The 3-Year-Old Pop Star Is Hungry by Shane Kowalski

The 3-year old pop star is hungry. She’s screaming from her dressing room and so Brenda gives me her Take-Care-Of-It-Dipshit look. So I drop what I am doing. What I am doing is going over the Memphis itinerary. I go to her.

Inside her dressing room from her booster seat she is catatonically brushing her blond hair in front of the mirror. She does not yet have her makeup on and so she still looks like a regular 3-year old.

She sees me and says: Wha ta fug tug you se laaa?

She looks at me like she is looking at an unimpressive national monument.

Sorry Belle, I say. I was just going over the Memphis itinerary and—

Fug ta Menpiss itinerererary! she yells. When she yells it is scary and with great conviction, but she sometimes still has trouble with her vowel sounds.

Then she throws the brush down as if it is a broken doll and starts banging her fists on the dressing table in front of the mirror in a rhythm not unlike the Afro-pop schemes she vaguely experimented with on her last album. Then she chants: Din-din! Din-din! Din-din!

I pause. Is she rehearsing her new single “Touch My Din Dins?” No, she is hungry. She gives me a soured infant-look in the mirror that says: Gim my fuggin din-din nu!

And so I serve her din-din and she eats it up, all of it, it is Kraft Mac & Cheese and a cut-up hot dog. She has a Coke with it then plops down to sleep the last show, but she can’t. She’s been having troubles with sleep. Brenda says warm milk and then gives me a purple-nurple. That explains why I am always rubbing my nipples while looking for milk.

Lately the 3-year old pop star wants me to tell her stories. Bedtime stories. I tell her made-up ones. Ones with talking animals and morals. Stuff like that.  

Tonight she says, Da till my starry.

She calls me Da even though my name is Phil.

She looks at me with little eyes tonight and I tell her the story about the duckling that got lost from her mother and was raised by a rabbit. She likes this. I tell her the duckling learns how to jump and because she learns how to jump she doesn’t learn how to fly, she completely forgets she has wings. The 3-year old pop star tells me that’s dumb. I tell her shhh and go to sleep.




Shane Kowalski lives near Philadelphia. He does