Samuel L. Jackson Is Not a Good Name for a Rabbit
Elizabeth Ellen

I made it my goal in life to be pretty for you so that when we met you would want to put your mouth on mine and fill my head with your bullshit ideas. I had worked out a life for us in the form of a blue-collar family sitcom, complete with a gay son and a Goth daughter and weekly misunderstandings based on the stupid things you said, and at the end of every episode I forgave you and it felt like you learned something though probably you didn't and just said you did so the credits could roll.

Then when we finally met you told me you didn't like pretty girls and the words you were saying didn't make any sense to me like they weren't really English. I asked you to clarify and you said you liked ordinary girls instead; girls with sallow skin and tattoos of insects on the backs of their necks. The girl you were with when we met — Anastasia — had cellulite on her thighs and acne between her shoulder blades and I visualized you sitting on her back popping those zits all night long. There were some really good-sized ones and I figured it would take a long time. I had a clarifier/toner combo pack on the counter in my bathroom. There was nothing whatsoever interesting about my back.

I didn't know how I was going to fill my nights without our sitcom family so I went to the pound, which is where I'd heard lonely people went to pass the time. I'd planned on getting a dog but none of the dogs looked lonely enough so I got a seventeen-pound rabbit named Larry instead because Larry looked sufficiently melancholy. It said in Larry's papers that his previous owners had given him up due to an out-of-state move and I promised Larry right then and there that if I ever moved I'd take him with me because I'm not an asshole like that.

I'm an asshole in many other ways, of course. For instance, I have really bad road rage. If you cut in front of me in the fast lane on the freeway I'll ride your ass a hundred miles until you get the fuck over. One time I rode this chick's ass half an hour and then when I got to my exit I flipped her off. It felt good flipping her off for about a second, like I'd really gotten one over on her, but then she crossed three lanes and got off the exit behind me and that didn't feel as good. I had to drive twice the speed limit and run a few red lights to lose her and I don't even smoke anymore so it's not like I could light up a cigarette after or anything.

The other night I made a sketch of you riding a camel and showed it to Larry. Admittedly, Larry doesn't have a wide range of facial expressions. He pretty much had the same expression on his face staring at the sketch of you on the camel as he does when he watches me take a piss or masturbate or eat low-carb pretzels. Which is to say, it's hard to tell what the hell that rabbit is thinking sometimes.

I bet if I stopped exfoliating and got a tattoo of a mosquito or a cicada on the back of my neck and wore my hair in a ponytail every time I went to the grocery store or movies until you noticed, you'd leave Anastasia and move in with me but then you'd want to change Larry's name to something funny like Mr. Wiggles or Samuel L. Jackson, which is another reason I'm glad it didn't work out between us. Samuel L. Jackson is a stupid fucking name for a rabbit.

Elizabeth Ellen has stories in recent or upcoming issues of Lamination Colony, Quick Fiction, elimae, Dogzplot and others. Her chapbook, Mouthfeel, will be included in Fox Force Five, a chapbook collective from Paper Hero Press, alongside work by Andrea Kneeland, Lydia Copeland, Brandi Wells, and Suzanne Burns.

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Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Joshua Rappeneker.

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