The Warm Embrace of the Japanese Chubby Maid Cafe
It was four in the afternoon and Poppy was very busy. Her roommate Max lay next to her on a bare mattress, the only furniture in their enormous loft.
Until recently, Max had been the drummer for the art-noise band Rich Kids Without Day Jobs. They’d broken up when the lead singer decided he needed to spend more time studying for the LSAT. Poppy’s dad was the inventor of police tape. Poppy suffered from severe anxiety and agoraphobia, which she told everybody stemmed from her fear she’d never accomplish anything so great. Everybody suggested she see a psychiatrist. Her psychiatrist suggested she get a job. Since Poppy couldn’t leave the house, they were working on an internet start-up, a blog reviewing various types of hard and soft cheeses. Between the posts would be photos of Poppy looking mournfully at the camera, biting into pieces of chevre. They were still raising capital. Poppy’s dad had invested $100,000 but that barely covered office rent and recreation fees.
As publicity director, Poppy had started a Twitter that kept readers updated on the life and times of her Reindeer Chihuahua, Anthony Trollope. Right now she was topless on the mattress working on a video for their conceptual media vlog, her face obscured by the dozens of feet of bright yellow police tape she’d wound around her head. Next to the bed a DV camera sat on a tripod filming her talking to Max while he watched gay porn on the Internet.
“Maybe you should take off your pants,” answered Max.
“Maybe you should take off your face.” Poppy took off her pants. “Don’t you think it’s weird that we graduated college ten years ago and we’re still exactly the same age?” Max shrugged. “Could you get off the computer? I need to check my email.” She undid some of the tape so she could see. She started to cry. “Nobody loves me. I might as well be dead.”
“Perk up. Check your Tumblr!” said Max. She did.
“GayLyotard hearted my post on Marxist morphology in Lil Wayne’s “Cop Car”! Hooray!” She did a little dance around the room. The rest of the police tape fell off. “Let’s get wasted!” Suddenly she stopped and leaned against a wall. Mini rocket launchers bounced off the sides of her skull setting off neon explosions that pushed her eyeballs out of her head. She sat down on the edge of the mattress and screamed.
“Wow. Hey. Whoa. What’s going on?” asked Max. “What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t feel like mini rocket launchers are bouncing around in your skull pushing your eyeballs out of your head, do you?” She nodded. “Uh oh. That happened to Andy last week.”
“Oh no!” she said.
“He was out photographing bums at the bus stop and he got this really awful headache? Remember? He posted a picture of himself on his blog pointing a finger at his temple like it was a gun?”
“And then on his way home, his head split open and a tiny cyborg came out of it. Lydia was with him and she saw the whole thing. It tried to show everybody photos of Andy in really good lighting taken at a flattering angle. There was that one with us in it where I look good but you look kind of fat? Also, it kept giving its unsolicited opinion on the new Animal Collective album?”
“They totally suck live,” Poppy murmured.
“Yeah. Totally,” yelped Max. “Anyway, Andy’s dead.”
“But wasn’t he just here last night?”
“No dude. Wait. Was he?”
“And why was Lydia there anyway? Isn’t she in Berlin interviewing black Hitler youth with Seasonal Affective Disorder for her documentary?”
“They wouldn’t give her a visa. Jealous, much?”
“Shut up,” Poppy said. Her head popped open like an overinflated balloon.
“Um, Poppy? You can’t be dead!” Max cried. “That’s so totally rude.”
A tiny silver robot that looked kind of like a spider climbed out of the mess of brains and blood.
“What?” said the cyborg. “This is awesome. Now I never have to worry about my boobs getting saggy. Hey, ‘The Hills’ is on in an hour. And somebody gave me an old copy of Big Willie Style. Wanna put it on and film ourselves singing all the words?”
“Hell to the yes.” Max clapped his hands. “Wait a second.” He reached up and lowered the video camera so it was at the cyborg’s height. “I’m not sure where your face is. Hope this is ok.” And it was.