I climbed the wall, I did. And, scaled the tree branches to get away from them. They make me nervous, laugh at the spots on my face, and call me names like Pepperoni Head.
The only thing I could do at that moment was to rest my head on the cushion of oak leaves and cling on, wrenching my eyes shut until they went away.
Oh, and went away, they did, darling. You know, when I was a regular fixture at Andy Warhol’s Factory, I wouldn’t dare let a single entity dress me down. I was fabulous from head to toe, sweetie—I am fabulous from head to toe. Make no mistake. I couldn’t wait up in that tree all day—I’ve things to do—so I slithered down that trunk like the Genesis serpent himself and do you know what I said to them? “Get out of my airspace, you cretins—you’re a bunch of nobodies.”
Yeah, and the next thing I knew I was being bundled to the ground, my elbows leaking like the jelly from a store-bought doughnut as they scraped across the gravel. They couldn’t threaten me, not after what I saw out there in those dense patches of Nam. I saw folks blown to chunks and men reduced to mulch. It was a case of kill or be killed, no room for nothin’ else. That gang had nothin’ on me. They had beef because I screamed at some guy makin’ fun o’ my scarred face. It’s my battle wound, a testament to the illness of the world. Humanity is doomed, man. You’ll see.
I was very scared, calling out for mummy and daddy. They wouldn’t let me go, those naughty people. They kept saying I did something terrible. I only pushed someone in the playground because they weren’t very nice. I was tired of it; they never stop. But now they do.
Darling, darling, I can’t be held accountable for what happens when someone pushes my buttons.
I-I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t like it.
Ah, but I can handle it—once, I was locked up by the enemy for weeks on end—ha ha, ha ha. All I had was a jacket and the thoughts of a sweet girl in my head: Cassie, Cassie, Cassie.
“Cassie, are you in there?”
“Welcome back to us. Do you remember that day? When you murdered your stepfather and left him to bleed out in the barn. Do you remember being discovered, hiding in the woods? Cassie, we need to know if you, remember?”
“Yes, I suppose I do, darling. I’d love to chat, but I’m late for a very important meeting in New York City. You’re not going to keep me here for long, are you?”
Words: D I Hughes
Cover image: Thiago Matos