By: Alex Bernstein

Do you love me? Am I not beautiful? I am beautiful. I am gypsy in the caravan Karakadolianakas. I am Gina Linda Maria Karakadolianakas — the most beautiful dancer in the whole caravan. I know this because my mother, Rapunzel Linda Maria Karakadolianakas tells me so every day. And also because I have had many lovers. Many many many lovers. But no man captures the heart of gypsy. I am free like the wind. And he is small and icky like insects crawling in the bog — and you have to watch where you’re stepping — because — because — you don’t know what’s down there, and you just have to be careful.

But I spit on him. Because I am gypsy.

Still, he comes from far and wide — man who hears tales of the she-demon — her wiles and wood-smarts — her lethal earth spirit — her organic chai fruit snacks.

He hears tales — how my passion is that of the banshee, how my fire brings man to his knees, and how I make love like a Chihuahua on crack.

But man does not find me because, you know, we gypsies leave no trail. Well, except for Dorito wrappers and diet soft drink cans. But that’s it. We come and go in the night. We sneak our way through your antechambers and D’Agostino food marts. And we steal your babies and sell them for cheap, gaudy lawn furniture. HA HA HA HA.

Occasionally, however, man does find me. But no man enslaves the wild child. Gina Linda Maria Karakadolianakas is no easy tart-thing.

First, man must woo me. He must tame my animal spirit, hypnotize me with his eyes, and engulf me with his gurgling love. Then, after I have been tamed, wooed, hypnotized, and engulfed, the man must dance The Dance of Knives. The Dance of Knives. The unholy ritual where man is tied by sacred scarf to the arm of our caravan’s chosen warrior.

Man and warrior come at each other with knives of steel. Hacking. Twisting. Jabbing. HACK HACK STAB STAB TWIST STAB DIE. A duel to the death and all for me.

Incidentally, our caravan’s chosen warrior is my cousin Yulof — an idiot hunchback with no discernible talents whatsoever except for this wacky dance ritual which he does surprisingly well. So well, in fact, that he has killed every lover I have ever had.

Except for Johnny. No. Not my Johnny. Ohhhh.

Johnny found me late one night stealing babies. He showed me new, advanced techniques to bind and drag them, and one especially tricky knot that no small baby can untie.

Johnny knew of the world outside our camp. He spoke of wondrous things such as hashtags, YouTube, and Jenny Craig’s List. I longed to see this world and Johnny said we would conquer it together. Rome, Paris, Newark.

Johnny tamed me, wooed me, and you know, all those other things. Soon came his time to dance with Yulof. The night before, a fire filled our hearts and we made love under the stars like squirrels with ADD.

The next morning he was gone. All that was left was a note: Have gone to Paraguay. Be back soon.

Why? Why? Oh Johnny. Were the fruit snacks not organic enough? We were so good together. You were Apollo and I was Moonbase. I — I will wait for you, Johnny! I — I —

I spit on you.

I am gypsy.


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