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WHOLE McKenna Christian University of San Diego

Inspired by Roberto Bolaño’s BEACH It was four months after I had stopped eating when I woke up oily and tired, a teenager type of tired, maybe a starving type of tired, and put on my rollerblades, the kind with the different patches of leather and the little rubber stopper on the toe, the kind you see in the Hollywood movies, the kind of movies with movie stars that don’t eat, so it all made sense as the bottoms of my feet rode on the four wheels to the pier where I sat down on one of the wooden stairs leading to the pier that took you out to the lake, a murky lake, with carp and snapping turtles laying dormant in the mud, a lake that was in the bigger city thirty minutes away and not just the suburbs in the outskirts where I lived. So my wheels took me to the bigger city but my feet with galaxy-blue painted toenails are what took me to the pier’s step which was permanently dampened from years of the lake lapping at the oak and licked with mossy algae and the teetering step could’ve broken but I still sat down to try and cool the burning in my sternum and the prickling of my forehead and deal with my irritating hair, curling at my temples and at the nape of my neck and even forty-five minutes of straightening it couldn’t stop the curls from rejoicing in a little sweat, as punishment. I whisked my wispy blonde hair into a high ponytail and squinted at my thighs, pale freckled hot-dogs without a bun, it made me miss the Oscar Mayer hot dogs that had cheese inside them, the ones my dad would put into my elementary school lunches in a Zip-lock baggies when we were in desperate need of a grocery run, I missed them and I missed lunch so I promised myself a plain rice cake when I got home, a rice cake for being good and sticking to routine, this routine of visiting the lake every day during the summer by necessity to feel whole because all my friends live by L.A. in three-story houses with pools and king-sized beds and huge doubledecker fridges filled with the expensive shit from Whole Foods, pomegranate seeds and edamame, all individually packaged in pretty crisp plastic, and I wish I could make it to the city or make it in the city but I’m not pretty enough, not pretty enough yet. And the prettiness I want is so gummy that it could scab over open wounds and catch flies like boxed custard left to set, so I just roller blade to the pier about thirty minutes away and pretend I’m in Santa Monica, the city that the rappers on the radio mention, where I could watch the street performers trying to




Profile for Oakland Arts Review

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4