Thursday, February 16, 2012


Angelique:  It’s raining.  Oh great.
Cupping my hands around the tip of my cigarette, I press my thumb on the flint wheel of my lighter.  The wind blows the tiny flame out before I even take my thumb off the gas.  I huddle tighter.
Someone in a hurry bumps me.  I don’t even look up.
Finally, the flare of light catches the cigarette paper, and I’m lit up and puffing furiously.
It’s three am.  She got me up at two, my phone ringing an electronic version of “We R Who We R” – ringtone muzak of Ke$ha.  I should change that – you can’t even tell what the song is when it plays.  But what’s the dif, when no one ever calls me, except my mother, when she wants something, like to be picked up from the hospital at two am.
A Mom and her kid come out through the big, sliding, automated hospital doors, and hurry past me.  The kid looks at me smoking and holds her nose with her fingers, scowls.
I didn’t even know my mother had left.  I was sleeping when she decided she had to come to the ER for an enema or some shit, to get, well, some shit.  
First, she tells me on the phone that she needs surgery.  So will I come?
Of course, I believe her.  She’s a pathological liar, and I know that, but I believe her.  I’m here, aren’t I?
But of course when I get here at two-thirty, pajama bottoms under a big, black sweater, I find her in an examinating room waiting for test results, and then the doc comes in to tell her they haven’t found anything wrong that a stool softener won’t cure in a day, but she tells him, “Ooooh Doctor, but it huuurts,” so now she’s getting dressed and waiting for her Demerol prescription, or Dilaudid if they’ll give it to her.
“I guess I’m no longer needed here,” I said.
“But you have to drive me home!” she cried.
“You got here yourself, now get yourself home!”
Honestly, Dilaudid for constipation?  I am so done.
Tossing my cigarette -- throwing it down hard -- I tuck my head down against the wind and rain, and head into the parking lot.  I don’t even have my license yet, all I have is a permit.  I could get arrested.  This is ridiculous.  I bark a short laugh at the insanity.
Ke$ha blares from my phone.  It’s her.
“I’m coming out now,” she says.
“Fine,” I say with an exaggerated sigh.  “I’ll be in the car.”

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Candace:  My mother in downstairs in her studio, painting.  She knows I'm home, of course, but I'm supposed to be sick.  In my body, I mean. 
Well, I am sick.  But it's deeper than my mother thinks.
My mother paints oceans.  Literally, oceans.  Fishermen on a wharf, lines dropped into the ocean.  A whale spouting ocean water out of its blowhole.  A mermaid on a rock in the ocean.  Ocean waves, crashing on the beach.
She paints oceans, I believe, because of the oceans of ideas that crash and tumble, flow freely and crest in her brain.  Ideas that lead her to the studio to paint, or to her desk to write, or even down to the beach, to walk and take pictures.
Where are my oceans? I cry to myself.
Barely a trickle moves in me.
Oh, I do fine in school, usually -- or at least I've been known to do well, although lately, maybe not so well.  My mother doesn't know this yet.
My mother's oceans bring us food -- food for thought, and food on the table.  She's quite famous, perhaps you've heard of her?  Of course you have.
But no one's heard of me, and no one will. 
No one knows me, and no one will.
I'm quiet, and I'm still inside.  No ideas rushing through me to crash upon the shore.  No photographs, paintings, stories, sculptures, novels, symphonies or jingles.  
At best, I am an abandoned well.  
Deep and dark inside.
Just enough water to make it damp and uncomfortable to be in here.
Just enough water to sustain me, for a little while, and then I claim sickness of my body, and lie in bed, crying dry tears, wishing to feel something other than this deep, dark hole, this deep darkness inside.