"Regurgitated" by Marisa Crane
 

I am feeling depressed today. I don’t know why I’m feeling depressed. I just am. I stare at the refrigerator until it begins to resemble a monster truck then remove a Bud Light from its monster truck mouth. 


I sit down on the couch because sitting always feels nice. Yes, this is nice, but I am still depressed. 


I drink the Bud Light, which was left here by a friend, slowly. It tastes like it has been regurgitated. Perhaps this is their secret recipe. Fewer calories, because someone else has already consumed many of them. 


Ugh, now I am even more depressed. 


I would like to know the specific person who has regurgitated my Bud Light. I think that would make me feel better. They should include the person’s name on the can. Like, say Dimitri is the one responsible for all my gross, low-calorie beer. Dimitri and I could become pen pals and share our most intimate of secrets, dreams, fears, and anxieties, and it would be beautiful the way that a kid sliding down a slide is beautiful, then one day we could meet and be extremely disappointed by each other. We would go to the bar together anyway, and it would be cheap because Dimitri would order a beer, drink it, and then throw it up for me. Everyone would look on with wonder and terror. Then we could talk about things like expectations and how sometimes slides are no longer slippery and kids get stuck halfway down.


I can’t stop looking at the remote control on the coffee table. Something about it freaks me out. 


I can’t stop thinking about how the coffee table is holding everything but coffee.


I get up and retrieve another Bud Light. Still no name on it. There is a creepy ghost with a crown, though. That is something.


Sitting again feels nice. The standing reminded me how good the sitting is. 

A new solution. I could straighten out the remote control on the table, align it with the brown Sharpie that is currently perpendicular to it. 


Yes, good idea, Frances. 


This works for a while. 


I look at the perfectly aligned remote and Sharpie and think, Yeah, this is what it’s all about.


Good good good. 


I could also adjust Damned by Palahniuk and line it up with the remote and Sharpie so that they have a cool friend to hang with. Now, that’s really something.  


I do this for a while, placing everything in a perfect line. The blue lighter, the back scratcher, the laptop charger, The Cliffs Cafe loyalty card, and the calculator. And they all stay, like obedient little soldiers. Except the cat, Vernon. Vernon hisses and runs away when I grab him and place his tail next to the Sharpie. Jerk.


Sirens wail outside. It’s not a good day to be alive. But alive is what I am. So I do it. And I’m okay at it. I mean, I’ve seen better. My heart does this weird thing where it only beats to the rhythm of “Baby” by Justin Bieber, so there’s that. No one ever believes me when I tell them so I spend a lot of time ordering people to place their ear on my chest. Almost no one takes me up on it. I don’t know why. My chest is a chest like any other chest. Made of sternum and rib and nipple and moles I need to get checked out. So yeah, some people are better at being alive than I am, but I am the one with a Bud Light in my fist and an imaginary pen pal who wants the best for me but doesn’t know what the best actually is. 


Me neither.


I feel a bit better. I think I’ve made some progress. If my third-grade teacher, Miss Newton, were here, she could give me a progress report with updates, like Suffers from the human condition, but is showing improvement. Yeah, I would hang that shit up on my refrigerator when it’s not behaving like a monster truck. I would probably use my Papa John’s magnet, but I’m also open to suggestions. 


I have been neglecting the cork coasters on the coffee-less coffee table. Due to their shape, they don’t really have it in them to line up with things. I mean, there’s no straight edge. It just goes on forever. Circles are terrifying that way. I’m feeling depressed about the coasters. It feels better than being depressed for some indiscernible reason.


I set my Bud Light on one of the coasters. It’s like I’m preparing for something. 
 

More sirens.
 

Dimitri would probably tell me to go outside and make up names for the flowers. It’s not bad advice.
 

There is a cluster of orange flowers. They’re pretty in a super nonchalant way. Like, you can tell they don’t give a fuck if you think they’re pretty or not. I like this in a flower. I name them “Orange Peels,” because I lack creativity. 
 

This is okay. I am okay. You are okay. We are okay.
 

There is room for us all here. Did you think there wasn’t?