The retro viruses were totally cool.
And the thing was, she reflected, that she didn’t really want to, anyhow. It wasn’t as if she didn’t care; she just did not want to. But people didn’t seem to understand. Whenever she filled up the lined yellowed pages of her huge purple notebook, whenever she spaced out in the middle of a crowd, whenever she felt like going to sleep forever just so she could be away from questions and prying eyes and people who unnecessarily bugged her, they looked at her as if she was crazy and talked about shrinks and psychiatrists.
They took her once.
They took her once and she hated the man from the moment she laid her eyes on him, from his fat blubbery lips to the three hairs pasted across the wide expanse of his bald head. He was methodological; he seemed to lack any real empathy. She hated him. He made her fill out a bunch of forms and she knew how it went, the whole charade and she ticked off the options she knew she was supposed to tick off. He told her to talk to him to tell him about what went on in her head.
She hated hated hated him.
You can’t imagine, she thought. You haven’t the slightest idea what goes on in my mind, and I won’t won’t let you in not ever you can’t get in there, never ever. She talked to him though. Because otherwise she wouldn’t have been allowed to leave. She told him what she wanted to hear, she knew how to deal with his sort; she knew how to tell them exactly what they wanted to hear, that she would work on it, that she was deeply depressed. They always pinned it all on her belonging to what they called a ‘broken family’ even though she couldn’t really see what was so broken about it, herself. She wasn’t the least bit bothered that her father had left her and her mother when she was six; she couldn’t care less not really. If he was as much of a moron as she remembered, they were better off without him. And really did it matter did it really? An ‘emotionally balanced upbringing’ was apparently not possible under these circumstances, but she didn’t really see how that was. Sarah from grade school had two moms and she turned out fine didn’t she. Fine by them. They didn’t try to take her afterwards.
The shrink wrote her off as clinically depressed and gave her a plastic bottle full of pink pills that she was supposed to take once daily. They made her pleasantly drowsy so she once took three at the same time and spent the rest of the day in a pleasant stupor and when her mother found out she had to go to the hospital to have her stomach pumped and then the mother kept them locked in a drawer in her cupboard.
She was understandably bummed.
She just got one pill a day and she couldn’t even write; all she wanted to do was sleep all day because her brain felt suppressed, dull.
She painted though in those days. She painted huge paintings with red slashes down their centers and strawberries for heads. She painted lion carcasses and orange war moons, and bloodbirds hovering above. She painted her socio teacher and how surprised he looked at finding himself in a roomful of adolescents not wanting to be there. She painted cans of apple juice. She painted worms rent with fury.
She filled up pages upon pages and no one thought much of them just one boy the one with the clear sad brown eyes thought they were good except that he never said anything just looked and looked and never talked. She wished he would, wished that someone would make her feel better about herself instead of putting her down and criticizing and putting her under scrutiny for all the wrong reasons. She hated hated it all. She wished the world would make sense. She wished that it would make sense to her, that the weather should match her mood, that she shouldn’t always feel as if she was walking, trudging through a dream.
She would like very much though to walk on air and consort with cloaked strangers who flew off with bursts of smoke. She wouldn’t mind having a pet dragon to fly on to roar with when she was madder than mad. She wouldn’t mind having tea with the Hatter. She wouldn’t mind if the trees bleeded their colours onto the pavement and people slipped in it and rolled themselves into green gravel coated delicacies ready for frying. She wouldn’t mind if the whole world was under the scrutiny of some giant unknown creatures working for the greater good.
She wouldn’t mind, no, not at all.
Not at all.