June 19, 2012
Mia Zapata. Dorothy Stratten. Kitty Genovese. Dian Fossey. Nicole Brown Simpson. Jennifer Levin. Elizabeth Short. Julissa Brisman. Joanna Messina. Sherry Morrow. Lisa Futrell. Malai Larsen. Sue Luna. Tami Pederson. Roberta Kathleen Parks. Nancy Wilcox. Caryn Campbell. Susan Curtis. Nikitta Grender. Nancy Strait. Kathy Taft. Jean Donovan. Indira Narine. Elnaz Babazadeh. Helen Maughan. Sarah Sanford. Patricia Pryatt. Wanda Trombley. Sarah Hart. Kayti Lynn Dillon. Paige Clay. Sharon Tate. Colette MacDonald. Rebecca Schaeffer. Shaima Alawadi. Laci Peterson. Natalee Holloway. Helen Garnes Darnell. Krissy Bates. Tyra Trent. Marcal Camero Tye. Miss Nate Nate. Camila Guzman.
Sleeping is the most delicious thing. This fly keeps buzzing around my head. There’s thunder in the sky. This morning the ex-husband came to the door. Put away the books. Be a mother. After Ohio was the zoo. There weren’t any smiles in any of the pictures.
There are reminders all over the place. There are words on walls. There are books in sloppy stacks. The champagne in the refrigerator is not a solution. The bus to Los Angeles is not a choice. The grass grows high and green. The grass hides things.
The stepfather loomed in the hallway. The girl hid in the closet reading books late on a school night. After the made for television movie there were nightmares. If a man can kill his pregnant wife and two little girls, overkill them, butcher them, slaughter them, a Jack Daniels and Budweiser drinking stepfather who swings his leather belt can kill a little girl who was ten when he rescued her mother from poverty. All that Malt-O-Meal. All those fish sticks. Rescued and placed in a new brick house. Rescued and fed steak and French toast. Stepfathers can kill. Stepfathers can inspire fear in precocious little girls who learned about menstruation and sex from Judy Blume books.
“Why are you so hard on your dolls?”
“I resent my dolls. They have all the fun.”
A beauty pageant tiara isn’t worth very much, especially when it’s placed on a head that has blue eyes filled with tears because Daddy isn’t in the audience. The applause is hollow. The cameras flash. The dress the petticoat the panties the socks. Everything itches. Swimming naked in a mud puddle is more fun.
One night in Austin. Studio apartment on North Lamar. In bed with the first husband before he was a husband. He was a boyfriend found online. In bed with the boyfriend from New York the woman is half-asleep, sees him looming over her with a pillow, terrified he is going to suffocate her. Hiding in the closet. Depo-Provera. Paxil. Celexa. Fractured women freak out. It’s all nada. Nothing is nada to fractured women. Everything is amplified. Everything is a made for television movie. Everything itches. Everything hurts.
Do not eat fried pies in the kitchen of that house with those children. Do not show naked Ken doll to cousin. Do not get out of bed for any reason. Daddy’s face turns red. The belt swings. Mother cannot console. What is broken in Mother? Why is Mother a coward? Why is Mother protective of that piece of shit bully she married? No bones were broken. Bruises are not broken bones. When a little girl sobs in fear and sorrow something is broken but you cannot see it cannot detect it cannot prove anything in any court of law.
Jay Roberts was outside the window. Jay Roberts was not a threat. Jay Roberts signed the papers, signed away his rights. Jay Roberts sat on a couch in an apartment in Austin, Texas watching the video, eating crackers, vacancy in his green eyes. It’s okay to write a call to action with Jay Roberts as the title. Jay Roberts is not Jay Roberts. In 1998 he was Trevor. He had one name like Madonna. Jay Roberts could be anyone now. Jay Roberts could be Scott Green. Jay Roberts could be Nathan Jones. Jay Roberts could be John Smith. Jay Roberts is only one man to avoid. There are many men to avoid. But women are not little girls. They can and should fend for themselves. Sometimes things get complicated. Sometimes the streets are dark. Sometimes there’s a fumbling for the keys. Sometimes fingers cannot load bullets into the gun fast enough. Sometimes apathetic ears dismiss bloody murder screams. Sometimes it’s fast when it happens and there’s no stopping it. But women are not little girls itchy in petticoats and panties and ruffled socks.
In Wichita Falls, Texas girls learn how to fight. Little girls learn how to bully. Little girls learn how to throw rocks and punches. Girls throw words like hand grenades. Girls in Wichita Falls, Texas are angry little dogs. Sometimes dogs kill people. It is never an accident. It is always on purpose.