Friday, February 27, 2009
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
For the first time, I wonder if coming to Atlanta has changed me-not just in surface ways, but deep down at the core. There's a hardness inside me I'm not accustomed to. Or, not a hardness, exactly. More like a new level of awareness, an awareness that involves passing judgment.
On the way home from school today, I saw a girl (not from Crestview) who wasn't wearing a bra. Who clearly wasn't wearing a bra, as in lots of bouncing action and look-at-me nipples. And it shocked me, and I wanted to say to her, What are doing strolling down Peachtree Road like that? This is Atlanta, not Woodstock!
I also thought she should wash her hair, and that her leather sandals looked embarrassingly rough-hewn.
Two months ago, that could have been me.
I find a place against the wall. Sandy pushes her tongue around in her mouth while she plucks, but the sounds that rise from her harp....they're lovely. Again I'm struck by how unpredictable our world is, a world in which lumpish girls make beautiful music while beautiful girls turn others into lumps.
"I had to honor her," Agnes says. "Don't you see?"
"What is it?" Sandy asks. "A piece of her scalp?"
Agnes's eyes blaze. "It's what came free. I wasn't.....I didn't have time to be picky."
"Agnes, that's disgusting," Sandy says gleefully.
As for me,I'm slogging through the horror of my thoughts. Liliana died...she jumped from the window and her skull smacked the ground...and Agnes kept a piece of her?
I look at her. Moonlight shines through the slats in her blinds, and her face is slivered dark, then white, then dark. I'm in this room--in this bed--with a person whose grasp on sanity is no longer solid, if it ever was, and my senses kick into overdrive. I need to be careful.
My tears make everything waver, but I'm perfectly capable of seeing what Sandy does. She dips her finger in Sarah Lynn's blood and, looking straight at me, puts it in her mouth. When she pulls it out, she smiles.