My mother looks me up and down. Bundles me into the car, her friend's in the passenger seat. Starts talking, words I don’t understand. Jobs, money, men. They laugh and smoke. The car gets foggy, I cough. No one notices. They blare music from a cassette, my Mother flicks her blonde hair. The friend turns around, cooing. I reach out my pudgy fingers, tugging and laughing. Happy for her gaze to fall on me. The friend takes the hands back. She speaks “Isn’t he cute?” she asks. My mother snorts her disapproval and shakes her head, dismissing me.
I noticed the first boy at thirteen. He was short, had features like a mouse. I was taller but he ran faster. He played sports and I played video games, behind the sheds. Hiding my Gameboy in my sleeve. In class, I had a Tamagotchi under my desk. I fed him and put him to sleep. Named it after the short boy. I learned nothing because I kept him alive. And one day, the boy kissed me behind the sheds and he called me names after, told everyone what I was. So I hid like always and closed my eyes.
I met a girl on my street when I was a child. She had chocolate hair and amber eyes. She lived in a van. “She ran with the bad children” my mother said. They all called her names but they called me names too. Her father was gruff and he drank something vile from a flask. Her mother was always crying. She’d call for me and show me all her toys. My Mother said “They’ll take your things”. One day my new bike disappeared. That day the girl was gone, my mother was right. She’s always right.
I was wandering on the bank. The drugs in my system were fading, I groaned. And from the sea, I heard meowing. Faint and small. I took a drink of Vodka and stepped over the wall. On the edge of the water was a bag and in the bag a cat. Small and delicate like a baby bird. I picked her up and carried her home. She grew quickly and had babies of her own. Took broken birds home most days. When I cried, she’d crawl into my coat and lick my chin. So I cried less and less everyday.
His eyes glittered golden, matching his freckles. He ended all his sentences in “eh”. “Moe eh?”. He asked how it was and I replied that it was great, spectacular, fantastic. I kissed his neck softly. We were in a field, in the darkness. The light poured from my house as my Mother shouted.
“You better run” I ushered to him, pushing him away. He tried to kiss me but I kicked him. He was hurt I could see it. I turned my back on him and put on my shirt. I signalled to my Mother, that I was indeed alive.
The things I did for you, my mistress, my guiding light. I did everything you asked, everything you declared . You sent shivers up my spine when I had you, melancholic bliss. All my friends left because I loved you. Others filled the space, ones who loved you as much as I. I did things I regret but god, you were beautiful. Little white pills, everywhere. I stopped and lost everything that I had found. My friends crawled back in their holes, my euphoria dissipated, filled up again with cold. I wouldn’t go back but you were magical, darling, magical.
The school looms over me. The pain, they caused, ripe in my bones. Its dark and I pull up my hood. Jumping the gate and falling over the side onto the wet grass. I see the statue, Mary the Mother, my betrayer. Her judgement obvious in her cold stare. I look through my bag and take out the can. The spray paint, I grasp it and start my work. I go for her eyes and I give her a brand new accessory. A pair of black sunglasses and then I leave smiling. Maybe now, she’ll thinking twice before judging me.
Dragons and dwarves and witches, oh my. I keep losing myself to imaginary lands. Where I’m powerful, where the worries I have can be ignored. I sit on my bed and thumb the buttons. The characters moving in majestic and beautiful ways. I look at myself in the mirror afterwards and I want to redraw myself. Take all those pieces and fix them. A longer jaw, less full lips. My cheekbones are higher than I’d like. My amber eyes a little larger. I turn and play my games again and lose myself forgetting my insecurities and learning to live again.