I, who? – Round 1 : Page 2

July 21st, 2007

How hard will they look, though, really? Why did they go to all the trouble of scaring the bejeesus out of us with the hour-long sermon on the futility of escape, if we were really so hopelessly trapped? Starting to think it’s all just hype.

After all, I did walk out the front door without stirring the sleepy guard from his psychically induced tete-a-tete with Isis O’Rourke, and that was supposed to be impossible, too. Of course, I cheated. When the game is fixed, there’s no other choice.

I put myself in my potential pursuers’ pennyloafers and decide that Amanda must be a low priority. Actually apprehending runaway psychotic teenagers surely ranks below hanging out in strip clubs or designated dickhead police-themed bars while on the clock. Goddess willing, the constables on my case are staking out my friend’s houses or some other moron’s destination, playing crossword puzzles and munching cream-filled pastries while waiting for me to flee starvation, sexual predators and streetkid lice into their clutches by dark or so.

No doubt that was the fate of most of the girls who fled unfair confinement and realized, alone and adrift, that the odds were not good for getting through a day on the streets without being hit with a big dose of something ugly. If you were lucky, it would only be some debilitating drugs and semi-consensual sex. If not-well, the streets eat stupid girls the way mantises eat wasps. Everyone knows that.

I mumble the mantra: move fast, blend well, and carry a broken bottle. There is a species of street predator adapted specifically to consume my kind, hungering for tender nubile meat. I was safer from bodily rape, at least, at Fairfield; there the monsters were clearly identified by their staff ID clipped to every lab coat or casual flannel, the sex blanched out of their eyes from addiction to a much greater thrill.

Those demons wanted only to rape my soul.

Which is why the watchman was watching winsome women. The real security guard is the lonely fear of dependence. The hospital, after all, is a nice enough retreat for Sylvia Plath wanna-bes and the wounded victims of tampon tragedies, if your agenda is confined to biding those agonizing years between puberty and majority with as little parent as possible.

Preferable, for nearly every inmate, to the madhouses we claimed for permanent mailing addresses, not that we were consulted about our wishes. But I have business to take care of, an upside-down life to set right, and the unsafest thing I could think of was one more night in the dungeon with the Suicide Clique.

They were starting to get to me. I’d been thinking of joining, especially after she told me…

Enough of that. Time’s a-wasting. If I get caught before reaching the Order of the Wheel, I may as well have stayed in the unfunny farm.

Finding it should be no trouble at all; I remember the golden Post-It on which the address had been scrawled over fifteen years ago, as if I still have it in my suit’s lapel, though both the note and the fine tailory I wore that day must be dispersed dust by now. Certainly the fleshbag I had on that day has long since been integrated into the digestive systems of various nematodes and fungal agents of simplification, though I am more curious about the whereabouts of the suit than the body, since I had no say in the design of the latter.

I’m losing the referent. I, who? The security of a world view where the first person pronoun has a static, singular meaning drifts away like the diminishing shadow of the last scrap of flotsam from a storm-shattered hundred-thousand dollar yacht. Perceptions quake and flutter from the struggle to define the world through the competing filters of rival “I’s”.

This is why they locked you up, girl, getting confused, and you know that it’s going to do no good to let him take over.

~ )))0((( ~

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