She is their crime of passion. Soundless screams escaping from her wilting luck. Can’t imagine what doesn’t reach her. Then again, she has more than enough imagination so she probably raises her head and pictures the closed doors that won’t open. Spins, blurs, and muffles the expanding horizon of streaming information; remembers shooting kaleidoscopes down from the stars, and dangling them in front of a howling cat- except that you could see angry sights coming from behind her reputation, drugs, prostitution- secrets.
They weren’t hushed up for long: foolproof blackmail was flung at anyone who bore a shred of recognition to transports in recent memory cast on the image of the day. Feeling a shiver of foreboding, she swept the unfamiliar sensation under the rug. The unfamiliar was nothing compared to the pressure felt. There was an insane idea going around that she couldn’t make it. The rumor was that instead of holding something dear, she carved up multiple selves and held them up to her sex-fueled bodyguards, taking scars away, choreographing them into a ritual that became part fate part inclination. Expectations were a prison, perfection just a gateway, pale as the dead, to appear comatose on so many occasions. How to know how enough was ever enough. She made bold statements, then expected people to just.. get over them. The statements were wild birds flying in rushed zigzags up the sky, and with the speed of time being so exponential these days, why did anyone feel they needed to protect their students from her?
Encountering snooty brush offs at certain affiliations- school and work- made her prematurely regret the last five years. Listlessly she’d watched as people in positions of power relative to her in competition and power inspected her openness coldly, then used it as a torch to burn down the plank on which she stood. Her days of hiding in plain sight felt very over. Didn’t they have a duty to say what didn’t work? She could guess without bullshitting relatively easily. Did they have a problem with explanations? Was registering the truth a stifling place for the weak or just all those willing to clobber to get ahead?
Damn that grim circling vulture of a musician- he was in all the dying reputable music circles, the ones with big American names that sounded as common as Mcdonalds in this town. He’d played her music… and now he was looking down at her as if she was a housewife with an apron covered in flour and a hand in the cookie jar. As if her mind was charred beyond recognition and her deaths all false. He filled his calculation with avoidance, using the usurped powers of perception of those always casting a stone of judgment to wrench her history into a revisionist pity-filled party of scandal. Just enough seriousness to the charges that those hearing would whisper under their breath.
It wasn’t as if she had lost her talent- that would be one thing. But for them to care about things like what she wore? Silk camisoles and fish nets over jeans with loose-fitting hoodies smelling of fresh laundry clung to her like protection. The perfume was sweet but never cloying, like being underneath an orchard of apple blossom trees. Her eyes were swimming underneath the war paint of black eye makeup. Wide and circular earrings- the design modern but the pattern classical- dangled from her ears. As if provocative clothing would evenhandedly bring learning to a revolt? Wasn’t provocation a way to get people to think?How could a shirt corrupt an entire populace? She was on a mission to understand things, not ruin! Any destruction she had in her would go in hurting herself, never them. And then, there was another thing. She was in part their product. She was a part of them now, as their education shaped her. She’d been going there since she was a child, only now she was left unclaimed in the lost property box. Except she had once belonged; that wasn’t her delusion. There was violence in belonging…But there was also violence in separation. If there was any harbinger of blame going around, then why weren’t they looking at themselves?
Parents lovingly abolish their children out of a sense of pride. Or they try so hard they will get down in the mud and mole a tunnel into the future for you only for the authority figures they entrusted with your well-being to reach down and knock the revelations under, until you are wandering through the underground transportation system trying to find a gutter hole or ventilation shaft to climb up through.
There’s so much lost ground to cover and that school won’t hire people whose past they don’t admire more than anything. A lot of people treat life like a race to the finish line by refusing to accept forms of human suffering. In order to win their race they’re inclined to invent their past to white-out suffering from prying, leaching eyes. There’s a startling thrust of motivation after reinvention. The penalty for getting caught depends on the uniform you wear. There are ways to bypass privacy and just because you can appear respectable doesn’t mean you can change your social security number.
“I guess I could change my name.” The red tape was gone, she was laughed out of their dumb graces. Motives like braces adjusted to fix teeth. Faith averted as a drunken girl hung up on her… so sudden. Felt sheepish for telling the girl to stop drinking and take care of her kids.
Security went undisguised, respectability diminished. She’d explored the dumpsters, cradles, blistered hearts, dirty needles, useless begging, and finally, the violence of the unlovable. Upon staring back at all those judgmental fishbowl eyes, she realized she was not prepared for the bitter-sweetness tainting the flavor.
Let there be no final roll call.
Young faces peep in and out of her phantom longing. Power might just inform this confluence; if they fear her they just might pretend to respect, and pretending could take on a shimmer to those who bought truth as the life-size artifices adults wear. Saints arrive in all different forms. Angels can come shrouded in darkness. Redemption… a white noise from a television. Suppose she’d traded in on her feelings of powerlessness, and it’d been mixed as the real thing. She had wanted people around her to know all the horrible things about herself, but she had made her workplace into a church and these people were not priests. They went for the jugular.