Bird is a character that has been in my head for sometime. Tonight, I began to write her into life.
Bird had been dreaming again. It was always like this – a sweaty and confusing transition from one reality to another. A wet shirt and puffy eyes was not how Bird necessarily wanted to start the first day of her final year of high school, but felt being annoyed by this would be rather useless. Blinking and breathing, she slowly looked around her room. Clothes were strewn about impractically, the purple Christmas lights lining her window still glowed against the fog of morning, her desk was hidden beneath piles of late library books and yellow notepads recollecting half remembered dreams – yes, she was very much back in this world.
In the bathroom, Bird examined herself in the mirror. Today she could not decide if she liked herself or not. Placing her hands on top of her breasts, she attempted to picture what she would look like if they weren’t there. She smiled, which was only ever a lopsided and sheepish lift to the left side of her mouth, at the thought of it. Suddenly feeling like it was much later than it was supposed to be, she tiptoed to her clock not wanting to see the time. Fuck. She was late. Launching back into the bathroom, she hurriedly wrapped herself in her dingy ace-bandage, the only thing she could afford, to make her already small tits smaller. Digging through the topography of clothing that had become her room over the last few weeks of summer, she quickly found her favorite wolf t-shirt, a comfortable two sizes too big so as to drape over her angular shoulders. Up went her black Levis, a quick click of her belt around her hips, a slip into her once-white chucks, and Bird went flying to the front door. Passing the living room, all she could see was the television flashing a strobe of fluorescent advertising around her father’s perfectly round and very still head.
She paused to witness the scene, the same image she had seen for what felt like years.
With the disco-lights of consumerism flickering on her face, she decided to speak.
“Bye Dad. I’ll see you later.”
A short, monotonous and hardly audible OK left his mouth, quickly dissolving into the dusty air of the room he hardly left. As she swept through the door, the air of their shared breathing momentarily touched in the hazy light of morning.
Tripping down the street, her black 1967 Datsun Bluebird, in need of too much mechanical work, was the only car in sight. Blaring Suicide from the tape deck, she drummed on her steering wheel amongst the inconceivable green of the hills, vibrant with dew against a sulking sky.
She sang along, making faces and bopping her shoulders.
Oh girl, turn me on.
Oh girl, turn me on.
You know what to do.
Oh girl, touch me soft.
She wondered if Casey would be in her English class. Wondering, in this case, meant very definitely hoping. Thinking of Casey while listening to Alan Vega’s seduction was almost too much for Bird to handle this early on a Monday morning. She quickly turned off the tape, wanting to think of something other than the potential texture Casey Johnson’s tongue, opting instead for a cigarette. She took her last and longest drag while pulling into the high school parking lot. Not soon after shifting into park, Bird felt the ominous and too familiar wave of nerves swell up inside of her. Blinking and breathing, she whispered to no one: please let this year be different.
Copyright © 2014 by Laura Fryer.