Dear Beautiful Monsters, what would you like to do today?
We would like to put together a box containing shark pants, a Swedish Chef t-shirt, a little round brooch in the shape of a garland of willow leaves, and a felted squirrel in lederhosen, plus a book of stories in which you wrote the word “fuck” quite a lot. We would like to mail the whole thing off to Salt Lake City. We would like to eat a sandwich in the old Polka Dot with your friend, who will wear a sweater with beautiful ravens wrapped around her shoulders. We would like to drop off a treasure. We would like to wear spikes over orange rubber boots and go tromping in the snow. We would like you to look at Facebook as little as possible, please, because it bores us.
Dear Beautiful Monsters, what do you look like today?
We are wearing skanky red négligées wrapped around our snouts like anarchists at a riot, and our hairy chests are fluttering in the unseasonably warm breeze. Also, we used to be wearing MAGA hats, just to get people’s goats, but then we ate them. That was maybe silly of us, because they looked pretty rad with the whole négligée-bandit situation. Now we look a bit smug and self-satisfied. We might snarl a little if approached in a way that we find unbecoming. We might bite.
Beautiful monsters sing arrroooooo-rriiiii, then lick their furry haunches. Beautiful monsters name things exactly as they are. They rip open the box and go straight for the sweet raisins inside, without worrying too much about Who Will Clean All That Up. They burp raisin-burps afterwards and curl up on the sofa without wiping their paws first.
Beautiful monsters hop up on the bed in the middle of the night and kerflump! take up 65% of the space formerly occupied by your feet. They lean their warm backs against you and sigh with satisfaction. You will find a shape to fit. You will sleep the sweet sleep of those whose beautiful monsters love them.
Beautiful monsters go briefly berserk when the UPS man comes to deliver raisins. But then, who does that guy think he is? They bristle and hiss, holding flaming boundaries around home and all that must be kept safe. Beautiful monsters take offense. They don’t care what’s nice. They don’t care what’s done and not-done. Beautiful monsters go bounding like stags in the now-dense half-melted snow, unfurling themselves into their birthright, this world.
The beautiful monsters are the ones who keep the forest in balance and also the ones we fear, for their fangs are stronger than ours. It is easier for us, somehow, to wipe out the whole forest. Harder to expose our own soft throats, knowing that someone is out there who could eat us, without even having to work very hard at it.
Julie Püttgen is an artist, expressive arts therapist, and meditation teacher.
108 Names of Now