Monday, May 19, 2014

An Acute Tickle

   I think if I stick my hand in my ear, blood will come out. And if I stick my ear in my hand...

    I was a little in the boondocks and I wanted to get on a freeway so I could go home. I and my car were off road. Excuse me-- my car and I. I wanted to get on the freeway from the dirt. I was sure I could do it if no cars were coming...
    Yeah, I thought it was a freeway I was getting on, but it dead-ended in some more boondocks with shitty, dirty hills all around. (You know about shitty dirt-- makes a lot of dust, gets everywhere, not good for much that I've discovered yet, unless you think it makes your clothes look "cool." I wouldn't know about that.)
    I would take any freeway right now, I thought. Even if it was going the wrong way, I could make it go the right way. Just give me a chance...
    But there was no one to give me a chance, because there never is, and I was in a shitty, boondocky area and you know how it is when nothing goes anywhere. You must know, because I sure do.
    I was dressed kind of nicely, for me. To be in a shitty dirty hilly place with dead ends for roads, I was up to something kind of nice that day. I thought I might even be Spiffy. A long white skirt and some pointy white shoes, like you might wear to a wedding of crummy, low-standards people with no-account friends. I never wear white and I never wear long skirts, to my knowledge. No one wants to see me in white or in a skirt. So what was so funny about today that I had to go and wear a long, white skirt? I don't know what must have come over me. You know when people ask, "Did you get dressed in the dark?" I do everything in the dark.
    I parked in some more dirt by a gas station that looked closed, since that's what there was. I thought if I walked a little bit up the hill from the gas station, something freeway-like might appear to me. Some other wimmins were parking and getting out of their cars, too, but they talked together all chum-chummy like they already knew each other. Nothing has happened and I'm already feeling left out, as usual. But it's not like these other women knew where they were going, either. They just had friends to be lost with.
    I overheard one woman ask the other something about "get back to the road."
    I called out to them as I started walking, "I'm sure if we go up this way--" I wanted to say, "I'm sure we'll see something," but I could tell they weren't listening. It was like when you want to say something to someone in a dream and then you wake up talking to air. "Should I keep talking anyway?" I always think. This happens a lot, and I'm usually awake.
    The 2 women started following me, even if they didn't know it and probably would never admit that they thought I might know where I was going. That's just not how it works. If anyone asked, I'm sure they would pretend it was their idea to walk up that hill by that abandoned gas station, and if it worked out, they would get all the credit in the end.
    There was more road up above the gas station. It may have even been part of a freeway at one time. There were shards of big white numbers painted on chunks of lanes, that might have once showed you what lane to be in to get off onto another freeway.
    I turned around. The women were a little behind and below me, still pretending I wasn’t there. I have followers!, I thought. Just not the kind anybody wants.
    I kept climbing up the hill. I thought my little followers would appreciate that, me continuing to lead them somewhere.
    “I’m sure what we’re looking for will just be a little further,” I said loudly. I knew they still wouldn’t acknowledge me, but still, still...
    I heard two gigglers giggling behind and below me. And they still murmured to each other. I could only catch the bittiest snatches of what they were saying, and yet I knew they weren’t trying very hard for me not to hear. I could have sworn one of them said something about “a cuticle in the space station,” and this made them both laugh loud and hard.
    I felt like I’d been kicked in the guts. Even now, just thinking about it, I don’t want to breathe because it still hurts and I have no Mom to hug me. “A cuticle in the space station.” It had to be about me. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I bet other people have said it about me, too. All my life, people have been saying terrible things about me, and now I know everything.
    “A cuticle in the space station.” It’s the worst thing in the world.
    And that’s why I should never leave the house.