“It takes courage to be afraid.” –Montaigne, Essays, III, 6 (1588)
Nothing scares the sun anymore. Not even sinking into the black sea. Not even the black sea and its power over sunsets. Not even the scars or parked cars on Sunday or the squirrels that dream of big things from the tops of enormous trees. Not even the sky and its embedded madness stands a chance against its nuclear dance.
Sometimes when the blue clutters the sky, the sun rawrs and tilts its ear toward the sea.
Sometimes the sky is a dark paradise. Sometimes the sun hears paradise calling from the abyss in a funny voice, can you hear the light?
I come from a long line of trees. I guess you could say that I come from a forest, which is weird, because I’m not a tree. Don’t get me wrong, I like trees, especially the kind of trees that don’t shed and drop their leaves like a family tree, which is the kind of tree that no one sees because a forest is as big as a universe.
On my way to school this morning mom and Amanda Bernstein (don’t forget the fucking B is silent! Amanda screamed) got into a fight, no fists, just tongue lashings and lots of fuck yous and bitch. The couple in the car next to us were making out at a stop light, so mom and Amanda started to make out too. The lady in the Ford saw them and made a pug face. I don’t think she was impressed, or maybe she was disgusted, or had an upset stomache, the shits. Mom screamed at her: Fuck off, you stupid bitch. Even though the window was closed, Amanda wasn’t too pleased, because the lady in the other car was Amanda’s boss and she wasn’t fond of lesbians. Amanda wanted to know if mom loves her. Amanda Bernstein wants to be loved. Amanda said her love is real and said so what and mine is too. Mom said she loves Amanda and that’s a fact, but mom had her finges crossed behind her back. I kept my big mouth shut for once, but laughed. Mom told Amanda that she only wants mom for her body and cigarettes. I don’t know what mom’s talking about, crazy bitch. Who’d want a woman with chicken skin and saggy squishy tits. Mom and I dedicated this day to nudity and the holy trinity–mom, Amanda, and me. They didn’t drop me off at school. You’re not gonna’ learn anything there anyway, they said. Fuck ya’! I thought. We’re gonna’ hang out and tan, drink margaritas in the back yard, mom said. Amanda wasn’t amused, but she joined us anyway. Amanda doesn’t drink but she isn’t about to give mom up without a fight to the death. It’s as if Amanda Bernstein has no self-respect. Or maybe she does. It’s hard to tell when the woman holding your mother’s hand is more of a mother to you than your real mom will ever be. Like I said before, we’ll see how long this lasts. Till then, I’ll keep my toes crossed.
Mom! Get that goddamn hamster out of my ass you crazy bitch. I swear this woman will be the end of me. After the hamster morning wake up call she told me to get dressed because we got stuff to do. She borrowed the neighbor’s car so we could pick up her car at the pub where she works which is the same pub where mom won ‘Best Boobs of the Year’ a few years back when her boobs didn’t sag so much. Because she’s older now the law of gravity has begun to take its toll on her chest. She left her car at the pub because she got drunk and/or high and now she wants it back, the car, not the drugs. She lost her left contact lens too. And a heel. And her bra. She didn’t tell me she got high but I’m not stupid. Anyway, even though I can drive, I don’t have a license. I don’t even have a permit or a boyfriend yet. On the way to get her car mom went berserk and started making up nasty menu items for her future restaurant. She said she will call it “Mom’s Genitalia” after her genitalia. Dumbass men love that shit, she said. It’s the goddamn truth. Mom said she’ll serve the nastiest items imaginable to dickheads or guys who can’t keep their fucking you know what in their pants. Mom’s always wanted to be a restaurant owner, or a madam, and I think she’d be a really great boss. Her favorite nasty dish: the fecal fondue, which comes with a side of fresh baked dingleberry muffins. Yes, I know. Mom is gross. She’s insane mostly Monday through Saturday, but I don’t care. We always laugh our fucking asses off. That’s why I’m so thin. Anyway, I love mom when she’s at her nastiest. That shit makes her smile. She doesn’t smile a lot and less now since the ARM went up. I’ll serve it to that boss of mine one day, she said. In a heartbeat. She hates her boss and I do too, especially after what he did to her that night he touched her in the Netherlands when no one was around, not even a mouse. Or a bloodhound.
Mom says Victoria Beckham needs a ham sandwich. She says she needs to relax and let go. Enjoy life. Lick the salt off french fries and eat red meat. She’s afraid Victoria will be eaten by wolves or elves, who are way worse than wolves. I hate elves, especially the Keebler’s. Be careful not to confuse the Keebler’s with Stacy Keibler who is not an elf but is a professional wrestler/valet/model for World Championship Wrestling. Mom is depressed because she can’t kick ass like Stacy or help me with my homework. Mom’s head is about to explode because she’s not a mathematician and I need help. In the end, she says, who needs math. Elves?
My friend Squinny says my scar gives me character. I show her my Swiss Army Knife and ask her if she wants a scar and she says no way no thanks are you crazy? Squinny has a future in drag racing. I don’t mean the kind of racing done with cars or motorcycles. I mean the kind of racing done with too much lipstick and glitter gloss. I let her wear my training bra to school underneath her uniform. We exchange underwear in the men’s room. She fills the bra with socks. The other kids call her Bob but Squinny doesn’t think Bob fits her figure or her future career in Spandex. I tell her the name Bob gives her character but she says it gives her the wrong kind of character, like the character of a trucker or a retired lawyer. I really think a scar will give her character. When she gets her sex change she’ll have a scar in the you know what. She says no one will notice except maybe her future husband and that’s only if she gets married. She is undecided. She wants kids but can’t stand the smell. She loves men but she’s not a homosexual. I won’t get married till I’m a woman, she says. Fine, I say, be that way. I’m only a child but I know she will go through with it one day, i.e. the sex change. Squinny is my best friend. She looks like Charles Jensen but way younger (not that Charles is old) and she doesn’t have face hair (like Charles), at least not yet. Squinny can’t sing even though she tries “Oh My Darling Clementine”. Squinny is a jerk sometimes, never shares. Has temper tantrums. Loose stool. She just doesn’t eat right. She’s a character, the kind you find in fa la la land or Las Vegas, not Disney World. Squinny will change the world one day, I know it. She will. One night she’ll dangle above the Grammy stage like Lady Gaga or Bruno in her finest wig and sparkley underwear. She will point me out in the crowd and say this one is for you. And, if she doesn’t, for some reason beyond her control (everything is beyond Squinny’s control), I will commit this story to history. In her honor.