First, the piercings. One. Then two. TheN stud studstudstudstudstudstudstud. All the while silently yelling: BE SHOCKED, FOOLS. PAY ME THE ATTENTION YOU WITHELD WHEN I WAS 13. I’M BETTER THAN YOU. I’M SMARTER. AND MORE SHOCKING. WORSHIP ME. Is what you’re yelling.
The “”””goth”””” years. Shock value. When you take on synthetic anger and rage and hatred and blackness and add them to your already tumultuous inside. When you stay like that long enough to harden in that mold. Long enough not to know how else to be.
When you’re depressed by default, feeding your ridiculousness on the music of make-a-quick-buck rock bands.
When your friend slashes her arm in your cool hostel room and you slurp the blood from it. And you’re not doing it to shock your spectators anymore. You’re doing it because you have made yourself sick. And you are proud of your sick self. You’re amused at their expressions when they pass you by in the corridor. The horror. The fear. The awe. Its heady. You’re powerful.
And then, why not. You start to cut. And its …fun. It takes the pain (what pain??!?) away.
Depressed for what, eh? Haha!
And you’re smart. But not cool, no. never cool. Reserved for a few. Sick. Different. Better than cool.
And then your best friend. She’s hot. She’s got the ass of a goddess who ran away to America to be a 50 Cent video vixen. And yes. You’ve always thought her incredibly beautiful. And your souls are enmeshed and entangled and fused in a way you know won’t, can’t happen with anybody else. There’s not enough of you for that.
And when you take one shot, two, five and that ridiculous Katy Perry song comes on, you kiss her. And you tug and push and grunt and hold and grab, like an animal, and not only because you’ve secretly wanted this for years, but because you have an audience. Because the boys can barely fit into their pants for their ridiculously large boners.
You giggle. You’re delighted.
And then ma. She calls. Right before you walk to steak out with your friends, waragi bottle in hand. She calls and says, “Nyatin. Nyatin para. Don’t go out at night. Don’t be out when it’s dark.”
And after hanging up you and your friends laugh and marvel. How? You squeal. How did she know? How?
How? What a question. She made you is how, you stupid 19 year old. She made you from half or her and half of him. She kept you. Grew you. Birthed you.
And then you’re 22. And you’re fighting. You yell, “I have a job, mother! I work long hours. I’m a writer. That’s what we do! It’s in the bloody contract, ma!”
And she says things.
And you say things
And you’re angry.
And after 2 days of not speaking, 48 hours that you won’t, can’t ever get back now, you go to her room.
You go in and say “I’m sorry mamalai. But the things you said. Take them back. How can you say such?”
And she says, “I’m sorry nyatin. So sorry. When you were born, I didn’t think I’d ever love another child. I went with you everywhere. When you’d hear music, you’d dance. You’d stop in the middle of the road and dance. I couldn’t stop telling you stories, talking to you. I love you, my child.
And you return to happiness.
But only for a short while. Because she leaves. After a few weeks, she breaks up with the world. She snatches herself from you. Or maybe god snatches her.
But really. What is god? The guy I offered everything? I said take from my life, god. Take me instead. I squeezed her hand.
Mummy if you can hear me, squeeze back.
Mummy for your babies, doo. Your babies. Squeeze my hand.
I offered all. And then my mind said. Mildred! Your writing. Give to God. Give and she’ll live.
But I said, nah.
It won’t come to that. What if he snatches it anyway, out of greed? What if he takes it nga it wasn’t necessary even?
She’ll be all right. Mummies don’t die.
But she did. And you closed her eyes. And you held her warm body. And tried to beat your heart into hers.
God said no. How do you say no to…I offered my life.
My life is bigger than my words. He didn’t take. He refused. He took her.