Everything Looks Like Freddie Mercury

Have you ever seen something weird out of the corner of your eye that made you wonder if evolution just made a really big step forward? I did, and now everything looks like Freddie Mercury.

Starbursts and Twizzlers look like Freddie in the “I Want To Break Free” video, and my Wal-Mart zebra body pillow looks like him on the cover of Queen II. Crumpled-up dollar bills look like him, and the wheels of the hand truck that my FedEx guy pushes the boxes around on.

I was getting really bored with water until I discovered that the aquarium in the Japanese restaurant down the block looks like Freddie on stage in 1974 singing “Hey Big Spender” while stripping off his kimono to reveal suspenders and shiny candy-striped hot pants. You know the phrase, “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail?” Well, to a woman with fantasies of three-fingered sloths posing in flouncy clothes with something sexy on their minds, everything looks like an old Sheer Heart Attack poster.

All the things Freddie Mercury looks like are the opposites of things that our current celebrities look like: butt implant exploding over a field of teddy bears, Christmas ribbon coming out of a cat’s butt, washed-ashore 19th century mannequin head covered in Peeps.

In 1975, when I was fourteen, I first saw Freddie on the cover of Hit Parader magazine. Back then he looked like a sexy black candelabra made of lagoons and taco meat, and I looked like scrambled eggs over peanut butter spaghetti. His buck teeth gave all of us hope that someday we’d be fabulous, too. Most of the people I knew back then didn’t go to college, and got fired from their factory jobs, but the Seventies were a more innocent time (even though all of China was starving and whole families were shot trying to leave East Berlin).

These days, Russia is China’s vodka cave and East Berlin is an Apple store, while America is a sewer cap on the Jersey Shore that looks like shit melting on a waffle. That’s why I decided, while shopping the half-price aisle at Hobby Lobby, to make random things look like Freddie Mercury. I bought some gunk manufactured from dog hair and moon rocks and made over my grandma’s statue of Jesus to be Christmas-Eve-1975-Hammersmith-Odeon-Freddie in his black open-chested jumpsuit, wearing eyeliner, black nail polish and lots of bracelets, playing a white piano and singing “In the Lap of the Gods” while an aggressive fog machine obscures the rest of the band. I used pulled-apart cotton balls for fog, and now cotton balls, fog, and Jesus all look like Freddie Mercury.

Everything is so shitty now that I like to imagine Freddie reincarnated into a magical sea animal that can communicate telepathically with fans over great distances, and he is right now transmitting a shimmering ice-blue Princess-Diana-wedding-dress covered in silver sequins directly onto my body. It hasn’t materialized yet, but I’m probably just not concentrating.

–Sharon Mesmer


Poetry

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