I’m a dirty little slut for The Monster Fucker Alignment Chart. Neat little calculable categories for naming relationships. Perhaps more so because of the analysis necessary to decipherwhat box is the most accurate. Breaking open not only every interaction but also each participant is the stuff that keeps me up at night and get me out of bed in the morning. The whole reason to have brunch is to have these discussions over bitter mimosas.
But currently I’m not at brunch. It’s 10:37am on a Friday and I’m at a local* coffee shop supposedly planning Monday’s classes. It’s crawling with tourists; gringos. We’re in one of the more touristy areas and near the airport so it’s to be expected. This is one of the only coffee shops I’ve found that doesn’t close at 2pm, so I’ve become a halfhearted semi regular. The cashier defaulted to starting our interaction in English before I redirect her. She’s new, and there’s a sign at the door announcing that they’re still hiring. I always consider it, but I’d intentionally be a bitch. Praxis and whatnot. You’d think I’d become accustomed to the neocolonizers dragging carry-ons behind them and ordering iced cappuccinos in their inexplicably loud, shrill voices they somehow all have.
The ‘Monster Radical’ column of the chart states that “The monster can be any character that’s weird, inhuman, or evil”. Jim Kirk, Will Graham, and Harley Quinn are listed as examples. If weird is the line I’m biblically acquainted with a few monster fuckers myself. I doubt they consider themselves as such. (Note to self: be weirder this year, make monsterfuckinginescapable in my orbit).
A table of six gringos is right next to me. They comment on how instagramable the place is. Twice. After a while one of them asks “Are we loving the coffee here?” That’s how I see them, as corrupted mycelium festering in my future grave. All Puerto Ricans want to be buried on the archipelago. Even if they wecremation. The table of six expands to the couple of couples behind them. I don’t stare too much so as to not incite nightmares of a clay monster with ten appendages commenting on how good my English is.
The barista approaches their table and asks if he can take a picture of the full table. The gringos joke about being influencers. When the barista leaves, they joke about being put on a blacklist: Never let these people in again. I look for the pic on the coffee shop’s Instagram story. I can see the top of my head behind them, but not the scowl I was hoping would ruin it.
I know it’s not kosher to admit, but a part of me has a weakness for the Harley Quinn-Joker pairing. At the very least, I get it. It’s a sort of saving what he did to her. Blasted open a door to aworld to fuck around and find out in. A desire buried deep in all good girls. I also yearn to be saved. There’s only so many parts of me I can save by myself. So what if I want some dashing lover to jump in and pull out what I couldn’t. Sue me. No, please do. We can get an enemies to lovers thing going on.
Thankfully, I’d never felt much attraction to gringos (and if my Tinder matches while living in West Virginia are any indicator, the reverse is also true). Still, there are instances where I imagine one getting me the fuck out of here. Marry into generational wealth, have one house on “the island and another on the mainland” as they like to call it. Mobility between two suffocations. Trashing all my morals and ideals for the promise of never drowning again. No one ever taught me how to swim. I’ll let them buy me a yacht. Monsters will always be able to offer us what we abject to.
If we stretch the definitions enough, we’re all monsterfuckers. We’re all platonically acquainted with someone who in the right wrong light can reflect as evil. An idea that has always resonated with me is that evil does not erase one’s humanity. It’s vital to remember the atrocity humans ourselves are capable of. So then,where does that leave monsters? Our lovely, horrid, enthralling monsters? The (correct) cop out is to invoke contextuality. God, how boring. I’ll leave that for class on Monday. Right now, here in this gentrifying local* coffee shop I am incapable of monstrosity. I am incapable of fucking these monsters staying at an Airbnb that I’ll never be able to rent and live in. I hope the airline loses their luggage souring any impulse to return and buy the apartment I’ll never afford. Monster Radical indeed.
*I don’t want to leave—again—but it’s becoming untenable to stay.
Laura Andrea is a writer from Carolina, Puerto Rico. They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her work can be found in Pussy Magic, The Rio Grande Review, Acentos Review, and Brave Voices Magazine, among others. She’s always looking for a good park to read, write, and divinate in. You can follow their day to day on Instagram & Twitter @lauranlora