From the crotch down, The Feet sports a leotard identical to The Head’s. She’s sanctioned behind the curtain until their imminent unveiling, contorted to the innards of her respective box, immune to the bustle, neighboring the spare rabbit. In spite of everything, she’s able to home in on the rabbit’s sporadic stints of glugging, its zip-tied water bottle.
It’s not that The Feet has been demoted, in fact, she has been limbs a handful of times. She has not, however, amassed any esteem. For it’s The Head that’s presenting the same fat pigeon each weekend; her sequined arm glinting, obtuse. She’s splaying her hands, feigning delight when their master spits ‘ta-da’ into his headset. And let us not forget, she never shares her suite, either.
A fragrant, mildewy breeze seeps through the openings left by her legs hanging slack out of the gaping beveled slots. The plywood’s weathered and disgracefully painted; its grain visible. Sweat has soiled it and The Feet’s revels in it.
These women have a similar build—it’s a must. As for The Feet, upwards of her waist, at least, appearance is negotiable. Don’t quiz her, but her dimples are her main discrepancy. They’re potholes. Wet Willy them and they’ll make ponds. A staunch diet of broth and gelatin determines her chicken wing protuberance. Her spine’s pronounced, and in junior high, deemed idyllic, immaculate. She remembers the visiting specialist inviting everyone to huddle, to take a gander, declaring, She’s certain to sustain, how he shaped his fingers into ‘L’s’, clunking them around, his mouth a camera, the jealous students waiting for their check-up, her poorly knotted drawstring, and finally him kneeling on the protective mat, creasing it like a butterknife would a chewy steak.
It’ll soon begin exactly as choreographed: The Head will play dumb, assume her crumpled position, bastardizing what little wiggle room’s there. The Feet will react as her legs, synchronizing with her arms just before they’re padlocked shut. Suffocation is key, according to the interview.
Now there are several things The Feet mustn’t do: hurl, sneeze, and so-on. Conversation, too, is frowned upon—but that goes without saying. Any top-heavy, particularly jetting alteration will macerate the already-debunked illusion. The crowd will be upset. They may have tomatoes. And because The Head’s the face, it’s a humiliating pummeling she’s paid to endure.
Withholding to tradition, the saw’s handheld. Once, possibly twice, a cartoonish circular saw was suggested. Some acts incorporate those cookie sheet blades with their precarious wooden handles. And even as exciting as their relatives are: buzz, miter, jig, reciprocating; they’re simply better off in safekeeping, say, aisle ten. Overhead baggage and the tour bus, the Buick, haven’t enough space, as well.
Tonguing around, The Feet notices a canker sore above a sheet of tartar. It’s late, and the clock’s the doctor. She recounts her fishnet scales, curious if they’re equal to The Head’s.