The Flippers and Fur of Beauty Incarnate


The moment I saw her was the moment I knew my life would never be the same. The way her hair gently bounced with each step; the way her eyes danced rhythmically around the room; the way her body seemed to jiggle like a pool of gelatin: She was perfection.

I don’t know what it was that first drew me to her, perhaps it was the way her scent seemed to waft gracefully through the party. It overpowered and overwhelmed the carefully planned aroma of candles with that of savory vomit and fragrant liquor—to say she was a breath of fresh air, like that of a crisp Spring morning spent picnicking beside a rancid, decaying landfill, would be an under-statement. Or perhaps it was the literal force of her body’s gravitational pull that caused me to be stuck in orbit, my arms flailing as I rotated weightlessly. Whatever it was, I could neither look nor get away, yet had no desire to do so. Her figure, it was absolutely divine. Round—or maybe oblong; she looked more like that of an over-sized and over-fed beach ball than a mere morbidly obese woman. Her curve, the singular arc of her spherical body, was absolutely tantalizing. She was all I could see, figuratively and literally.

Perhaps what I found most appealing were the details of her divinity, the way she had been sculpted as not even Donatello could. I have never seen, nor again saw, anything so unique and beguiling as she. I remember as my eyes first skimmed across the fine lines of her left arm. It was unlike any other girl’s at the ball, a single peg of wood carved delicately from the finest mahogany. It seemed to have been sanded to a smoothness that glistened under the lights. She was waving it in the air and stammering incoherently, as if dancing for the very eyes of Aphrodite and Dionysus.

Her legs, similarly, bore no resemblance to any other woman’s—in fact, they bore no resemblance to anything I had before seen. From my distance, they seemed like that of a sea lion’s flippers, yet the sort one would expect to find attached to an ostrich. They were furry yet blubbery, a soft smack bouncing about the room with each unstable step she took. When she’d laugh, she would roll back on her voluptuous behind and clap her furry flippers together. The sound, it will never fade from my memory—the sheer insurmountable perfection it created! No song has since been as pleasing to me as just one, simple clap of her fur flippers.

Maybe what I found most appealing of all, however, was the perfection of her face. It has forever danced through my dreams—night and day—teasing me with its unobtainable beauty. The way her lips curled up when she smiled, decrepit and decaying gums exposed that seemed to have entirely replaced the need for teeth. A thick tuft of hair sat delicately under her pointed nose, bristled and coated in a thin layer of crumbs and snot, glistening like a diamond atop a pile of cow manure in a barber’s shop. A small sliver of vomit cascaded down the folds of her chins, evaporating in the brilliantly visible heat of her bosom. Her eyes gleamed under the chandelier, shimmering like a starred night in a lightless desert, as they peered off in two different directions at once. I could not look away, fearful, yet positive, that my life would nevermore be graced with such elegance.

I never saw her again after that night, although I’ve constantly relived her every moment thereafter. Sometimes I lay alone in bed at night and stare at the ceiling, mind tossing out every possible outcome of her life. Did she marry? Where is she now? How many kids does she have? Do they have flippers? Is she happy? Yet perhaps the most common, selfish thought is whether she saw me. Whether she noticed me, for one fleeting moment, and saw me as something more than just a wisp of light in her eye. I wonder if I had any effect on her life at all, or if she knows how drastically she changed my life. Sometimes I lay in bed and wonder if I even mattered to her at all.


Writing Prompt: You lock eyes with someone at a party and it’s _____ at first sight.

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