The years here have been marked by the world change that began weeks into her first year at school. A change that has left the world she ran from stained that no war on terrorism can remove. Already dangerous to be in a landscape she was never groomed for but a place she ran to for shelter where ladies asked, “Aren’t you luck to be here!” Honored and breached at the same time sitting with her superiors, answering, “Yes. I am lucky like others are lucky to have been born to the families they belong to.” But sitting back undressed in the bleachers of convocation she wonders if the likes of her will ever have her name called out.
Weeks later it doesn’t matter anymore as she watches over and over, again and again, the planes, the planes, hitting and falling, crashing and burning into her mind even after she walks away from the tube. Television became like horror to her that she should maybe take with humor like good people do, but her god damn sensitivity and her desire to avoid unnecessary fear keeps her from it. She stopped watching when the news became the same, as the same story’s been on repeat since she was eighteen.
It’s been three and half years and the heroes of her teenage years and the programs she licked up are consciously ignored. Protesting at rallies, escorting women in the health clinic, keeping up with the National Organization for Women, the news programs, nightly CNN perspectives, political pundit debates, and Christine Amanpor use to keep her so well versed in a world she can’t even bare to look at. She hasn’t watched the Latest News like she hasn’t renewed her membership never mind even considering to continue her run as vice-president.
When she glances up from a conversation to the crowd in front of the television over the years, the view gets smaller as the screen gets crowded with graphics and colors and morning show personalities, making CNN look no different from Fox News, and liberal views around her reminiscent of group mentalities that terrorize her.
NOW calls from California asking her to come back to them like the television beckons with friends who adore it. If not for her lovers and their affliction with cartoons and music videos she could count on one hand how often she’s watched since. It doesn’t matter since the screen that she purchased her first year, thinking it was necessary, is now in another’s room flipping the late late night shows. Just as well since it only kept her up at nights for the same reasons that do these days. The company of beauty or its absence when their work or lovers call.
Marked on the back of her neck by a hickey kiss, the sea change from the violence of her first moments in college have come full circle to mark her in the last year. A last answer to the questions that she asked…her name, called. (Scream.) she didn’t fail. or blush. or gag. at a time when failing and falling have become easier, along with dancing in public, admitting her name, getting played, and being shamed.
A little…little scared. That’s why she hides her face behind her hair hoping that her eyes don’t give it away. She needs to drink and get high, finding some peace to partner with for the evening. Would it look desperate to ask you to pray for her soul. Pray for her body. Ask for hands to bless her. Sitting before the television into the early morning she catches glimpses of her future in a screen she only glances up to from time to time. She listens with one hand over her eyes, the other between her legs, supporting a heavy head. It is here where crying is quiet and secret behind the occupied seat in front of her. She didn’t know when it began, this, that she would really really care.
And I’m scared. I already care. I already care about you. I care about all of our collective futures that are marked like her on her leg, me on my neck, you on your heart. all marks we want to hide. Put your hands on me god, wrap me in purple blankets, so that she won’t have to.