Sunflower Skins

July 18, 2010

Experiment 12: The Sickly Smile

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: , — Sunflower Skins @ 7:01 pm

I laugh [staged and practiced], I smile [perfectly]. I shoot witty one-liners [stolen from obscure movies and lyrics (but no one here will know that)]. A specially crafted monster of attention. What’s bred in bone [what has been taught] and [what is obeyed]. I am such a good girl. I tell the right stories with all the important, heavy pauses [dramatic exaggeration reels in the audience and pulls on their precious heart-strings (barf)]. Sometimes the lights make me sick and I’m led offset to rest up [I am such a diva and have learned to take advantage of hypochondriac and psychosomatic indulgences] meaning: [impressions and pressures, inside my head and all around me (infecting everyone else, but I think I might be the only one who realizes it)]. I lie on the couch with my head in my mother’s lap [her hand holding a cool cloth to my forehead]. My knees are arched up [and anybody who walked by could see up my dress (heavy, poofy, flowery dress), see my white tights with the little hearts stitched in them (hot and unnecessary)]. I don’t care, cannot care, about anything right now. The lights are everywhere [so bright], their glare is what I will remember most. For some reason my father walks into the greenroom and starts taking pictures of us on the couch [flashes of light], emphasizing the pounding [put a little girl in a box and play her a recording of a jack hammer (at deafening volumes)]. My mother shoos him away [with a hiss and a glare], asks what she can do for me [always asking what she can do]. I have another four or five hours to go. I must put on my face again. Stand up straight and ask sweet questions instead of complaining [I do complain a lot, I’ll admit (but I get away with it)], I even convince myself [so dramatic]. I go to the sink and I wash my face [cold water against hot skin]. My mother brushes my hair a bit [long, blonde, done up in braids and bows (triggers)]. We return to the set, the lights on me [the miraculous] and my mother [the brave]. The audience is on the edge of their seats [bleachers] because that’s the cue [look excited]. We tell the story [again], play the video [again], broadcast my history [bodily, emotionally, unconsciously (unintentionally wounding / creating a monster)]. And smile [perfectly] through all of it [even all these years later].

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1 Comment »

  1. Fantastic. Really really great. It’s nice to see other people writing proper fiction in the first person, as opposed to all these ‘woe is me’ biographies and third person tirades in the best sellers lists. Really very well written :)
    G.F x

    Comment by George Francis — July 21, 2010 @ 5:26 pm


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