Thursday, December 31, 2009
Kayla first appeared in OGW Oct.1. She has also appeared as Rain’s best friend in OGW, Nov.12, and Dec.10. Both girls are friends with Nancy's daughter, Casey (OGW, Nov.5). The setting is Saturday afternoon, before the three girls will go to a party on Saturday night, their first party with boys, alcohol, no parents and... I'll keep after this thread until their story together becomes clear. I know where it’s going now, and you’ll want to keep up with these three girls.
Kayla: Waiting, waiting, waiting! I’m always waiting for something, like for instance, I remember waiting for my breasts to grow big like my mothers -- which aren’t huge, they’re only size C’s, but I only had size A pimples on my chest for it seemed like forever. I wouldn’t have even thought of falling in love with or even liking a guy like Brian Kepler until my breasts grew… only I did like him so thank God my breasts blossomed this summer. So now is the time for us to fall in love, but it hasn’t happened yet. Which is why here I am, waiting again, right now waiting across the street from Brian’s house for him to come home.
I spin a pedal. Yes, that’s right, I’m so lame I still have to ride a bike. I have my learner’s permit, and I’m not stupid -- I know how to drive, okay? But no, I don’t have a car, and no, my mother wouldn’t let me drive hers if I were twenty-one or forty-five or a hundred, so she’s certainly never going to let me drive her car when I’m still sixteen. Just wait though, next year my Dad will let me drive his car anytime, just wait.
OMG, waiting again! Why oh why do I always have to wait for everything? If Brian ever asks me to kiss him, I won’t wait, that’s for sure. But he hasn’t asked, so I’ll wait.
Sweat slides in a thin river down between my breasts. I spin the pedal on my bike again, peering through the spokes of the back wheel at Brian’s house. When he gets home, I’m hoping he’ll see my bike upside down and come over to see what’s wrong. Maybe he’ll invite me inside for a Coke. Then he’ll admit he has loved me since last year when we had gym class together, and he doesn’t care if he’s a senior and I’m only a sophomore because age is just a number.
Oh shit, that’s his car! I’m so startled to finally see him pull around the corner I fall back onto my butt. Scrambling up to my feet, I find my legs have stiffened up from squatting next to my bike watching his house for the past whatever, half-hour? I’m all knees and elbows and I feel like a scarecrow and wearing this tank top was so stupid, but it shows off my breasts and makes me look older I think maybe, except I also don’t think I’m really pulling it off with my stick legs barely holding me up. I am not looking like a woman. I’m not looking like the girl Brian will fall in love with, and shit crap damn! There’s Amber and Caitlin. They do look old enough.
Amber and Caitlin giggle and follow Brian inside. He doesn’t even see me! And… now he’s gone. I wait some more, in case he’ll come back, but of course he doesn’t. But I’m going to his party tonight. I’m going, and he’ll see me then.
I hope he sees me then.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Nancy: Nancy, originally from my novel Crosses, is grown up now. She is also, as she’s always been, the most like me of all my characters. For my holiday blog this year, I’ve taken my own experience, wrapped it in Nancy’s persona, and made something new.
Nancy: I do not know why I wore platform heels to the Christmas Tree Shops, just to stand in lines… lines through the front door, lines around in circles and swirls, to the gift tins I came for, and around one side to get a glass strawberry-dipped-in-chocolate ornament and a deep red heart ornament that makes me think of Twilight. Lines in and out of heaps of reduced-price baubles and stupid things, only not so stupid since I need these last minute massagers and coloring books, reed diffusers and faux-crystal santas.
At the checkout, the woman behind me is complaining about my full basket and the long wait in line. I look up and see that she is a nun, which makes me smile inside. I remember when Casey was little, she shouted “A nun! A nun! Mommy, I saw a nun!” inside a McDonald’s. As if she’d seen a unicorn.
I tell the nun to go on ahead of me, since she only has one item. She is surprised at first, then politely declines. Whatever. Score one for me with God anyway, is what I figure.
And you know what? The baubles and other gifts aren’t worth much money, but are my way of saying, “I’m glad you’re in my life,” and they’re good gifts because of that. The thought really does count. And Casey will love the Twilight-ish ornament. I feel pretty good, as my aching feet lead me out the line out the door and all the way back to my car a lot away.
My feet ache, but when I get home I’ll change into sneakers and sit down and write, and when Christmas comes, I’ll say, I did all right this year.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Juliet began as a character in a novel-in-progress, Let Her Cry, and then appeared in OGW 10/22/09. Juliet is working on a “one-girl show”, hoping to become a performer like her mother. Unfortunately, Juliet’s mother is bipolar, which often takes too much of Juliet’s time and energy, and leaves her with little left to work on herself.
Juliet: Story of My Life
(a “one-girl” show)
starring Juliet McCarthy as herself
(One small dot of light expands… expands, expands, becoming a halo, illuminating Juliet’s face, becoming a spotlight of her whole body. She is crouched on the floor, holding the microphone in one hand, tapping a cigarette with the other. A black and white movie reel plays in the backround: loud sounds of reels spinning, the movie is crackly -- family scenes, like a montage of old family movies
Wait. Too campy. Not authentic enough. Change to: (Natural lighting dims. Juliet is crouched on the floor, tapping a cigarette with one hand, tapping keys on a laptop computer with the other. She is illuminated by the light from her computer screen. The microphone rests on the floor by her feet. Her toes, barefeet, scrunch.
Slides click into place behind Juliet -- family scenes -- click, click, then faster and faster, clickity clickity click, in time with Juliet tapping out words on her computer. She reads:)
After the big fight over Hootie. Mom in fishnet tights and a big tee shirt with Dad’s Irish-green down vest over it for warmth. He’s so happy when she kisses him.
I’m happy too. No, really. Mom’s eyes look like clichés – sad clown or raccoon eyes, streaked make-up. From the fight. But it’s over now, they’re happy, and I’m happy.
Really. (Looks up at the audience.)
But you don’t believe me.
After the big fight, Mom with raccoon eyes kisses Dad and he runs his hands over her down vest. They retreat to the bedroom, and Dad leaves his drink. Scotch Rocks.
I’m so happy for them, and the fact that they don’t see me anymore. I’m so happy for me -- and the fact that I don’t see me anymore.
(Juliet looks down at her computer and types as she reads:) I don’t believe in me.
I drink the scotch. (Mimes drinking a glassful in one gulp.)
Tap my cigarette. Suck hard. Crouched over laptop on the floor of my room, Achilles tendons stretching, knees popping. Writing.
This is my story.
(The last slide clicks into place – it is Juliet, posed as she was a moment ago -- as she was in her bedroom that night. She rises, and faces the screen and the slide, reaching out to touch her own image.)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Rain first appeared as herself in OGW, Nov.12. Her mother has run off to NYC, her father is a drunk. Rain has also appeared as Kayla's best friend in OGW, Oct.1, and both girls are friends with Nancy's daughter, Casey (OGW, Nov.5). The three girls are preparing to go to a party on Saturday night, their first party with boys, alcohol, no parents and... I'll keep after this thread until their story together becomes clear.
Rain: Kayla holds my hand while I’m getting pierced, and In a breath, it’s done. The rush is spectacular, and makes me forget how sad I am. I’m no longer afraid.
But I should be.
Why I should be becomes hideously clear when Kala is climbing on the table to get her belly button pierced. There is yelling outside in the waiting room.
Oh God, not now, I think as I rush out without buttoning my jeans.
“Leave him Rain!” Kayla shouts. “Just do it,” she says to the piercer, frantic. Now I wish I’d let Kayla go first. It means so much to her! But the piercer hesitates as I run out and the yelling gets louder. Oh Daddy!
“You hafta let me back there she’s my baby unlock the door now I demand—“
I run out the door and nearly knock him over, grab him in the nick of time. He touches my face, gently, looking down on me like I’m still his baby, even though he’s leaning on me now. He pulls out his iced tea, what’s supposed to be iced tea, as if no one would guess it’s spiked. He leans on me harder.
“Sir, there’s no drinking in here. Sir!”
Daddy doesn’t listen. The frizzy-headed goth girl behind the counter was so nice before talking to Kala and me about the star tattoo behind her ear, showing us her piercings. Now she turns her scorn toward me.
“He has to leave. Take him out.”
I only nod, and comply. Kayla emerges before I can get my Dad to the door. She’s crying.
“You knew how important this was to me!” she shouts.
She’s right, but I can’t deal with her, with guilt or shame right now. Right now, I have to get Daddy home. Shit, what a day! His arm roughly scrapes my new piercing, and it hurts like hell, but I can’t worry about that either –
“It’s your fault!” Kayla says, lunging at my father.
He steps back quickly, almost falls. The bitch-girl behind the counter has come out to open the door for us and has the nerve to grab my Dad by the arm like he’s a bum, and I turn on both of them—
“Leave him alone!” To Kayla I say the unforgiveable, “If getting pierced was so important, where’s your mother?” To the gothic thug I just say, “Cunt,” and to my Dad I say, “Go, Car.”
No one is happy.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Meghan is a new character. I sat down to write and thought, "I'm tired. The Red Bull doesn't cut it for me anymore"... wrote that down for the hell of it, and Meghan emerged! All I know about her so far is what you read in her Outsider Girls entry. Her father has a drug problem, maybe her mother too, maybe Meghan herself. We'll see...
Megan: I am tired. The Red Bull doesn’t cut it for me anymore. My father let me try cocaine once, and it got me up, but not enough, you know? I mean, it felt good and all that, like it was supposed to, I guess, but
I am never smoking pot again. No, really. Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s what I said about the coke
Of course I found his stash, well, Stacy who wants to be called Grimelda – no shit –
“Stop, just stop!” that’s Grimelda, and she’s all yelling and shit at Angel to stop rubbing her back against the edge of the door cause, and I agree, it’s going to really hurt her.
Grimelda found my dad’s stash of cocaine in his sock drawer of all places, I mean how lame a hiding place was that? Also a rectangle sample of the same granite we eventually did our counters with
They weren’t even his regular socks. Just the holey ones without matches in a drawer covering his coke.
Fuck. Never. A. gain. No. More. Pot
“Yeah sure,” I say to the offer of a shot of vodka in my Red Bull.
Once I heard Daniel Pesco’s dad found his bottle of vodka in the freezer frozen, and Daniel was in like so much trouble, and he’s such an idiot which is why we don’t hang out with him anyway and
OMG, my mother flipped out when she caught Stacy I mean Grimelda and me into Dad’s stash, she was like, “Fuckin’ A’ Richard—“
Dad prefers to be called Dick. No, just kidding.
I think I want to die here now. I’m never smoking pot again.
“Angel, it does not itch that much you’re just stoned!” She better just stop before I before I
Dad was like, I mean later, when Mom was gone, after she’d stormed off, after she’d made an appointment with me I mean for me to see her shrink
Dad was like, “Meghan, you just have to ask, honey, you don’t have to steal anything from me, I’m your Dad!”
I think I’m going to die here.
I think I might as well.
Angel stop rubbing your back against the fucking door and everyone just chill out why are you yelling
Oh yeah, that was me.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Jenna: Jenna is from the novel I’m writing, Spun. Jenna is a recovering meth addict and poet. Here she writes about being in love, of course, but also about being straight, and reconnecting with her mother.
is like a heartful
of pregnant dreams, a
waiting room full of worries,
hungry and hoping for something,
like the red-faced baby who
changes the trauma of
laboring birth into
a life full of
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Maree first showed up in OGW 10/8/09. In this entry, we learn that Maree’s alienation from her family stems from her being adopted. As Maree’s story evolves, perhaps her birth mother will reappear in her life. Perhaps Maree will find peace with her adopted family. Who knows?
Maree: Everyone thinks I’m Godless, but I’m not. Even I have called myself Godless, have fought with Julia over Jesus (me: he doesn’t exist! You’re stupid!), have told Hannah that nobody in any religion believes God lives in McDonald’s so she better just shut up before the men in white coats come to take her away (Hannah: Boo hoo bawl cry, I’m telling my Mama).
But here’s the truth. I do have a God, a secret Goddess. In my heart, I call her Mom.
I know it’s crazy. I know my real Mom didn’t want me and that’s how I ended up with this crazy Christian band of do-gooders I call my adopted family. But here’s what I do:
I lie down or sit up in lotus position. I put in earplugs and all I can hear is the steady, slowing pulse of my own blood in my ears. I go deep, down into my heart, and there is a door. When I knock, it opens.
Gently, softly, quietly.
Sometimes there is a bed suspended on a porch by the beach (saw that in a magazine), and I lie down on it. She lies next to me.
Sometimes there is a velvet couch in a small room full of gauzy hanging scarves, windchimes and purple pillows. She waits for me there, and I crawl onto her lap.
My favorite is the open room, wooden floors. I take off my shoes, and suddenly I’m dressed in a long, flowing gown of layers and layers of sheer material, and I begin to dance. She joins me. She lifts me up, high above her head. I float, I spin, I fly. She is with me, and when we’ve finished dancing, she applauds me, even though she did all the work.
She is my Goddess. I call her Mom.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Rain: Rain is Kayla’s (OGW 2, Oct.1,2009) best friend. Rain’s mother recently took off to become a dancer in NYC, Rain’s father is an alcoholic. This is the morning of the belly button piercing and the party Kayla was so eager to attend.
Rain: My mother didn’t come home today. She said she’d be here for the weekend, but she didn’t show up Friday night, and Saturday morning she called to say, “I’m performing at Dancespace tonight! Remember that piece—“
I didn’t remember. I didn’t want to. Tears leaked over my cheeks.
“You can come to the city and see me tonight and stay at my friend Wendy’s apartment, you can sleep on the couch. Are you happy for me?”
“Yeah, Mom, I’m proud of you. You’re really making it on your own now.”
“I am. It’s wonderful to feel the real me peeking out again, you know? Not a wife or a servant or a – well, I’ll always be your mother, of course. Can you make a ten o’clock train?”
“No thanks Mom.
“You said you were going to take Kayla and me to get our belly buttons pierced before the party! And you said you were going to be here!”
“Well Rain, I’m sorry, but this performance is important to me. I have to dance, I just have to. It’s my spirit, it’s my soul, it’s--”
“I gotta go. Love you Mom.”
Then I slumped against the wall, slid down to the floor, wrapped my arms around my knees and softly cried. My father came in, sat next to me, put his arm around me, and held me while I cried harder. “She never wanted to be my mother! I ruined her life.”
Dad pat my back. “You could never ruin anyone’s life.” He got up. The last remaining flap of hair on top of his head was standing on end.
I smiled. Getting up, I asked, “Juice?”
“The usual,” he said.
I made him a strong screwdriver that was mostly vodka, two ice cubes, and a splash of OJ. “Can you take Kayla and me to get our belly buttons pierced today? Mom was gonna do it.”
“I don’t know, noodle. I’m not feeling so well today.“ He took a long swallow, then stared down at his hand, which was still shaking. After finishing the drink, he was steadier. “I’m not so sure I approve of you mutilating your body anyway,” he said.
“Dad…” I poured him another drink, and just orange juice for myself.
“Yeah, okay, I guess. If I’m feeling better. I think I’m coming down with something.”
He said that every day, and I paid no attention. “Oh Daddy, you’re the best!” I said, and meant it. If it weren’t for him, what would I do? Sleep on some stranger’s ratty couch in New York City? Not me. I hated dancing, too, hated it! Dad would never take off to find himself when I needed him. He would never do that to me.
“I’m gonna shower. You, eat something! You’re too thin!” he said, peeling my arms off where I’d thrown them around him, and topping off his drink before heading upstairs. “And make some coffee!” he yelled down.
“I’m gonna call Kayla and tell her she can come over.”
He didn’t answer. I knew what he was doing, he was crying. Crying over my mother. Crying that we were left out of her new life, and because he had a pounding headache, and he had to deal with me and my friends – make us happy – anyway.Sighing and setting my face to “impassive,” I stopped thinking, and busied myself with making a pot of coffee. I would drink it black today. Thick and black to grow me up, and I wasn’t going to tell anyone, even Kayla, that I was afraid.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Nancy,originally from Crosses, was my first outsider girl. Now Nancy is grown-up, with an outsider girl of her own -- daughter, Casey, fifteen. Fifteen… the age when Nancy met Katie, the age when Nancy began cutting herself in earnest, when she started drugs, dating. Will Casey follow the same path her mother did, or will she find her own?
Nancy: With everything I’ve done, I still have no problem at all saying to Casey, “Promise me you will not ever, no matter who gives them to you, no matter what they’re for, you will not ever take a pill. Not from me, not from a stranger, not from your best friend. Whatever you do—“
“I know Mom! I won’t ever take a pill! I won’t shoot heroin either—“
“I know you think I’m saying this just because I watched that Intervention—“
“I know you’re just saying it because you don’t want me to go out with Kayla this weekend.” Casey lights a cigarette, and I want to cry, because it's my fault. She took the smoke from my pack after all.
I never made her promise not to smoke. You have to choose your battles -- “If you want to try drinking or pot, we can talk about that—“
“If it’ll make you happy, I’ll talk to you before I take a sh—“
“What’s that on your arm? Have you been biting yourself?”
“Mom, it’s not like that—“
“I can’t believe after all we’ve been through in this house—“
“Mom! I’m not trying to hurt myself!”
“Don’t you think I would—“
“You don’t know everything, Mom. It’s just a hickey.”
“Oh Casey, don’t you know it’s not cool to be branded, who’s the guy—“
“There’s no guy—“
“Mom, I did it to myself!”
“Isn’t that what we were just talking about! Casey, sometimes you drive me crazy! Please, let’s talk about this.”
“Mom, no one needs to drive you crazy, you’re already there.”
I rush to the freezer to get two ice cubes, which I grip hard, one in each hand, while I breathe deeply, cooling-down breaths. Casey sighs, comes closer, and wraps her arms around my waist. “Kidding, Mom, kidding! I love you!”
I smile. I breathe. “And another thing,” I say, “Never, ever get in a car—“
“With someone who’s been drinking. I know, Mom, but holy crap, I’m only fifteen! It’s just a party. It’s no big deal, Mom.”
OhmiGod. Fifteen. “When I was fifteen—“
“I know! I know all about you and Katie, you’ve told me a thousand times—“
My face tightens, and ice water streams from my hands as I squeeze the cubes, a trick I learned, a trick Katie and could’ve used.
“Mommy, I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have said—“
“It’s okay, Case. I’m sorry I’m such a basket case. I just love you so much.”
“I know, Mom. I’ll be home by midnight. Jonas will drive me home.”
And there it is. And now it begins.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Gemma is back! Gemma first appeared in an unpublished short story, “Wings.” Gemma’s mother abandoned her when she was a child. Mom was addicted to smoking faery dust, and now that Gem’s an adolescent she has what all the daughters of dusters got – wings. Horrified and outcast, Gemma has left home for NYC to find her mother, others like her, and maybe herself.
“Truth or Dare,” I said to Luke. I didn’t really care which he picked. I was so f*cked up, I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to go home…
Wait. I couldn’t go home. I was here. Here was home now.
Whoa. I was really loopy, really a mess. If I’d just taken the dare or told the truth I wouldn’t have had to keep drinking. But even with all the magical weirdness in the room – the deformities or whatever – the horns, the tails, the wings, the scales – it still felt freaky to be me. It still felt like everyone was staring at me. Wait, was everyone staring at me?
Lola definitely was. Well ha ha to her. I leaned on Luke and asked him again, “Truth or Dare?”
“Or consequence,” said Lola. She looked like she regretted starting this game.
Luke’s tail lashed back and forth as he thought. “Truth,” he said, smiling at me.
Was he really smiling? At me? It might’ve been the wine. Or the schnapps.
Ooo! That was definitely Luke’s hand on my knee. My wings fluttered.
“What did you do the first time you knew you were different?” I asked. I did care, in spite of all I’d had to drink. Not only did I care, I had to know.
“I know what I would’ve done,” he said, smirking. “I would’ve done this –“
And then, just like that he kissed me! His lips were just right too, not too soft, not too rough, not too wet or dry. Perfect really. I sighed as his shaggy bangs brushed my nose.
“Your turn, Gemma! Your turn!” Lola was so pissed off.
I didn’t dare grin. But Luke had me all fluttery and smooshy and suddenly glad…
I shouted so loud that everyone laughed, “Dare!” and then I threw off my bomber jacket and let my wings free!
I flexed, shook them out, and… and… and…
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Juliet struggles to find her own voice, while caring for her bipolar mother. Juliet began as a character in a novel, Let Her Cry, which is waiting for a rewrite, perhaps will be my next big project.
Juliet: Last night I was writing a song. It was about Michael, and it was going along fine, if a little corny. I was singing and strumming my guitar, “You are the riches/You are the king/You are the future/Whatever that brings…”
Then came pounding on the front door, and Dad trying not to yell, just to be heard – “Marnie, open up! Marnie, please –“
Dad’s river-wild, stage-strong movie voice was cut short by the door
Open again, and then
My mother was crying in her show-voice, the one I think of as her desperately-crying-for-attention-and-love voice, this time melting into her for-the-audience-in-the-back-rows-too-darling voice. Her combat boots pounded down the hall past my room and on into her own, where I heard her throwing, tearing, destroying. And of course crying. Gasping, sobbing, sucked-up screaming…
My strum changed to minor chords, loud and abrupt and accompanied by “Shut up shut up shut up now!” angrily sung by me in my quietly-absorbing-everything-and-never-complaining voice. My parents wouldn’t hear me. I didn’t want them to. I didn’t want to make things worse.
But of course my mother couldn’t keep everything to herself, nope, she had to begin shoving photo after photo under my door, pictures she’d torn herself out of. She knew how to make an entrance. I wished I could be so talented, grabbing all the attention for myself -- and then Michael would love me, I thought as my mother scratched the outside of my door with her long fingernails. I dropped my guitar and my selfish thoughts, and ran to her, flinging open my bedroom door and allowing her to fall against me. She was so tiny, and I was so gi-normous, her head tucked under my chin, and her drippy, sobbing, scrunchy-face pressed against my chest as if she were the child and I were the adult.
“She shouldn’t – you shouldn’t –“ My father said from just behind her.
“It’s okay, Mama. I’ve got you now.”
“They hated me! I hate myself! Everyone hates me!”
“I don’t hate you Mama—“
“Jules…” my father said, then sighed and backed away, disappearing back down the hall and into the living room.
He turned on the stereo, and now it was as if Mama and I had a soundtrack. Our lives were a play or a movie, and maybe this wasn’t how normal kids lived, but at least in this movie, I was a star. Not like my mother, but a leading role at least. A pivotal part.
“Let her cry… if the tears fall down like rain/ Let her sing… if it eases all her pain/ Let her go…”
Oh no! Not Hootie! I stepped back into my room as my mother ran down the hall to go and kill my father.
“And if the sun comes up tomorrow/ Let her be…”
“Oww for fuck’s sake Marcie, you—“
I closed my door, realizing sadly that I might have to settle for a supporting role after all.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Jenna is the main character in my upcoming novel, Spun. She is a recovering meth addict with an alcoholic mother, a dead father, a torn-up life and an uncertain future. Jenna is also an aspiring writer, carrying a notebook with her at all times in which she expresses her dreams and hopes, fears and desires, poems, images and observations.
Paige has Kevin.
Even Mom has Frank.
Is there, and if so, where and when is there, someone for me? I’m filled with longing, or, rather, emptied of everything else. “There isn’t any me anymore,” said Hemingway. So say I, when I’m going home, alone again. I say to myself, Paige loves me, my mother loves me, but do they really? I scrawl in my notebook:
Paige has Kevin. Kevin has Paige.
I always go home
Mom has Frank. He has Mom.
Who has me?
I would’ve liked to make P.’s rm. a genie bottle, cause rgt. now, I feel like a genie trapped in a bottle,
bottle = home, but it confines me to its glass belly, no one gets in or out, and the most I can hope for is the glass breaks.
I want to be in love. That’s what everyone else has, rgt.? Paige/Kevin, Mom/Frank. They hate each other but if they weren’t in love they wouldn’t still be together, or would they?
Who would I be willing to throw myself under?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Maree is a newcomer Outsider Girl. I don’t know where she came from or where her story will go, but I find her to be funny, with an interesting perspective on things, and I expect she’ll be back in later posts.
My little sister, eight, believes God lives in McDonald’s, because she says, there he can get a hot meal anytime he wants.
My four year old brother just told me he only likes white guys, like Batman, and Spiderman, Wolverine and Superman, Steve and Joe from Blue’s Clues. Phineus and Ferb. I’m worried, because his new school will be ninety percent black and hispanic. Hopefully, he’ll meet some new Superheroes there.
My oldest sister, Marla, twenty-two, is a Christian missionary to missionaries. Wrap your head around this -- she helps missionaries get closer to Christ. She had to raise a whole lot of money to get this job, but I didn’t say anything about how backwards that seemed, and didn’t dare get smart and ask how God’s dental plan is.
Everyone thinks Marla’s so great, except me. I think she’s crazy and kind of a bully besides, but then I had to grow up with her lording it over me -- no pun intended (get it? “Lord”, hardeeharhar).
So then there’s me, in the middle. Last night I gave my first blow job, in the bushes behind a party, and Christopher, that was the guy, called me an angel, but he hasn’t called today, or answered any of my texts.
I guess you’d say I’m Godless. But it’s not like I don’t care. It’s not like I’m trying to break my parents’ hearts. I’m looking for God, or something, anything out there that’s not me, but it’s hard, because when I’m mopping the floor, and wiping Markie's boogers, and scraping dried cheese off plastic plates... it seems like there is only me. It seems like I can only be my own angel.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Kayla is a new character. She is coping with a sick mother who isn’t always available, and at the same time with a huge crush on a popular boy who doesn’t seem to know she’s alive. I like Kayla’s honesty.
I told my mother -- I was crying and everything -- I told her that everyone has their belly button pierced, and if she didn’t let me then it was her fault if Brian Kepler didn’t like me, and it was her fault if I didn’t get invited to his party this weekend, and you know what she did? She laid there on the couch with her eyes closed, doing her deep breathing thing which nobody else’s mother does, I mean really, and then she said “Party?”
I was kinda stuck then, because I would never lie to my mother, I just wouldn’t, because she always said that would be the worst thing I could ever do, but on the other hand, I couldn’t tell her deets about the party because Brian’s parents were going out of town and that’s why it was such a big deal – there were going to be no adults and a keg and the pool and everyone who mattered was going to be there, and my friend Rain said she was going to lose her virginity Saturday night, and if Brian were to ask me, I would too, only he won’t ask because my mother won’t let me get my belly button pierced –
“Just a party. You know Brian, Mommy! You know how much I love him. Please, Mom!” I said, adjusting her pillow.
She winced when I moved her, but then she sighed, so I her neck was hurting more than usual. Her pain was bad, I knew it, because otherwise she’d totally be sitting up, leaning forward on her hands, looking into my eyes for the truth –
And then, I never could’ve lied, but all of a sudden it seemed easy, because she was lost in her world of hurt, and so I said, “It’s his birthday. He invited me specially. It’s almost like a, like a date!”
“Are you asking if you can go?” She was happier than she was letting on. She really wanted to believe someone like Brian Kepler would ask me out. She was crazy that way, thinking I was totally popular and everyone liked me, and all the boys loved me, when actually the opposite was true.
I started rubbing my mother’s foot. She sighed with relief, and I said, “So I can go, right?”
“I don’t know, Kayla, it’s not a good time—“
“It’s never a good time with you!”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry—“
Okay, so sue me – she was weak and I needed to get my belly button pierced, and I knew if I kept at it, kept pushing her, she’d give in, if for no other reason than guilt over being sick and being afraid that that made her a bad mother. I knew how she thought. I didn’t want to take advantage of her, but my love for Brian was so real, so powerful, it was all I could think about, it was like a hot knife in my heart. I knew I could get him to like me if only -- and so I said to my mother, “Can I get my belly button pierced before the party Saturday? I have the form you just have to sign and Rain’s mother will take us.”
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Gemma first appeared in an unpublished short story, “Wings,” which may yet become a novel. Gemma’s mother abandoned her when she was a child. Mom was addicted to smoking faery dust, and now that Gem’s an adolescent she’s getting what all the daughters of dusters got – wings. Horrified and outcast, Gemma leaves home in search of her mother.
1 am: It started as an itch I couldn’t get at, but it was driving me crazy. I thought I would scratch myself raw, I mean, I really almost did. Sleep is out of the question, and that pisses me off, because I’m a bitch when I don’t get enough sleep, plus I have a Biology test second period.
2 am: Biology Shmology. What I mean is, I found out that it's not a regular itch, and actually, I am an aberration of nature. A true freak.
3 am: (Sigh, then small breath in) Little breaths as though I'm panting. I have a scissors. But then I find I can't mutilate myself, even if my self is changing and I don't like it.
4 am: Thinking of my mother. A lot.
5 am: The wings aren't going to go away. I can't cut them off. I can't scratch them off (duh). I can't just ignore them, and I don't know how the other girls with wings -- like Hope, like Mommy -- I don't know how they ever slept with all the annoying fluttering and the stupid urge to fly (like I’d ever do that!). Damn, some girls just get their periods, and isn't that hard enough when you're all alone? But they don’t know suffering like this.
5:30 am: I have to get out of here, and GET THESE F*CKING WINGS OFF MY BACK!