So I thought: I'm gonna agitate the gravel, make like a banana and peel. I musta had static in the attic; Daddy's gonna flip when he sees what I done to the Roadmaster.
Oh geez, my leg's stuck under all that mess of metal-- I guess I'll have to leave it and come back or something. Not leaving my bags, though, oh hell naw. Oomf, gawd they weigh a ton.
This sweater is cashmere, used to be yellow, now look at it. And my head keeps boinging over to one side-- I must look like a real dope. Mom's gonna have a cow. Whudja do to ya hair? Lookit ya clothes!
Maybe I should go knock on some square's door. Hi, I'm dead, can I use your phone? I gotta get somebody to come pick me up. First ghost on the right! Oh girl, don't start actin' like a nosebleed. So I wonder if Mom'll have me stuffed into a real churchy get-up and have some Clyde get up there and say, yeah, she was an angel girl, everybody loved her, life's gonna be a drag now. Then cheesy organ music and shufflin' feet and dropped programs and stuff. I wonder if it'll rain at the cemetery like it always does in the pictures? My ankle biter little sis'll pitch a rose down on my coffin, and crank crank crank down I'll go, like a big fat flower bulb. In the spring maybe I'll pop up again, Ta da! Queen For A Day, what'd I win? Johnny might write some retarded song about me, sit strummin' with a tear in his eye, get a new girlfriend in about five minutes, if that. My social life is over. At school I'll just be The Dead Car Wreck Girl. Daddy's gonna blow his stack, Mom's gonna have kittens. *sigh* Guess I'll start walking. Er, hopping. I really should've worn flats. ________
When you put the lock on my tongue, that was some medieval dentistry; performed before I knew about informed consent, lawyers, mental disorders, and all the usual childhood stuff.
So, I became a telepath, screwing with the antenna tv, broadcasting my thoughts, burning the toast, giving the garage door St. Vitus Dance, and dispatching police and fire to our house with my brother's scanner.
Our neighbor three doors down was the Chief of Police, and he took me aside with the customary rubber hose. The lock on my tongue precluded objection or outcry and besides, I thought it was all normal how he grunted as he swung, and then holstered his gun in his face and blew his brains out. I'll never tell.
You have three choices, you said, of what to be in life: a nurse, a secretary, or a hotel maid. That's when I panicked and started the electric mixer with my mind. What about hooker, homicide, hag, harridan? What about paramour, prostitute, pill-popper, parasite? Who knew I could make the kabob skewers fly through the air like that?
I stood mute during my trial. Let your lawyer do the talking, they told me, just as I learned to do at your knee. Still, I couldn't restrain my nervous habit of jangling the lock on my tongue during dull moments like summation and sentencing. Such a quiet girl, said the warden. You don't see girls like her very often anymore, especially doing a quarter at this facility.
It's been years, now. The other women call me Metal Mouth and ask if the cat's got my tongue. They don't know that I learned how to pick the lock last week-- they only know that the guards are having trouble with the system that seals the doors, and that the toilets flush by themselves all night without even anyone's head being shoved into them.
Wait til I can talk, mama. You always wanted to know what I could have been thinking of-- well, that was it. Now I'm gonna use my words, my hour come round at last: Look, ma! Top of the world, and all that silence packed behind one long gorgeous scream. ______
I've got a million morning dreams, but in the way of casual cruelty, despite trying to tuck them to me like a marked book-- they scatter and leave no sign or scent to help me look for my lost dreams.
I've got a million folded paper notes floated on the morning pond, bent carefully into boats-- but in the way of casual cruelty, they love a water lily more than me and do not return.
I've got a million songs that line my throat, pin feather sharp, short-lived, half-grown, but in the way of casual cruelty, my cricket legs won't carry me to that place I've dreamt of passingly where I'm a raucous bird. _______
She kissed me, but she did it symbolically, as part of her final exam with Professor Goodbar, known far and wide for his success with electricity, molasses, and girls who wear glasses.
She attached a papier-mache head to a wheel, and turned a crank; never did a lump of dailies and glue express such dumbstruck speechless desire for me. It came around, leaned in by means of a flexible metal vetebra, and laid one on me.
Oh the hours we had spent deposited across her bed like rag dolls, discussing emotional boundaries, primitive impulses among Thai villagers, and deflecting each other's endearments and tender fumblings.
This is when something went wrong. Just as my Inner Wanton was awakened by the kiss of her oscillating manufactured surrogate, in walked Professor Goodbar and oh, the smile she gave him. Oh the sugared data.
There's a limit, you know, to what a girl can take, even in the name of course completion. I realized I had been a dupe, a foil, a representation of fetish and fantasy, of foolery and fuck-headedness, trotted out like a show pony with a little engine hidden in its tossing head.
For months, we had learned symbology, transference, normal and abnormal expression, data collection and interpretation. But when I brained the Professor with my darling's papier-mache double, THAT was real and he fell face first into her lap like unexpected erratum, mumbling some other woman's name and it felt good, yes so good, to walk out of there and become a