Cold nights were the worst. She would sit on the small bench by the window, curled up in a threadbare blanket and stare. Not that there was much to see. It was all cold and barren in the mountains. She was beginning to think her being there was making her cold and barren as well. People always wanted to do things here and she wondered why. “It all looks the damn same” she had muttered one day in the cafeteria. A girl next to her turned and with a pathetic smile said “you know, the counsellors are really great, do you want me to show you where their offices are you?” Awesome. Fantastic. Maybe a counsellor could explain to her why she had chosen this place. Why, why, why. Maybe he or she could explain why she had longed for independence, chosen someplace far away and instead of finding solace in being alone she had found a startling isolation.
Apparently this was the coldest it had ever been. It was ironic right, she was here and now it was this cold.
“Give yourself a task” her father had said this morning over the phone.
Fine, I will.
Pulling the loose piece of yarn from her blanket, she yanked it until there was nothing left and then she set off. She started at one corner of the room, nearest the door and put a book on top of the yarn so that it wouldn’t move. She traced the yarn across the room floor, setting markers along the way to keep it from moving. The yarn was the perfect size, almost. There was a palm sized space left that the yarn, from end to end, did not cover. She took off her sock and covered it. There, all done.
She looked at her handiwork. The room felt warmer somehow. As if the yarn had absorbed all of her body heat and was now keeping the whole room warm. Why hadn’t she ever decorated this place before? Why hadn’t she brought things to keep her warm?
She approached with hunger in her eyes.
What would she see today? The pounds shedding away to reveal pronounced cheekbones, a hallow spot below her neck just above her collarbone, a gap, a gap, a gap anything to show that her work was paying off, anything to be one of them.
She had seen a picture of K the other day flawless, of course. The curve of her spine showing the hint of bone, the thinness of her skin sensual in so many ways. That was next on her list. Thin skin, so that she would be fragile, in need of protection, a hologram to be admired.
Maybe hair would need to be first. Reaching under the sink, she pulled out a box of hair dye. Blonde was in. Not dirty blonde but the angelic blonde, the kind that would be noticed. She would be all pale skin, blonde hair and thin, mostly thin.
Thin is in.
A snippet of a story:
Sailor Moon was my hero growing up. The lightning bolt courage that struck at the right time, the fierce loyalty to her friends, the kickass shoes, what’s not to love? I used to envision sitting in class and a monster with tentacles the width of the room going for my classmates. I imagined that I would break out of my shy girl cocoon, float into the air, do a complicated spin complete with an outfit change and suddenly I would be beautiful. Mostly I would be powerful. I would save them all, even that one boy who I wouldn’t have minded if the monster had swallowed up. I was noble after all; a superhero and even the bad guys needed to be saved.
I may occasionally do this.
Three things I believe to be true:
· A soft blue sky, lazy clouds grazing the sapphire in a soft hypnotic dance is a beautiful thing to see on any day, but especially Mondays.
· Honesty is the key to a successful life, it weaves consonance into the small and large moments of our lives.
· Holding someones hand, a child, a lover, a friend is the purest form of human contact. It is unassuming, with no awkward faltering, simply a desire to hold and be held.