ZineWest 2017 First Place and Best Prose
PRETENDING: A HERO’S QUEST by LE Armbruster
Prologue: It’s exhausting this writering thing. This face down in the mud suffocating thing. This part literary muse and part laugher out louder at Judd Apatow movies and Bored Panda memes split personality disorder. People falling down are funny. I wish I just didn’t want to do this anymore. The world wants photos of fruit that look like humans and baby in a watermelon photo fails. Not this big effort typy typalot thing that sits like a buffering imageless captionless kitten pic on my desktop. I want to put down this fat bag with a nice big satisfying “thud!” and get on with other stuff. I don’t want this writery thing anymore.
Chapter 1 – A Cake Lady: I wish that I could just be like a cake decorator woman. They make Minions cakes with little sugar eyes and sell them using Facebook as some kind of online atm. They get closure. They have clients and cash flow and their product is both edible and delicious and funny to look at and makes people happy on their fifth birthday. I wanna be her.
Chapter 2 – Yesterday’s Hero: I wish I was a balding Italian on a team of dudes who stretch on blue and white socks to swear at each other and kick around a partially inflated World Cup 1998 soccer ball in a local sports ground. He smiles lots. He rambles on about old man ankle sprains with beer guts melting like wax over the top of elasticized shorts yelling and pointing and saying things like ‘what the fuck was that!?’I wanna be him.
Chapter 3 – Crossing the Abyss: Maybe I could be one of those MAC makeup buying, Louis Vuitton loving thirty something stay at home mums whose lives make sense because they own thirteen Pandora charms and a Chanel lipstick in fire engine red for special occasions and date nights. I wanna buy a Nutribullet and a new kind of steam mop from late night TV and have my nails shellacked in matte black Gelish every Saturday morning by the same Vietnamese girl talking on her fluffy bunny phone in a skin tight T-shirt with “New York” in silver letters. I would buy my new rose-gold toilet brush holder from Casula K-Mart at 11.43 pm and never use it. I wanna be those guys.
Chapter 4 – (insert catchy title here): I’ll be a millennial who think “Girls” is about them, but openly criticize how fat Lena Dunham looks in sex scenes and avoid gender dichotomies by insisting on a gender neutral pronoun be used by the guy admiring my fake tits. I’ll drive two hours on a Sunday morning to brunch in a fake farmyard organic market in a backstreet in Surry Hills because I like to pay forty dollars for a poached rattlesnake egg and gluten free toast that tastes like a wet tampon and wear ironic 90’s sandals and Fila jumper I bought online from ASOS. I want a pinterest account with all the variations of aviator sunglasses that suit my heart-shaped face. But fuck it man, at least I’d be happy.
Chapter 5 – Climax (cont’d): I wanna be “A Paleo” and do more Japanese yoga and compare my Lorna Jane sweatpants with Krisy and Kirste and Kyla as we sip turmeric lattes at GoodLife in Lane Cove after holding a plank pose for two minutes in 38 degrees – personal best ya’ll.
I wanna breed Frenoodleugs or exotic Budgies and live on an acre just west of Newcastle where I can finally get out of the Sydney rat race and focus on my real passion for knitting designer blankets with comically huge needles and wool the size of my forearm.
I wanna make youtube videos about how feminism is stupid or how to apply contouring brown power stuff with twenty various vibrator shaped sponges because I am worried I don’t look emaciated enough.
I wanna be a member of a cool church with electric key-tars and ironic trance music so I can feel God in the laser show.
I wanna be a fanatical Royal Easter Show blue ribbon winning cross stitcher.
A competition barbecue guy with a secret rub recipe that’s gonna make me rich someday.
An Irish Dancing judge.
One of those old guys on the board of directors at Smithfield RSL named Ron or Bill or Terry.
I wanna collect limited edition Star Wars memorabilia.
I wanna be a rainbow unicorn.
don’t wanna be