Paul's Reviews > Don't Cry: Stories
Don't Cry: Stories
by Mary Gaitskill
by Mary Gaitskill
Angelique was a girl with a beautiful right shoulder, too much make-up, and a very expensive handbag. She had an anthropology degree but she was currently out of work. The problem was not any of that however. The problem which had been causing her sleepless nights, or nights where you just doze fitfully and never really go properly to sleep, was that there was something in her vagina. Having looked at it from every angle she had concluded that it was a penis. Oh dear oh dear, she said to herself. What’s it doing there? Why doesn’t it go away? It was so irritating. As if my vagina is the only place it could hang around. Days went by and it was still there. She decided to call one of her slightly depressed girlfriends named Ruby. She had five girlfriends called Ruby. It had never struck her before what a gigantic co-incidence that was. But now it did. Ruby was depressed but not so depressed that she’d stick her head in the oven or anything. She’d recently pulled chunks of her own hair out so that she had to wear a wig. The wig was very beautiful. She was thinking of pulling other people’s hair out too, so that they could wear beautiful wigs too, but hadn’t got up the nerve to do that. She was in love with a boy called David but she called him Batbrains. He had a supernumery nipple and played in a grindcore band. “Ruby” said Angelique, “there’s a penis in my vagina.” Ruby said Angelique should take steps to find out whose it was. But Angelique couldn’t be bothered. It seemed like such an effort. She ate a bag of Doritos. Maybe it would get bored and go away. But it didn’t. Eventually she gathered the Rubys together for a penis extraction party. They were giggly and excited. Once the deed was done, the penis made a fzzz sound and whizzed about the room like a balloon. They caught it and put it in a hamster cage where it flopped about a bit and then died. Ruby said that someone should make sure it was all gone. She volunteered to take a look around the vagina. She was gone for the best part of an hour. When she emerged she was clutching about twenty copies of Playgirl magazine. “I found these,” she said. “I didn’t even know I had those” said Angelique. “I’m sure they’re not mine.” The Rubys looked sceptically at one another. By now it was daytime. So they decided to watch daytime tv even though they were all really brainy. So they did.
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