empty (pure)




Justin Lo



The world didn’t seem to be very fond of Michelle.


To that end, the fault laid quite heavily with her in the first place.  She made little effort to improve her status in life, and her revolutionary ideas that she flaunted with her clothes and writing were just hollow theories.


She knew she was an outcast, too.  She wasn’t pretentious enough to believe that she had any special abilities or perfect niche in life, but she did have the conviction that she was infallible, something that irked the others around her.  For one thing, they thought, the only reason why she never said anything wrong was that she never said anything at all except a few curses at the government and the school bureaucracy.


Of all the things Michelle believed, her strongest opinion was on the fact that no one in the world would care if she suddenly died.  Her friends and parents and guidance counselors and teachers all told her to the contrary, because they were very kind people.  They reassured her that she was a very unique and intelligent individual, that she was just a bit more sensitive (and brooding) than other kids, and that it was just something everyone went through.  In other words, she was normal.  That was what kind people said to outcasts: that they could be accepted like family.


But Michelle’s world could not hold.  There were thousands of cracks everywhere in the porcelain trees and buildings and apples and dollar bills.  People threw out weeds all the time and didn’t care because the weeds had nothing to gain, anyhow.  All the weeds did was just grow and grow and grow, then make some seeds and die.  Michelle noticed that she grew and grew and grew, and that she definitely had the seed-making capabilities.


As a favor to the world, though, she decided that it would be best if the pollen stayed away from her hideous self (that’s what she thought, anyway; most people actually considered her a princess of beauty who just looked too hostile to approach).  So one day, she considered her place in the Universe and decided that it really wasn’t worth the effort.  She went into the bathroom and slit her wrists, marveling at how thick her blood was.


Michelle was right.  No one did care.  Once they got the yicky yucky carcass out of the bathroom, everything returned to normal.  The guidance counselors frowned a bit, wondering how much the suicide would hurt their careers; her parents wondered if they ought to try and have another child or just adopt one; her teachers thought she’d moved to Paris.


When Michelle dropped by her funeral, which was her one allowance before she had to go and start working, she saw that her friends were absent; she later spotted them a few blocks away, smoking and drinking under the pretense of attending her funeral.  After mouthing a pleasant “fuck you” to them, she turned around and headed for the subway.



Michelle was amazed at how large the subway station was.  She quickly looked at her token, which was much more detailed than standard Metro tokens.  Among other things, it told her to ride the Green Line.


She wasn’t in much of a hurry, so she stopped by a small hot dog stand and bought some cheese fries and a Coke.  The line was incredibly long, but it was laughably short considering the life that she’d be living.


The cheese fries were delicious.  Once in awhile, Michelle would look down at her wrists and try to recall how they looked when they were sliced open