A sad tale. A happy ending? (1/2003; ultra short)
She seems to be whining all the time. She seems to be screeching all the time. She seems to be crying or pouting or all the time. She’s never happy. She’s never in a good mood, enjoying the day. She’s never happy playing with the other kids. It’s a shame.
I can’t help wonder whether, in the moment she was conceived, there was a seed of unhappiness, of discontent, of evil even that passed through her mother’s placenta. So, see, perhaps it’s not her fault. Perhaps when her father and mother were conceiving her, he was dreaming of another woman, or was “taking” her in a rough, inappropriate, unloving way. Not rape exactly, but something similar in terms of the cruelty involved. Perhaps she was simply putting up with it, eager to watch her favorite television show afterwards.
Whatever the reason, she’s unhappy. Will she grow up that way, unhappy all the days of her life? Will she ever see a flower blooming? I mean really see it blooming? Will she ever stop to smell the proverbial roses? Or will she only smell the manure that was used to fertilize the beautiful red burst of missed-out-upon joy? Will she ever find friends? Friendship? Even if she wanted to, who will want to befriend such a sourpuss? Maybe she’ll have those kinds of friends that quietly put up with her moping, eager to escape into the sunlight.
Will she ever find a boyfriend? A lover? A husband? She has no blueprint for how to make it work – not that any of us do. But, she has no model, no example, and nobody’s path to follow. She’ll have to figure it out on her own, but this kind of thing is hard and hard things will make her whine or cry or screech. At least do the adult versions of these things.
I have a vision of her twenty years from now. She’s sitting on a train, commuting home after work. She’s sitting alone, staring out the train’s window, watching the blur of life fly by. She sits, melancholy, not talking to anyone, not listening to anyone. Not seeing anyone. She is as invisible as a pretty girl can be. Men notice her and look. Then they see her – feel her – and look no more. Their sixth sense kicks in without fail; they sense her sadness, her coldness. They sense her loneliness too, but none are willing to brave it.
In a fairy tale – and she loves fairy tales – one of these men will force his way through. He’ll fight through the gray cloud of her life to that point. He’ll bring a fire hose to blast the cloud away. Or he’ll bring a can of bright orange spray paint and simply paint over it. Or he’ll whisk her away to another reality somehow, somewhere. Maybe a trip to the Greek islands with nothing more than two bathing suits, two t-shirts and two pairs of shorts. And maybe a pair of flip-flops. He’ll show her the stars at night, the bright fireball of warmth and light during the day. He’ll show her how to have fun with a string. He’ll show her how to have fun while being with others. Even when she doesn’t get her way all the time. He’ll even show her how to have fun when she’s by herself, with no book and no computer.
Who knows whether life will play out like a fairy tale for her? For that matter, who knows whether life plays out like a fairy tale for any of us? We’ll have to wait and see.