Wednesday, September 28, 2005

As pretty on the inside... 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWhen I was in 6th grade, the most popular and beautiful girl of the class above me was named Margaret. Everything seemed so effortless for her. She was the lead in the school play, she made straight A’s and she was a star athlete. She had perfect skin and long golden hair. Perhaps she was bored because everything came so easily to her, or she was just a sadist, but she liked to amuse herself by torturing the class odd ball, a withdrawn loner named Lisa who suffered from a mild case of trichotillomania. I’m not sure if the administration at the all girls school I attended had some sort of prime directive about interfering with bullying, or if they were oblivious to the cruelty and psychological terror perpetrated by Margaret and her flunkies, but they seemed to ignore the situation and let Margaret behave as she pleased. Perhaps they were conducting some grand social experiment to see how far she would go. Probably Margaret wanted some authority figure to stop her, to set a limit for her, but until anybody did, she remained intoxicated with her power and sadism.

One day in ceramics class she was taunting Lisa about something and the girl quietly took her palette knife, walked over to Margaret and stabbed her in the back. The knife sank over an inch, missing anything vital, but the amount of blood and Margaret’s screams were impressive. The police came, and Lisa was sent off somewhere for a psychological evaluation. She was expelled from school, and the last anyone heard she was attending an out of state boarding school for troubled girls with psychological problems.

Margaret recovered, but soon after she got back to school she underwent a dramatic physical transformation. Seemingly overnight, her hair, which had been golden, soft and flowing, became a brillo-y mess, like it had been fried by some harsh chemical process. She developed cystic acne, and her skin, enflamed and ruddy, would occasionally erupt in boils. She ceased growing in height and began to pack on weight. Her figure, which had been so promisingly voluptuous, thickened into a dumpy, stout mess. Her facial features coarsened and even her brow seemed to thicken and jut out. However, the last vestige of her beauty, her voice, actually increased in loveliness. It seemed incredibly incongruous with the rest of her appearance. What is even odder is that she seemed resigned to her fate, and instead of becoming bitter and nastier, threw herself into voice training and opera. She didn’t seem to mind that her former toadies and sycophants now shunned her - she was above petty social concerns. The only thing that now held her interest was opera, which was a good thing, because now she had the figure for it.

Another odd thing was that Margaret’s younger sister, who was also beautiful, remained so. She retained her fine pored skin, lithe figure and delicate features and grew to a willowy height. The entire situation was really like something out of a fairy tale, as if the palette knife had wielded some magical power and somehow cast a spell over Margaret revealing her true, inner self. Margaret accepted her fate, seemed almost happy to shed her beauty and popularity with their pressures and distractions so she could concentrate on her singing talent and love of opera. Even if she had been cursed, it allowed her to achieve some sort of state transcendence and find her true calling.

I read your feed since I'm a librarian and because your cousin the bass player told me to, but now I may just read it because you're a damn fine writer. I already knew you could describe a patron pissing in the stacks so vividly that it's as if I were standing there myself wondering what to say or do, but this post is poetic and touching for those with the right sensibilities.
Once in 5th grade a classmate tried to cut the lips off another classmate, because he was making fun of him
This is a year old, but, in case you get notified of new comments, I thought I'd add that I agree that you are a talented story teller. Keep up the good work.
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