Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knock-Kneed Girl

            She was the kind of girl who rolled out of bed in the morning with a hot, messy head of Medusa hair.  The kind of girl with feathers and weed stems and bits of fuzz tangled in her dark curls, sparkles of glitter stuck to her lips and face, smeared with heavy, black makeup.  Who woke up to a cold room filled with half-full, forgotten teacups and the stale scent of cigarettes mixed with opium incense.  Woke up with a brain full of buzzing and blinking lights, memories of smashed bottles and bubbling witches’ brew and a $3.50 pint of whiskey in a wine glass, lipstick prints on the glass and half a pack of Djarums.  Blink, blink, blink, eyes half-shut with dream glue, still waking from a fantasy of flying narwhals and mushrooms the size of houses, she wobbles across the room, knocked-kneed and skinny, on a quest for water.  Plods down the hallway, freckly elbows hitting turquoise-painted walls, up the creaking stairs, and into the dingy bathroom.  She’s the kind of girl who has a collection of children’s toothbrushes--- Hello Kitty in a kimono riding a purple dragon, a giraffe with bristles for teeth, Spongebob in a pineapple under the sea--- lined up by the mirror, and uses her hands for a cup.  Small, pink lips breathe the water in, a strong jaw swallows, a belly fills and gurgles.  She’s the kind of girl who throws her clothes on the floor instead of hanging them up and takes a shower without shampoo or conditioner, but lots of bubbly, plum-smelling soap.  She stumbles into the kitchen, turns on NPR, and listens to “All Things Considered” in her panties over toast and strong coffee.  The kind of girl who tosses her hair back and doesn’t take milk.  The perfect kind of girl.