"Mashed Potatoes and Scrambled Eggs" by Arielle Tipa

He and I walk into the cafe and the barista looks like my dream husband minus the green apron and smile and I'm unsure whether or not the smile deserves a fainting bra strap. Waiting in line, I ask him (not the barista) why psychological horror movies make me aroused and uncomfortable and he tells me it's because I'm sick in the head. I visualize him in critical condition and I am holding a scissor, spread-eagled and moaning for the blood bag.

This cafe plays opera music backwards and holds Tamagotchi funerals. The walls are spray- painted with words like swaddle, gutteral, and fuck. There, I meet a woman who tells me she wants to live like Marilyn and die like Sylvia. She wants a vintage oven because she wants death to feel like a warm hug. Nobody else can see her and I ask him why. He tells me it's because I'm sick in the head.

It's Valentine's Day and he buys me a salt lamp and says it will put me in a better mood. I feel no difference after a week and so I put googly eyes on my salt lamp and I say to him now it looks just like you.

Our room is painted black and there are baskets and baskets of Barbie shoes and the abacus on our nightstand reminds me of an IQ test. The notches on our bedpost are for the amount of times I've masturbated while thinking of someone else.

He only feeds me soft food like they did in the hospital and it tastes like him. He buys me a motivational poster that says Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass because he thinks he's funny and I'm sick in the head.

Nobody else can see him and I ask myself why.