I enter a dance studio filled with sunlight and new age flute music. The scents of patchouli and hemp waft through the air. A calm, middle-aged woman in soft beige loungewear suddenly appears and invites me to “explore this healing space with your free-form body movements.” In the corner, a hippie named Hambone slowly beats a tribal drum while I claw at the Batik wall coverings for the exit.
My eyes adjust to the flickering fluorescent light, and I realize that I am trapped in a Ross Dress for Less dressing room. The only way out is by trying on a pile of fringe bikinis from the juniors clearance rack. The bikinis are all size 0, pink python print, and missing the protective panty liners. I gaze into the dusty three-way mirror, and watch from multiple angles as the color slowly drains from my face.
I take a seat between two large men. The man on the right laughs through his nose at the Adam Sandler movie on his Surface Book Pro. The man on the left pulls tuna sandwiches out of his backpack, and joylessly clips his toenails on the tray table. A voice over the PA crackles that there will be another two-hour delay on the tarmac, and the cabin’s air conditioning is now broken. My attempt to slit my wrists on a metal armrest fails because my fucking seatmates are hogging both of them. Three air-sickness bags hold my screams of despair.
The room is filled with piles and piles of paper. Upon closer inspection, I see that the papers are everything I’ve ever written. A ghoulish figure flies past my face keening, “TWO SPACES AFTER A PERIOD! TWO SPACES AFTER A PERIOD!” A witch in the corner lights a stack of my Mama’s Family fan-fiction on fire while a Zombie English teacher dances in the flames. At my feet, three writhing creatures hiss and spit about the glory of the Oxford comma. Is that blood dripping down the wall? No. It’s ink from a red pen.
I creep down a dark flight of stairs. When I reach the bottom, a white suburban dad dressed like Flava Flav jumps out of nowhere and yells, “Hey, BO-OYYY!” and flicks on the lights. Chills go down my spine when I see that I am in a Pottery Barn catalog living room. Four white PTA moms wearing clear heels and booty shorts gyrate against my torso while small, demonic children in helmets and knee pads pedal tricycles in an endless circle. The music of Public Enemy starts pumping over hidden speakers, and my tormentors begin to flash gang signs and mug for the camera, while lip synching “Don’t Believe The Trike.” My body freezes in abject terror because I know there is no escape from this hell. I am forever trapped in a parenting rap parody video. The final image on my brain before I lose all consciousness is of a giant clock swinging from the neck of an accountant named “Tyson.”