It’s been seven years since I realized something was wrong – why do people stare, is something hanging out? Hanging out, let’s just kick it, park up in your driveway, smoke a fat blunt and forget time. I don’t have any cigarettes but – yeah – I’ll have one. I hate the way it makes my mouth feel afterwards; unclean, stale – why do my lips taste like dirt? Dad, can you please brush my teeth?
There was a man who waved two hands at me while I was driving. Split second I decided I didn’t wanna go that way. What’s his problem? Fark off. The sun’s warm on one side of my face and I haven’t felt the day like this in a long while. Look at the sky – the clouds are so pretty. What is everybody’s problem? Dad – can you please brush my teeth?
My mouth feels dirty and I’m starting to hate everything that comes from it. Yesterday I told my flatmate everyone has masturbated with the showerhead and today I told my bestfriend her boyfriend is a little bitch. There were a few nice things, too, mostly when nobody was watching. Stashy sat in the sun and I sang him a song, Waltzing through the neighbourhood and prancing on my paws, curious to find a new bestfriend, I’ll try the next four doors. He was uninterested, bored, so we skipped the sing-along and ate breakfast together while I drank black coffee, my hands warm and white around a red kitty mug I was given for my twenty-first birthday. It’s my favourite coffee cup, and I take one to work so I don’t have to wander as a lone pride – pride. That stuck up bitch who doesn’t say anything all morning, a recluse, acting like your bestfriend at smoko – what’s her problem? Surely she has one, walking around with headphones in and carrying on like she owns the place, like she’s the ruler of her own world, because maybe she is in a distant diamond way. I think about her as I’m driving home – my stomach feels small and my bones are stiff, I haven’t eaten all day. I can’t be bothered running in this shit, who can be bothered running in this shit? The house is going to be cold, I wonder if Anna’s home? Dad, can you please brush my teeth?
The florescent lights in the ceiling give me a headache, I’m exhausted but my mind isn’t, it just won’t stop running, running, why won’t you stop running? Cian’s spent all afternoon preparing a three course meal, seared scallops and broccoli with a sweet corn puree, vegetarian lasagne with creamy mushroom sauce, and for dessert, an array of lightly-filled profiteroles, delicately glossed with rich dark chocolate. Our house smells heavenly delicious, like a French bakery misplaced in Bangladesh. Once we’ve eaten, I shower and hop into bed, warm, cosy, electric blanket – on, with a book to read. The rain is pattering away on the iron roof above our heads, and I’ve been on my feet all day – dad, can you please brush my teeth?
When I was twelve, I suspected one of my teachers was a paedophile. During class he touched the girls, not sexually, just very affectionate and overly present. One time he caught me staring while he sat on a desk and wrapped his legs around one of my classmate’s. Back then, that was the kind of thing kids did with friends, and he took advantage of this connection as she stood before him asking for help. As I watched, my insides became perplexed and I bore a silent rage deep inside of my chest. When I got home, I told my mum, and then the next day, one of the lady teachers at school. My friends and I plotted his murder, and I happily embraced the idea of being their ringleader. Nobody wanted to believe me, just stay away from him, and my accusations were next to worthless. He kept his position until three years later, after I’d left and another three generations of kids had been exposed to one man’s vile obsession with children of youth and curious naivety. I thought about cutting off his hands, slicing out his tongue, taking his blood to the grave, gloves, overalls, a brush, cigarettes, a cold murder waiting for me at heaven’s door, but of course, knew the truth would eventually come out; accusations of being a sadistic sociopath, even though I would have done the world a merciless favour. Nobody would thank me – they would try – but nobody would. Like a gay couple walking the streets in broad daylight, the thought of acknowledging my bare presence would conjure anxiety similar to that of a Catholic man making eye contact with two women tongue-bashing. Fuck paedophiles. Every misfit attempts to smother their compulsions with claimed ignorance; the line between animal and man remains broken by magnitudes of manipulation, selfishness, and hate. I need thicker skin and warmer socks, what’s the time, where’s my cat? I’m getting sleepy, dad, can you please brush my teeth?
It seems that situations will forever go from bad to worse, and some things are left better unsaid, so instead, they just sit there, taunting and creatively desperate to find a way out – maybe this is the universe telling me to let my mind have its say, don’t be shy now, let it out. The city looks different, new buildings erected and stacked on top of each other like silver Lego, shiny checker windows blocking my view of the sky, the candyfloss clouds, occasional rain. I use to hate this place, but in three years, it’s changed, lathered with business suave and hard-working sweat. People still drive around with their eyes closed – I wonder if I’m the only one who’s noticed; the only one. We’re all the same because everyone’s different, but you’re the only one. The older I get, the more I understand this and the way society works, feeding off our unique story and uncensored energy; society pleasing those who please them, society providing safety and emergency support but never getting close enough to make you a friend, because society doesn’t need friends, it just needs your co-operation and dutiful compliance to getting a nine to five job, starting a family and making more and more money, for yourself, for the people, and most importantly, for the ruling government, whoever that may be. There was a day when you could work without feeling like a failure and nobody gave a shit whether or not you made that next sale – some moral improvement of Civil Rights, we’re all slaves now, she says, I know that man better than she does. We’re building empires on cold blood and forgetting simplicity. My joints are aching and starting to click, my lips are sealed, I can feel my hips – dad, please, can you brush my teeth?