She stopped writing.
No rhyme. No real reason. She stopped, because it’s the one thing she could control; those words. Her legs are shaking, they tremble with unknown fear. The leaves are crunching as a junkie coughs and walks down the alley next to her house.
Let. It. Go. It’s all dying away….
The dead season is among us.
Her eyes saw piglets today, with their pretty pink skin and white baby fur, stacked together in transporting trucks. Two large trucks taking them to a farm in North Carolina. Taking them to fatten’em up. They’ll become Christmas hams, pork tenderloins, and crispy bacon. Their eyes see and their ears hear as snouts are gathered in the tight, cramped space. They are stretching to the outside world. Loving the pure wild West Virginia air. They don’t know what’s coming. Slaughter. Death. A dying season.
Each morning, she passes her friend’s obituary. She looks at pictures where life surrounded one of the most contagious smiles she’d ever known. She can’t forget it. She won’t forget it. Her memories grow old constantly wishing he was still here. Sharing a cup of coffee and a cigarette.
“I miss you, friend. Dammit. I miss ya,” she tells him. Talking to an empty space in an ugly pale yellow kitchen.
There’s too much wishing lately.
God is telling her to be quiet. Stay still, child. And daily she bites her sharp witted tongue. Does what she’s got to do. Stands in the same line everyday, punches the time card, pays the bills, cries, and finds safe haven in her solitary dream world. Keeps craving those dreams, even the bad ones. The ones with white tiled floors, dungeons, mazes, and uncertainty.
Nothing is as planned….
WELCOME TO PURGATORY ON EARTH.
Daddy used to tell her how she is the pretty one. Your sissy is the smart one. Oh, but girl, you got looks when you’re thin enough. She hasn’t eaten anything but cereal in a week. Sustaining on water, MiraLAX, rum, Coke Zero, and cigarettes. Every day she questions her intelligence. She knows her sissy is questioning her value in prettiness. This is what one man can do. This is what he’s done to two daughters who won’t speak to his cancerous, vile male precedent. If you’re a man raising a girl, think before you speak. THINK. THINK AGAIN. Perhaps just be still. Maybe your words aren’t necessary.
Leaves crunch like eggshells as she’s walking through a small town in West Virginia.
It’s with the upmost belief in her dying soul, she believes one fact to be true: MEN HATE HER.
“It’s okay,” she tells herself. She’ll be fine. Didn’t need a daddy. Husband destroyed anything worthwhile she built within herself when she rose to what he called “her empowerment” over the last few years. And yet, she still loves him. Gives him the undying devotion similar to a old dog waiting to be fed.
She counts a little boy’s birthdays. That husband she begged to marry her won’t let her leave this small heroin-ridden epidemic town. If she does leave, he’ll say she abandoned her family. He’ll file for divorce and full custody. And he will win. Her mind is perpetually stuck in nightmares and daydreams, and everything is just falling somewhere in-between those things. He brags to people how he’s got a pretty wife.
In 13 years, she may know how freedom tastes. To be free. Real free. Now that’s a sweet tasting buttercream frosting dream. No daddy whooping on her. No husband hating her presence. No man telling her how she’s the pretty one. No man to tell her she can’t leave the state with her child. No man to tell her anything. Only salty air and oceans and her so-called talent. Words dripping and flowing and showing and telling, writing without whiskey breath fear. That’s this girl’s dream.
Give me Charleston, South Carolina. Give me a keyboard and my stories. Give me everything which seems so utterly, desperately raped from my soul and the future I wanted to have. Give me something, God. One glimmer hanging with shiny thread, just dangling for me touch. Grab onto.
An English teacher once told me, I write too pretty.
Is this pretty enough for you, sir?
Is my life a pretty, petty planned party?
I’m just a pretty face with words aching, scratching my soul. Demons resting in fingertips.
Men fear this woman, the kind like me.
And you should fear me….
You ain’t read nothing yet…
I’m the pretty, grimy, coal dusted, dirt woman. The girl who has lived a thousand lives in one unforgiving lifetime. I got all the words you need to read, waiting to be written, stories to let die, and a house by the ocean I plan on purchasing one day.
l’m done with petty prettiness bottled up into this middle aged mistress’ body.
Opening legs to satisfy.
And the sounds of floorboards always make their noises.
Nothing is ever still, Lord.
There are seasons. There is waiting. There is timing.
And she wrote.
Not entirely without fear. I’m afraid of myself.