The Obsession of Princess Peach
by Zoe Trope
I already know how we're going to break up, and I've already won our worst fight, although I let you win most of the small ones. I already know how you ignore me after we fuck, and how you will spend most of your weekends in front of your computer with the latest upgrade of your favorite role-playing game. This is tedious, living through our relationship on the other side of this lecture hall, three rows up and directly across from the back of your head, but the fact that you're here says so much about you. You're probably taking all of this very seriously. You're probably an excellent student but it probably doesn't matter because Mommy or Daddy can foot the bill. You don't need an academic scholarship and you don't need to study for the tests, because everything is already locked up inside your brain. You read the textbook on the first day you bought it and you actually thought it was interesting. You're great at math. You're fucking perfect at algebra and trigonometry and calculus. You're carrying a calculator right now. You've masturbated with that calculator once or twice, just because you were wondering what the buttons would feel like against your cock – as good as your hands? Different? Harder? It's a small calculator and you just use it to check numbers. You're very sure of your equations and your answers. You know how to make things work.
I don't even know your name, but I've already met you, we've already gone on a dozen dates and I've made out with you (your tongue is too big) and I've fucked you (your dick is too small) and I've complained about you to my friends ("Dump him") and I've tried ("But I love you") and you won't let me. So I'm sorry, champ, I'm sorry that you've already lost this one, that we've already gone through all of this and you don't even know my name, but I don't want to know your name. I don't want to know you. I don't want to know how you're going to disappoint me by forgetting my birthday and the names of my parents. I don't want to know how you're going to roll your eyes at my laptop because it's a Dell, or how you're going to pretend that I actually have an orgasm when you fuck me. I can't love you now because I already hate you. Do you understand that? Do you understand that I've already seen where this is going, and I don't want to go there? Do you know that no matter how much you need me and ignore me, cling to me and push me away, I'm still going to give up on you?
"And I'm sorry," I'll say, at the end of our last argument, "But I can't love you like this."
I look up from my notebook and set my gaze just to the left of the boy in reference – staring directly could do irreparable damage, he's already a planet.
I want to explain and apologize. This boy is a problem because I have to look at him and I don't want to look at him because I know nothing good will come of it. He's entirely absorbed in whatever the professor is saying (or spitting, more accurately, between juicy gums and a large mustache made of gray wool) and he hasn't shifted even slightly in his seat in the last ten minutes. He's transfixed. But I can tell everything about his adolescent lifestyle from his hands. The fingers are curled and crippled from being wrapped around video game controllers or his dick, and his black shirt is dusted with small patches of white flakes on the shoulders. I make note of his skin problems: pale from sitting inside, dry from handling large manuals of tips and cheat codes, flaky from lack of bathing, and generally foul-smelling for the same reason. I wish they had a section of greeting cards for nerdy gamers so I could hand them an envelope with a sentiment like: I love and pity you in an entirely screwed up way. Maybe something less specific like: I want to try to love you. I want to save you. Or something slutty-- You may have issues with eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome, but I'll still fuck you.
Really, that's the only thing I need to express. I'll still fuck you. I'll fuck you, even if you have to pretend I'm Lara Croft or that girl on the cover of the Everquest box. I'll still fuck you, even if you have to call me "Princess Peach" just to get it up. We'll work around your disability, your disabling fantasies of large-breasted girls with guns strapped to their thighs, your inability to get me off. It's okay. I'm sick and you're sick and together we can be sick, wrapped up in each other but--
I need to stop looking at this boy. There's nothing remarkable about him. Straight dark hair hanging in his eyes, bad skin, empty desk. He didn't bring anything with him to class – No notebook, no textbook, no pens. I can't imagine attending a class without at least a notebook and a pen, something to distract myself with so I could pretend to take notes. But he's just sitting there and I think he's actually listening. What's wrong with this kid?
But usually, when I ask what's wrong with other people, I mean: What's wrong with me? Why do I always have to notice that something is wrong with something else?
I turn back to my notebook and jot one last line, the last thing I would ever want to say to him:
I think I might be in love with you, and I'm really fucking sorry.
About the author:
Zoe Trope is the pseudonymous author of Please Don't Kill the Freshman, a memoir of her high school years. She currently splits her time between Ohio, where she is a college freshman, and Oregon, where she is merely a teenager.