and beauty in all things. She was cause. She was effect. She was her own justification and the justification for that that happened round her. Many had been blinded on having seen some crude approximation of her visage in a dream. We cast them out; we regarded them as we did lepers; rightly so, for it was clear in their blindness they’d failed the crucial test. They were summarily unworthy. A pestilence on our civilization, weeds in the garden. Christ might’ve asked us to cast our lot with them. But Christ knew not of Pretty Princess. And this, finally, was why he had to die.

And some might ask me, the humble narrator, how I know such things. On what authority I might claim them. And to them I reveal without fear, devoid of interest, beyond the crudity of “intent”, that I, yes I, am Pretty Princess. And hope fervently that I, in my prettiness, find it in myself, in my embodiment of all that men, in their weakness, call “adorable”, to take pity on your souls.

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