Skip to main content

Featured

Not me, her

In 1987, I found myself trying to write about a high school girlfriend that had been molested by her father when she was a child. I was 19 years old, struggling to find my way through a screenwriting assignment about delivering character. The idea was to describe messy young love between two Sid and Nancy want-to-be's. But that failed, as I could not stomach oversimplifying her complicated past, events that shaped her life as a 16 year old with a mohawk, a smart mouth, a lingering stare. I understood that I had to start at the very beginning.

No one wanted to hear the story. When it was my turn to read in class, it even came to be that some of the other students asked to stand in the hallway before they heard another description of what happened in that lonely little house in the middle of nowhere. I was trying, and failing, and trying again to get things right, to explain how this happened, how it could happen to this girl, how this man found his way to acts of selfishness and d…

Wake up, no Katz's


She wakes me up with three light knocks on the door, then runs back to bed pulling the covers up to her chin. I lay her clothes out on a chair and make coffee. In a choreographed silence she stands, waiting for me to button her shirt. I sip from my red cup, already cold, already spotted with milk like an alligator's skin.

Yes, everything is there in the bag. We go out, her hand tight in mine and then she begins to talk. She tells me the clouds are moving, just very slowly. She tells me that in Paris it rains a lot. She tells me that people who are evil have bad smells coming out of them.

Inside, her teacher studies us, the measured movements, the balancing on one foot as she pulls off boots and slips into Mary Janes. Me, fixing her hair after the red hat comes off, the kiss on the forehead, the nod of her tiny chin.

I am already exhausted, already missing the messy freedom of July.


Sometimes I just want to stick my head out a window and scream for a long time. Sometimes I want to call in sick, and be responsible for nothing.

I want to go home.

I want E to go to Katz's for hotdogs with mustard and kraut on Fridays after school. I want to take her on long walks in Central Park and see the parade of dogs and strollers, of leaves and bicycles and roller skates. I want to go to Coney Island and say goodbye to summer, like I did every September in New York.


She dances at a party, hands in fists, feet high in the air. E stomps and wiggles with a gleeful desperation, with defiance. I twirl her, spin her, throw her up in the air above my head.

Anyone that can dance like that will survive.




Comments

liv said…
That picture!!
There is a lifetime of expression in that tiny face. So much said with those swollen little eyes.

Don't hold that scream in, Marco. It won't do anything good for you, burning it's brand into your chest. People who scream like that - will survive.
Mely said…
Oh! Please do scream.

Maybe it helps a little.

Mely
Marco North said…
I do a bit of screaming sometimes under an AKA. Go here. http://martinruby.bandcamp.com/track/eadie
Ryan Romanchuk said…
where did summer go :(
Screaming, crying, blogging: all great ways of expressing your pain. Be happy you two.

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs