The Metamorphosis, Fart Edition

When she was away (brief as those periods were), he could no longer suppress his urge. His near fetish for farting. It was as though gassing was the only literal release he could get in this life as a result of working as a bureaucrat, forced to remain strait-laced and terse all the day long in the face of angry, verging on violent people who viewed him as the gatekeeper standing in between the government and getting what they wanted from it. There was a time when Gaspar (an appropriate name considering his farting propensities) could let it rip freely once he arrived to the quiet confines of his apartment in Neukölln, where he lived in general squalor in the hours between work and sleep. He had never hoped or even dreamed of meeting a woman that might love him, or simply one who could tolerate him for more than a transactional exchange. 

He had been aware of his lack of appeal to most others from an early age. Starting at around six years old, he could palpably notice that he was more unsightly than the other children, rarely asked to join in on any activities or invited to people’s houses after school unless their parents forced them to out of charity–pity, really–for his mother, whom everyone knew had been abandoned by his father to raise him on her own while working two jobs to do so. Gaspar never asked any questions about what these two jobs were, somehow knowing there was something sinister afoot behind the scenes. It was when she was arrested for prostitution once Gaspar reached the age of ten that he knew whatever he did for a living in the future would be completely to the letter. By the book. Law-abiding as it could get. Of course, there was nothing more “law-abiding” (despite being against nature) than a bureaucrat, and Gaspar certainly made the most out of being as vexingly stoic and unmoved as possible. That is, until the day Fanny walked into the place. 

That’s right, her name was Fanny. The most perfect match for a man who liked to fart named Gaspar. Indeed, he could feel a gas leak coming on as she approached, perhaps something about the mere sight of her stimulating him. She with her blonde, cascading locks topped by something like an Easter hat, with a floral print dress and white pumps with not too sluttish in height of a heel. There was something simultaneously virginal and coquettish about her that really did it for Gaspar, who had inherently despised any woman who showed too much skin thanks to his mother’s ex-profession. His ex-mother, that is. For he disowned her after the humiliation she had caused him.

A humiliation that forced him to become a ward of the state until he at last reached the legal age of “adulthood,” though Gaspar could sense he became one the instant they cuffed his matriarch, any remaining innocence left in him being stamped out at the sight of this, apprehended as he was walking back from school with Friedrich, one of the more well-liked boys at school that Gaspar had somehow managed to charm enough that day to get him to accompany him on the road back to their neighborhood. But any chance of his social acceptance was ruined the second his mother appeared before them… like that. Ravaged, eyeliner smeared, dress ripped, heels not properly on–likely because she had been rushed out of the room. The bedroom. Gaspar despised her forever in that instant, turning off all affection for women as a result. Until now, at the sight of Fanny.

Angelically haloed Fanny, whose request for a visa Gaspar had no choice but to deny. Sure she was a Swede, which was just as good (read: as Aryan) as a German, but she simply did not have the correct documentation, the right proof of existence. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t finagle an “accidental” encounter with her after procuring her current address, wandering about her neighborhood day after day until finally they ran into one another at a cafe near her building. At first, she did not recognize him, though one would think she would immediately remember the man who had ruined her chances of staying in Germany on a more permanent basis. Alas, forgettable, toady Gaspar had to make himself known to her before she would cautiously acknowledge him. 

He decided to buy her a scone and apologize, even though it was behavior both out of character and utterly unbefitting of a government official. “I really am sorry,” he simpered. “Perhaps you can return one day soon with the correct documents.” She sighed. “No, I cannot. I will not ever have the ‘correct’ documents, I’m afraid. I am taking it merely as a sign that it is time for me to return to Gothenburg. It is nice there. And the weather isn’t really that much different than here, so it is not as though I am losing much. It’s just that, well, I so enjoy the cultural atmosphere in Germany.”

Gaspar couldn’t imagine what sort of cultural atmosphere she was talking about, but he didn’t like the sound of it. She clearly needed guidance in the right direction. Or rather, a shove in his direction. And he knew just what to do to get it, even if it wasn’t exactly ethical. Taking a deep breath before doing what he knew was in direct violation of his position and moral code, Gaspar offered, “You know, there are certain ways around the system, if I may speak freely.”

She took a sip of her tea and asked nonchalantly, “Like what?” 

“Oh, like say, getting married to a German, if it happens that you’re dating one… Do you have a boyfriend here?”

She sighed. “No.” 

“No interested parties?”

She shrugged. “I really couldn’t say. I don’t have much of a social life. I just paint all day.” 

“How lovely,” Gaspar found himself cooing against his will. 

“Sure. Lovely and lonely,” Fanny returned. 

Gaspar could feel the chasm of her heart opening up to him; he absolutely knew this was his chance for true love, seizing upon it like a greedy sperm rushing toward an egg. He knew he had to play his cards just right, that this entire matter was extremely delicate, and he would only have one chance at it. So he continued to talk as though they were very good friends, telling her about his woes, his life (or at least some watered down version of it so as not to depress her too terribly). Letting her have her own in to discuss some of the travails that might be plaguing her. Mainly, it was that she had difficulty making very many friends here because of her shy personality. He sympathized, he remarked, for he, too, found it easier to keep to himself than to bother with attempts at socialization that might only further damage his psyche rather than help it. For rejection has that effect on people. Fanny suddenly looked at him as though he was seeing right into her soul. By virtue of being the only person in town willing to press her a little more about herself, Gaspar had managed to secure her favor. 

Soon, they were spending all of the free time Gaspar formerly used for farting together. Needless to say, it was making him a bit blue in the face (or would it be brown, in this case? One always assumes that’s the invisible hue of a fart, despite its colorless color). And, as much as he loved Fanny, and especially having sex with her, he started to resent the fact that he could no longer feel comfortable farting in the presence of such a “lady.” It was but few precious moments he ever had while she went back to her apartment for a change of clothes or another fresh supply of paints (for she had moved all her materials in) that he could let the gas flow freely. And yes, that they were now slated to be married (which would make her ability to stay in the country a cinch, particularly since Gaspar was well-versed in all the red tape) made him all the more fearful about what might befall his intestines, his rectum. Not to mention the abdominal distension. Mercifully, he was to be granted a reprieve from worrying for a brief period. 

She returned to Gothenburg the following week to settle some final affairs and secure some final documents and bid some final adieus. This was the perfect opportunity, Gaspar reckoned, to at last and somehow let everything out. By that, of course, what is meant, is every fart. He had no choice but to squeeze every last one out in a massive and endless excretion that would have to cease the instant Fanny returned. Or perhaps a few hours before so as to allow the odor to at least mildly dissipate. 

So it was that Gaspar found himself “putzing around” the apartment, as they say, to the tune of his own farts being emitted with each footstep. It was such an unabashed and unbridled outpouring that it became tantamount to a giant spider weaving some kind of web with the invisible “string” emissions of the anus. Only Gaspar’s “emissions” were so profound and unceasing that the gas had no choice but to turn its expected color of brown, intermixed with flourishes of toxic waste green. The tangible “air” mounted and mounted, as though into one giant crystal ball of noxiousness, enveloping Gaspar himself into its fold, effectively rendering him, well, a fart. 

Upon Fanny’s return, she was appalled to see the cartoonishly Maleficent-like “smoke” seeping through the crack between his front door and the threshold. Panicked, she dropped all of her suitcases, fumbled for her keys and rushed inside to see what was amiss with her sweet schatz (that means “treasure” in German, though it does sound a lot like shat, as in, “He shat himself.”).

A booming and continuous fart noise greeted her as she came upon the giant whoosh of brown-green wind whirling about the apartment in its globe formation. Somewhere inside of it, she caught sight of a pair of frantic and bewildered eyes, knowing they were Gaspar’s. Although she was endlessly repulsed, she was also somewhat touched, gathering that this was a direct result of him holding in all of his farts for her, while she, in turn, simply had a gift for quiet, odorless ones that meant she never had to suffer for the sake of social grace. She knew right then and there that she did not want to lose her love. Sure, he was disgusting and rather blobbish without being turned into a fart, but he was her fart (not literally, but you understand).

And every fart eventually leads to a shit, which means if she wanted to be with him now, she would need to be of equitable use. So she ran down to the supermarket, taking in one last breath of fresh spring air before she was forever relegated to the smell of diaper, bought all the toilet paper in stock, spun herself a ballgown out of it and jumped into the brown-green “crystal ball,” foretelling a future they would have together rooted in backside-related acrobatics.

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