Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?
by Cody

she's in love with the world.


It's late and you're tired and hungry and lonely. You lay on the bed in your hotel room naked, surfing channels on the widescreen tv and trying not to want a drink. Drinking means calories. You would just take a bump, but you finished the last of your yay in the bathroom before dinner, needing something to hold back your appetite because you were fucking starving. But that was hours ago and even though your body's still strumming like a wound too-tight guitar string, you're not really feeling the good part anymore.

You kick the clothes crumpled on the edge of your bed onto the floor. Versace, tailored to a perfect fit. This life, you remind yourself, is supposed to be good. But you don't feel good. You don't feel.

At the photo shoot earlier, you wanted to wear this really cute outfit you found on the rack of clothes in your dressing room. Flared jeans with patches all over it, a big, breezy peasant top with hand-sewn embroidery. You know it was hand sewn 'cause the little homemade tag on the blouse said so. It looked good, in a can't-see-any-naked-flesh way. You'd almost forgotten that way existed. But no one else had gone for the look. "Oh, no." The wardrobe girl shook her head emphatically, handing you a lace scrap of material that wasn't a dress but played one on TV. "Nobody wants to see you dressed like that." It's comfortable, you almost told her, but then decided not to waste your breath.

Hungry, hungry, hungry. You're always hungry. Because even when you do get to eat you feel guilty if you don't leave most of it on the plate. When you're halfway through your meal, your mom always says, "You don't have to finish that, honey. You must be full," and her eyes are just a little too intense not to make her point. You always nod, feeling weak as you push your food away. "Yhea, I'm stuffed." You force yourself not to watch the plate as the waiter clears it from the table.

It's all worth it, right? Everything is worth it. Look at your stuff, look at how much fucking stuff you have. Clothes, shoes, houses, cars. You've got it all and none of it came cheap. The price of fame and fortune. The cost of Everything All at Once. You're rich. You're beautiful. You're Justin Timberlake's girlfriend, for god's sake. In name alone, but isn't name enough? It's what really counts in the long run. You are whatever you make believe you are, as long as you do it in front of cameras. This is reality, airbrushed magazine covers coo in the world's ear, Eat it up! The girls, your fans, they love you for it. For being pretty and having a pretty life, perfect looks, perfect boyfriend. Because you let them believe he's everything they want him to be. And he is, it's all true. You should know; you get it from a very reliable source.

"After he gave me a bubble bath, I went in the bedroom and he'd spelled I Love You in rose petals on the bed," JC sighed happily, and you thought, That's fucking corny but you said, "That's so sweet!"

"I know… and, oh, vanilla candles. He loves vanilla candles." He paused, and you could hear someone talking in the background. "Oh, he says when you tell that story, make it that he spelled your names out on the bed. Girls like that Me plus You stuff."

You can't help but laugh. "You know us too well."

JC laughed, too, and you didn't like it. "Well, hey, pizza's here. We'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Sure. 'Night." You thumb the off button of your cell quickly so you can pretend you're hanging up on him, Take that! and toss it to the floor.

You rummage through your purse until you find the Snickers bar you stole in the hotel lobby when you faked needing tampons. Security always let you go in alone when you did that, keeping a careful watch through the glass walls of the gift shop as you bought what you needed, slipping the candy into your purse discreetly while the cashier, a middle-aged housewife type, was checking out your tits. They're real, you want to tell her, Now excuse me while I go make babies with my ultrastraight boyfriend.

You go in the bathroom and sit on the toilet to eat your chocolate, like there's fucking hidden cameras in the bedroom or something. It reminds you of a couple years ago, when you would sit in the bathroom and eat entire pints of Ben and Jerry's, retching it up almost as soon as the last spoonful went down; quick before any of those nasty fat grams could digest. And afterwards you'd stand up and look in the mirror, look at your acne and your over-dyed hair and the bags under your eyes and think, I'm so ugly I should die. You only stopped doing it because you found out it would ruin your teeth. Your mom walked in on you one night, and she stood there in the doorway until you heard her breathing and looked up, your face flushed, runny-nosed and teary-eyed from gagging. She stared at you for a minute, and then said, "That'll ruin your teeth, you know that? It'll make them fall right out." That's all she said. And that's all she needed to say.

It's strikes you, as you're chewing your candy bar and spitting it into the trashcan instead of swallowing, how appropriate it will be when you tell everyone that Justin spelled out your names in rose petals. Not because it's romantic, but because it's your names. Your names in bed. It's so right it makes you choke a little, laughing.

You know he's going to dump you. Once he's cemented his image as a heterosexual; once he's shown everyone what a hot stud he is for defiling America's Favorite Virgin; once he's had enough articles written about how he loves leaving you little notes and hidden gifts. He's going to call the whole charade off and leave you to fend for yourself.

And bring a whole new phase of the game into play. You doubt you'll have trouble feigning the bitter ex-girlfriend.


left brain knows that all love is fleeting.


lyrics credit "Fell In Love With A Girl" --The White Stripes


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