by Cecilia K Corrigan
Beyonce was dreaming that a white wolf was chasing her through a shopping mall. She’d escaped a room in the mall where someone was being tortured by bureaucrats, and now was running in a state of panic, trying to stay on the lookout for their spies. The wolf was at least five feet long and probably weighed 200 pounds. He had run up the escalator from the food court as Beyonce was passing, and snarled at her.
Beyonce ran into the road and hid under a car, like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. It was night and the streets were empty. She looked out from under the car and the shopping mall was gone. She was on a small and desolate street, in a Southern town like the towns from No Country for Old Men.
Beyonce didn’t want to die. She was overcome by a great longing for her entire life, suddenly realizing the beauty of all her past idiocies and mistakes as essential to the organic fabric of her existence, like deviations in the patterns of a maple leaf or a snowflake. Underneath the car, she shuddered and stared, afraid of the spies and the white wolf, and whatever else might be coming for her through the dark.
She woke up in her canopy bed with her head under the pillow. She pulled off her sleep mask and blinked at her room. The all-white room was overly illuminated with sunlight, which belied the too-early hour of her awakening. It was no later than ten. Beyonce shut her eyes again and shoved her head under the pillow. Her mind quieted momentarily, but the calm of sleep eroded under a web of questions, memories of lovers’ dishonesty and childhood racism flooding her consciousness.
She put her head back on top of the pillow and pulled out each earplug with her thumb and forefinger. The early morning light swept through her lace curtains, reflecting brazenly from the off-white/white-patterned Oriental rug.
Beyonce’s gaze wandered listlessly to the half-full bottle of Kahlua and the teddy-bear honey bottle lying at the foot of her bed. She’d spent the hours between two and five a.m. slugging alternately from one or the other, while g-chatting and Googling the phrases “beyonce weight loss” and “beyonce hot.”
Beyonce got out of bed and went to the kitchen. Her housekeeper was still mopping the floors, and started with fright at seeing Beyonce out of bed this early. It was Tuesday morning, nine forty three. Beyonce poured herself a cup of coffee and used it to chase down three Excedrin and an Adderall.
At one, Beyonce went to lunch with the people she always went to lunch with. Today the one named Tyrone sat next to her. They made conversation about relationships. Beyonce told him about how she hoped her music would remind people that being in love was a good way to stay out of drama. She told him that she knew it was important to give her man his space. Tyrone told her that he’d recently broken up with his girlfriend of four years.
Why? asked Beyonce.
Well, it’s complicated.
So she went to the University of Santa Barbara to study screenwriting.
And I hadn’t seen her even once in over two months, she’d just been out in California. And ah… so remember that party last month? In the Art Deco district?
Well, I fucked this girl there.
I don’t know. We just went in this room and fucked.
I, ah… Well, yeah, I mean, I was trashed. But my girlfriend, she was real pissed about it when I told her.
Beyonce drank her drink.
She said it was disgusting. She said she was sorry she’d ever touched me.
But that is disgusting, said Beyonce.
Nah, I mean I see the point, said Tyrone. But lots of dudes do that.
No, said Beyonce.
Sure, yeah, said Tyrone. Lots of guys do that. It’s just in their nature.
No! said Beyonce. She finished her drink and left. She got in her limo and started crying.
Beyonce looked down at her body. Her breasts were beautiful and shiny, pushed over the top of her dress by a specially designed bra from New York. Before going out she’d sprayed them with glitter lotion. Her tears were falling down on her breasts, rinsing off the glitter in tiny streams.
Beyonce wondered, what is gender? After reading a great deal of Kristeva, she’d come to believe that it was simply a social construction, generated by the Anglo-Saxon male-identifying narrative of Western civilization, only recently questioned with critical consciousness due to the post-Industrial Revolution era of thought.
But if what Tyrone, a trusted member of her posse, said was true, then there was a fundamental difference which, by its very existence, precluded the possibility of male fidelity.
Beyonce took her iPhone out of her purse and checked her email. She g-chatted one of her friends.
What the fuck is up with this world!
What? her friend g-chatted back.
AaAaaah! g-chatted Beyonce.
Beyonce looked out the limo window. She told her driver to pull over. They were in the financial district. Beyonce got out of the limo. She stood on the sidewalk for a moment, smelling the sun bake the product in her hair. She walked into the office building in front of which the limo was parked. Some security guards moved to stop her, but then she showed them her face and they looked happy and excited instead.
Beyonce didn’t listen to them while they were talking to her. She walked past the elevators and opened the employees-only door and walked down that hall. She passed a closet with cleaning supplies in it, and a room with soda machines and tables. There were people in uniforms sitting at one of the tables. A woman looked up and saw Beyonce and started screaming. Beyonce kept walking. She came to a glowing room at the end of the hall with a plexiglass window. She opened the door and walked into the beautiful yellow room where a security guard was sitting in front of an intercom.
He swiveled towards her in his chair. His eyes were the yellow of the room. He stood up and gestured to the chair for her to sit. Beyonce sat down and pushed the button of the intercom. She began performing an acapella version of her song “Get Me Bodied.”
As she sang, tears rolled down her cheeks. Her chest felt as though someone were dropping hot boulders into it through her skull, like in Vinyasa yoga. These boulders were filling her stomach, and tugging downwards on her blood-filled heart. As Beyonce sang, all the people who worked in this office building leapt up from their desks and began running down the stairs of the building. They rushed en masse through the lobby and into the street, a torrent of bodies and uplifted faces. They shed their sweaters and jackets in the street, some of them kissing or hugging, some of them beginning to run towards the waterfront at top speed.
“Mission one, I’m a put this on. When he see me in the dress I’m a get me some. Mission two, gotta make that call, tell him get the bottles poppin’ when they play my song. Mission three, got my three best friends, Like we do it all the time we gonna do it again. Mission four, got the vintage Rolls, Drop a couple hundreds tell him leave it at the door. I ain’t worried doing me tonight, A little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody. While you all standin’ on the wall, I’m the one tonight. Getting bodied, getting bodied, getting bodied, getting bodied. Want my body, won’t you get me bodied, you want my body Won’t you get me bodied. Can you get me bodied, I wanna be myself tonight. Can you get me bodied I wanna be myself tonight. Don’t you see my body? I want to let it out tonight. Wanna party, wanna dance, wanna be myself tonight, me bodied. Mission five. Skip to the front of the line. Let me fix my hair up ‘fore I go inside. Mission six, gotta check these chicks, ’cause you know they gone block when I take these flicks. Mission seven, gotta make my rounds, givin eyes to the guys now I think I found him. Mission eight, now we conversate, And we can skip small talk, let’s get right to the chase. You should see my body, I gotta know enough to know if you can get me bodied, I’m kinda tight, I’m feeling right enough to see somebody, I wanna let it off tonight, Wanna dance, wanna party wanna be myself tonight!”
Beyonce finished her song and smiled to herself. She turned off the intercom and sat back in her chair, fingering one of her long-stem pink diamond earrings. She shut her eyes and practiced yoga breathing.