Once Upon a Time...

In the movie Gia, starring Angelina Jolie, many times we hear the stories Gia wrote in her journal.  They are always different, yet always the same.  And they always begin, as any fairytale would - with once upon a time.  Lately, I have taken to writing similar miniature stories.  I present them here for you, to read.  To understand.  To learn from them..

Once upon a time there was a girl with silver in her veins blended with raspberry jam. And she knew as she went about her lonely days that she could never keep her silvery red to herself. That she would need to, have to sacrifice it to appease the monsters pounding at the doors of her mind. And so she went day to day waiting for them to signal, to place an order for delivery, 30 minutes or less. And like the dutiful girl she was always told she should be, she would slice it up into neat servings and place it in a box and clean up the mess and hope that would be enough, that they would no longer be hungry for her pretty dollie porcelain flesh.

But they always hunger for her. It's never enough. "Your silvery red jam is what we need, to dot upon our bone toast. It's what we need to remind you of what you are. Remind you of your worth". And so the girl nodded, their servant, their slave, and skipped along, somewhat limping, down the street, past empty houses with eyes that see and never save those in danger, past the graveyard where dreams and hopes are buried after being crushed. Past the people behind the walls who listen and enjoy and then resume their day. Past the lakes of tears and sorrow cried by the silver-red girl and her kin, her soul sisters and brothers. She sometimes ran, as if they would not catch up, but monsters always catch up, because we carry them in our hearts, our mouths, our dirty flesh, on our backs --

(lie on your back little girl don't move don't think just lie there and stay still let me sample your little girl bosom your little girl flesh your little girl breasts which are barely there but now are bare just for me just a taste slip it in and dip just a taste little girl don't cry now this is your fault)

-- and when you carry something as a part of you, it never goes away.

One day the little girl with the oh-so-tasty salty silvered jam stopped and realized that it had been a month since they had placed an order. She checked the phone lines and they worked. They had not been calling. Or had they? Whispering hushed whispers.... "soon...." they were saying. She knew it would be soon. And after a month of hunger, of denial, she knew they would be rather insatiable. Deadly sweets would be commanded from her and she knew she would need to provide.

It was only a matter of time. Tick tick go the silver blades of her clock. Click click in and out out and in. Relentless aching of the skin.

It won't be long now.

Once upon a time there was a girl with silver in her hair because she never cared for gold. And she sat alone in a tiny wooden box, knees pressed into her ribcage and she screamed and screamed to get out of that box. She screamed long and low and loud and high and you know what? The people walked by, hearing her screams, and pretended she wasn't there.

So the girl with the silver hair swallowed her useless tongue and remained, as always, alone.

Once upon a time there was a little black hole of misery, where a faerie girl lived in sorrow. Each night she would stare up at the sky and watch as the stars began to twinkle, bright white on midnight blue, grey wisps of cloud passing to and fro. And the faerie girl sighed and wished very hard on those stars to become one, to be one of them. To be beautiful.

Each night, she would gather up her tattered wings about her frame, and close her eyes, and imagine the brightness, the warmth, she might exude. She'd twinkle upon people who were lost and sad, and she would remind them that even in the darkest moments there is light. She would do something beautiful. She would be cared for. She would be pure good and light.

But a star drifted down and said, "You aren't a star. You're just a girl in a black hole. And black hole girls never radiate light."

So the girl sighed, and held her head in her hands, and knew that she would never, EVER, shine like a star.

Once upon a time, there was a hole. It was a very deep, dark hole, and contained nothing. Many times, the hole tried and tried to imagine itself as being full of things - full of blood, full of wine, full of love. But in the end, it always remained a bitter illusion. In the end, the hole always was empty. Wine evaporated. Blood leaked and dried up. And love? It flew out of the hole into the sky. Because love is a high thing, a pretty soaring in the sky thing. And a hole isn't anything at all. 

Once upon a time, there was a caterpillar. It snacked on leaves and fruit, and meandered along the leaves like a lazy river passing a fisherman's boat. And then, it would hang out with the butterflies by the stream, impatiently awaiting a day of freedom, of clarity, of beauty. The caterpillar was tired of being ugly, tired of little children poking it with sticks. The day came one day when the caterpillar cocooned itself and waited to change. After many long days of waiting and wishing, underneath the stars, the caterpillar began to wriggle. It was time to emerge, time to be free..... But just as the new butterfly pulled free of the cocoon, a man stepped upon it, crushing it before it could ever flitter its wings. And as the new butterfly died, it realized how foolish it had ever been to believe it would EVER escape. 

Once upon a time, the girl could control herself. She knew where she ended and began. She knew what her destiny was, had felt it in her bones for many many years. She knew that her time was short. That any attempt to extend her days was futile, for in the end, it would catch up with her. It would find her. And it would devour her.

But now, she runs, she tumbles, she scurries over sea-smoothed stones and shore, knowing, always knowing, that this mad dash helter-skelter is pointless, but still she tries, to surface, to breathe, to escape the beast. She has lost all control, in a world where control was once all she had. Her thoughts, words, actions, feelings, are no longer hers. 

Your spirit's so thin there's nothing left to take

She speaks and out fly lightning strikes. Her paranoia envelops her in suffocating warmth until she chokes and gags and falls. She no longer eats. Eating makes her sick. Food makes her throw up, in spite of her growing hunger..... hunger for what? Something. Anything. Control.

So the girl slows down, grasps at air for some semblance of hope, some way to resist. But she knows, oh she knows, she is fooling herself.

Sooner or later, it will win. 

"All the Gold is Gone"