Better than Blood Magic
Fighting Your Demons on the Metro
by Corey Saucier
You are ugly, ruined, and less than.” This is what the delicate demons have been softly whispering into my ears lately.
All of my demons are blue-eyed, pale-skinned, six-packed, and everything they say is perfect and true. I think I may have an unhealthy relationship with demons.
Now, everyone knows that demons are dumb and blond and flesh-eating, but gosh, they are pretty! (And if you know anything about me, you know that “Pretty” is GOD to me.)
I need to find new gods.
2020 is full of nothing but good things. This is the promise I have made to myself. All of the prayers I cried in 2019 will water the ground beneath my feet and manifest themselves into simple water spells. Tears are the most powerful kind of “wet magic”. Some think it’s “blood magic,” but blood magic is dark and hard to manage: Trust me I’ve tried… But when tears come, afterwards, everything is just better: Spring will blossom full of bright yellow marigolds the size of grapefruits that I will wear in my beard like some new-age queer-fem faun; one hundred-year-old magnolia trees (as fragrant as soft vanilla perfume) will twine my name in their branches, offering comfort and safety for this Mississippi Black boy; and finally, I will float the ancient canals of Italy in a Venetian gondola, and joyful tears will flow down my cheeks, dripping back into the blue-green lagoon where they belong… 2020 is full of nothing but good things.
“You are ugly, ruined, and less than.”
This is what my demons say with their sculpted square jaws and their thighs thicc like walruses.
And I try my best to ignore them.
But I’m on the bus traveling home at night. And the crescent moon is a warm golden glow twirling in the sky, telling me that my every wish will eventually come true. My nails are painted bubble gum pink for power and confidence, and my beard is still a bright “Violet Dream,” like a beautiful Black-girl mermaid (ready for the feminist revolution). But whenever a gorgeous dark-skinned boy (looking like some melinated silver screen heart-throb) makes eye contact, I throw my eyes down to the concrete in shame, and press my lips shut (terrified to smile), because in the empty seat next to me is a lovely blue-eyed demon painfully gripping my belly fat until I cramp, and laughing in my face.
“You are ugly, ruined, and less than!”
You see last week while eating string cheese in a jockstrap and watching Cheer on Netflix my front tooth came out. You heard me! I’m binge-watching my new favorite show: Frustrated with La’Darius; hoping that Jerry makes “mat”; and doing summersaults (with my penis in a chastity cage) pretending to be Lexi, because her and I are the same; (watch this show!) and knowing that if they don’t stick that pyramid I’m going to DIE!! And I’m stuffing my face with coagulated milk proteins, and MY FRONT TOOTH FALLS OUT!!!
OH MY GOD!!!
“You are ugly, ruined, and less than.”
And my mind is an all-consuming hurricane, because I can’t stop worshiping petty gods. I no longer smile; I’ve given up on love; and I’ll never be a pretty again!
I haven’t felt this tarnished since a city health official told me I was HIV-positive twenty years ago.
And while I’m sitting on the bus, lost in my own self-criticism, something kicks the back of my leg. I press pause on my headphones and hear a strange gurgling noise and fear… And again something kicks the back of my leg.
I turn around and the man in the seat behind me is slowly turning blue. He is in his mid-fifties, and well dressed, and banging his head loudly against the tinted windows. He is foaming at the mouth and his eyes are bulging further than I thought eyes could bulge. He’s having a seizure.
My heart stops cold because he is staring into a light behind me that I cannot see.
I know that I should do something, but the demon is now arms wide in the middle of the bus screeching: “YOU ARE UGLY, RUINED, AND LESS THAN” like some wild predatory bird!
And I’m waiting for someone better, someone smarter——someone prettier than me to do something!
But they must have their own demons….
So I scream for the driver to, “Stop the bus!” I tell someone to, “Call 911!” I pull his head away from the window. His “teeth” have gone sideways from clenching his jaw, so I take them out of his mouth and slip them into his man-bag. I gently begin to caress the back of his neck like a lover, telling him that he is fine, and that “Help is coming,” and that, “I am here.”
I say a prayer for him and me and everyone on the bus, and I’m crying, and the demon that has been with me for weeks melts away like rain. And instantly the man relaxes and starts to catch his breath. His deep brown eyes stop staring at the lost light behind me and come back to meet my light fairy blue ones. And despite myself, I smile my big dumb toothless grin.
And I can hear the sirens on their way.
So I repeat: “You are fine. Help is coming. I am here.”
And I have not felt this beautiful in a long time.
Love and Light.
Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently looking for a publisher for his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.