It made him cringe when they hoisted her from her Winnebago.
Grungy men, happily holding their hardhats, joking about how it'd
be easier to bury the whole damned thing.
"Just leave her in there. Dig a massive hole."
As the winch pulled her up, things fell from the creases in her flesh
a red pendent,
a remote control,
a stuffed kitty cat,
a book of poems she had written after the rapes.
Freak Show Sam recognized all of those things.
He knew all about how she loved rubies the best
(he'd given her the plastic gem when he found it on the ground after a show).
He knew too, that for months now she'd spent her days on her back watching TV
(she'd complained of bedsores but what could he do?).
And he knew she couldn't have a real cat once it was impossible for her to stand,
so he let her pick out a fuzzy white toy from eBay.
He'd told her he gave "Gato" a good home,
but really he'd left the creature at a rest stop in Ohio.
Sam knew too, about the book
and what it said about her mother
and the gaps in her broken yellow teeth
where the crack pipe fit.
He knew how her mom gave her Benadryl so
she'd "sleep right through it"
when she let the men come in .
He'd let her join his band of rejects, sure.
It was even Sam's idea for her to be
"The Fattest Woman on Earth".
She ate so much anyway.
She went from being, "Sword Swallowing Sally" to
"Enormous Enid" in no time flat.
Instead of deep throating steel
she'd stuff down hamburgers, pizzas, fried anythings . . .
Not for the contemptuous crowd.
for Freak Show.
She'd made him some cash, it was true.
But it was costing him more now to keep her
than she could pull in.
"Just pull the trigger!" she'd begged him that morning
producing a gun from under the 20 pound layer of
cellulite that was apparently once a breast.
"But you're famous," he'd said.
"They're about to put you in their books."
She'd shaken her head,
jowls bouncing as she blubbered.
"All I ever wanted was to be loved," she'd cried.
Her eyes were watery-grey. Like some polluted lake.
That's when he'd pulled the trigger.
He'd been right to do it.
No one ever loved her. No one ever would.
The men laughed when
the winch broke and her body
bounced and let off air as it hit the ground.
They laughed and Sam walked away.