Business in the City by Jenna Lyles
Editorial intern Zoe Maki on today's bonus story: Pillbox hats and photoshopped breasts are the new spliced tongues and cat eye contacts. What about you? What is your business in the city?
Business in the City
Under my pillbox hat are my breasts. You can ask what they’re doing up there, but it’s really none of your business. Nothing I do is really any of your business, including my business in the city, which required I buy a brand-new pillbox hat with money earned from removing my breasts and affixing them to different parts of my body for fetish websites. I don’t have time to visit these websites to ensure that my breasts aren’t being freely photoshopped to even wilder parts of my body, like my kneecaps or my elbows. Between travelling to the city and undergoing surgery and buying new pillbox hats, I had to hire assistants for work like that. Just one would do, but a few days on the job and they get too squeamish; I go through them like cannon fuse. Just before they go, they always ask why my breasts are where they are, and I have to tell them, just like I had to tell you: it’s really none of your business.
Business in the city is good, or why else would my breasts be under my pillbox hat? As a matter of fact, I am headed straight into a meeting to assess big colorful charts of my success. Some people, they want what I’ve got easy. They want it for it cheap. They think all there is to a collection of pillbox hats is a spliced tongue and cat-eye contacts. That’s no way to rile the folks on these fetish websites. These are people who would never ask what my breasts were doing under my pillbox hat. These are people who photoshop them onto my kneecaps and my elbows. One of my longer lasting assistants, well, she once found a picture of my two breasts cleaved into six, fastened along my abdomen like a mother sow’s. Now ask yourself: does that person care that you halved your tongue and kept both halves right there in your mouth? Some people don’t understand good business at all. Some people want to succeed without ever having to cede at all. Those people, like you, maybe, don’t belong in this city at all.
Jenna Lyles is a McNair Fellow and MFA candidate at the University of Alabama, where she teaches creative writing and serves as an assistant editor for Black Warrior Review. Her work appears or is set to appear in New Haven Review, Typehouse Literary, Calamus Journal, VIATOR, and elsewhere. Find her at jennalyles.com.