Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kill the Carrier

What could you do?
The ring was sweat and glory,
joy in your muscles, all strength and
testosterone, knowing you looked
a fool, not caring, because you could
wrestle him into submission.
But home was
all tight and quiet.
The boy
wouldn’t talk
(he would never follow in your armsteps,
you knew it, there was no hope--
all Nancy’s fault).
Your bed
was off-limits; she
relegated you to the couch
unless you had just won a fight, or if
the boy had had a good day.
Your blood ran fast and
furious. You knew
you would regret it, but
you did it anyway, clouded by
a desperate rage.
No blood, no gore. But their expressions
haunted you for hours, and so you
by your own weights.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

On the off chance anybody's interested in what I've been doing all June

Well, I've been writing a screenplay.
And it's been fun.
And now I'm done with it! (20,029 words, according to the site's official word counter.)
You can read it here, if you're interested.
Happy June!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In the Bathroom

“What are you doing?”

She felt a little insane.

“Jenna, are you nuts? Answer me! Jenna?”

She leaned against the bathroom door, the mirror pressing into her back, and listened to Olivia, frustrated as hell on the other side.

“Jenna, unlock the door.”

She wouldn’t do it. She would just sit there forever, until Olivia went away, and then maybe run to her room and sit naked cross-legged on the bed and pretend nothing had ever happened. She would burrow under her comforter and suffocate half to death, maybe knock herself out in the stifling heat, although outside it was December. Create her own deadly summer under the covers.

“Jenna? Jenna? Have you fallen asleep in there? For fuck’s sake, Jenna.”

She looked at her toes, wiggled them.

“Okay, Jenna, I’m going to come back in an hour and you better be out of there, okay? I want to watch a movie with you. We got some good ones at Blockbuster’s, me and Katherine, I mean.”

There was a pause, but she knew Olivia hadn’t gone anywhere. She could sense her one-hundred-and-forty-pound prescence breathing behind the door.

“Brian wants to come over and watch a movie with us if you’re okay with that.”

Brian-- oh, Brian! Too jovial, too wide-mouthed, too disgusting when he put his hands around Olivia and squeezed.

“Okay, Jenna, I’m going to go make some calls, I’ll be in the living room. Okay?”

Another pause in which she held her breath, held still as anything, until she heard footsteps padding away, quietly, oh, finally! She wanted badly to scream, but she knew Olivia would hear. She was so confined here. She wanted to climb somehow out of the little screened window and run, run, run away with branches scraping her thighs badly. She would step on every sharp thing on the way, of course, and then she would make it to the highway and lie there just on the side of the road and feel the wind of each car rush past her, listen to the thrumming of wheels on the concrete, listen to the honking whenever somebody spotted her, just a moonlit body splayed triumphantly on the beautiful ground. That would be wonderful.

Olivia was really gone. Good. Jenna pulled herself up, holding onto the doorknob, and stared at her reflection critically. She needed to lose about six pounds. She could see stretch marks on her hips. And was that another sore on her mouth? how could she ever go outside again until that thing went away? Her life was so small, so small, so insignificant, and here she was, right now, doing nothing with it, standing alone in her bathroom with the door locked by herself looking at her own body. Children were starving to death right now-- men were dropping by the dozens in war zones-- all her high school friends were out partying, getting drunk and having casual sex, the way they had all promised each other they would do once they graduated. And here she was, twenty, a college dropout, living with a couple of more successful friends. If she were to die right now, nobody would care. Maybe her mother would care, but she had Isaac. It wasn’t like Jenna was going to carry on the family name or anything.

Her head felt tight with boredom. She wondered if anyone had died of that. Probably; people had died of most everything. She closed her eyes and stretched up and thought that she would never do anything worthwhile in her life. The realization that right now she was doing nothing, nothing at all, was so frustrating. Dimly, she could hear Olivia in the other room talking softly on the telephone. Olivia was social networking. Jenna was doing nothing!

She spotted an electric razor (Brian’s!) on the shelf over the sink and grabbed it. She didn’t even need to shave, she had done that yesterday, in a better mood. But she felt like destroying. Maybe if-- but she couldn’t-- well, you know what, fuck it.

She knew she would regret it, but, like a Jeep in drive pushed down a mountain, there was no stopping it now. Trepidation boiled in her stomach. At least it was a feeling.

She took the razor to her head.

Turned it on.