Jason’s fingers, gritty with nacho salt, jab inside you as the monster attacks Manhattan. Why is this happening, the girl onscreen shrieks. You have no answer for her. The monster comes in pieces: just its tail lashing the Brooklyn Bridge, one of its limbs, and finally its maw bearing down. It’s supposed to be scarier that way, not seeing all of it at once. The corners and shadows of things, fleeting glimpses, will always be worse. Just like the memory of that night: a boy’s sweaty lips grinding against yours, a dried-out pit of Juicy Fruit in your cheek, your fists drumming against the armrests, his fingernail snagging on something tender. The cameraman makes you light-headed, so you keep your eyes closed for most of the movie. You don’t actually know what happened in the end.
Years later, you find out the monster was just a baby. You tell yourself that it should have worn jeans like Ma said to, instead of the Delia’s skirt with an open hem. You imagine how it moved away, found a decent-paying job, found someone who doesn’t mind wrapping their arms around the full brunt of its body.