There are two of them – the girls.
One of them is cheekbones and natural long eyelashes and brown hair that flips up just right, just so.
The other is angry pouty lips and hair dyed dead black. Eyes half closed from whatever she's been smoking.
The first has purple walls and a boyfriend with white pants. She's going to be a doctor.
The first the family has had in years! And this is a money-grubbing, status-grubbing family, you see?
The second is all sighs. And dents and scratches on all the walls from the angry spirit inside of her. An exorcism might help. But it's lies, we don't believe in anything. No, not as long as we can't see it.
We go to plays; "Marvelous," we say. Like we understand, because we're patrons on the arts and can afford to go to overpriced plays and dance shows.
We don't have a clue but we feel nice. We're writers though all we write are textbooks and bad television shows. Our house is bright colors. We're different, you see?
We narrow our eyes at the beautiful artist who bares her belly.
But maybe we are threatened by her beauty. And we think she may take our daughter away from us.
We go to sleep each night with a stuffed moose above our heads and it crowds our dreams with blood thirsty thoughts.
"Why can't you be more like you sister?" it's unsaid, but it's always in the air. Flecks of these words lit up by the sun. We breath them in.
Dries up our throats.
We trek across town to the family therapist. "Hmmmm," she says in her air conditioned office, magnets on the tables next to the scratchy chairs. The second daughter plays with them. We do not know why. Perhaps she has ADD. Or maybe it is another way she is trying to rebel.
She thinks she's an artist. We scoff. True artists haven't existed since the French impressionist painters or Mozart.
She floods our ears with angry excuses for music.
We try to understand.
We feed her, why does she act this way?
Her boyfriends sometimes wear eyeliner.
They're just as angry as she is, and more beautiful. But each day she is stranger. And then the boyfriends even disappear.
We know what it's like to be different. We've been cursed for a thousand years. We worship. Our people are dark and crooked and rich. Our daughters have sprung from the icy side. The light side.
They are invisible of the shit in their blood.
Nobody sees it but us.
The second daughter wants to cut open her veins at the wrist. She wants to rid herself of the pain and drain out all the hateful blood that links her to the people she is repulsed by. Everything, everything that is physically wrong with her is because of the long line of the people she wishes she wasn't linked to. She hates them, though they are a part of her.
We wish she would buckle down.
Work, instead of dreaming and singing and painting and crying and writing and screaming and playing her noisy guitar. We bought it for her to apologize. Oh…
We can fix it.
We break her CDs in anger, and then buy her new ones.
We think she may kill herself.
She comes home late and sweat drenched. From clubs. Covered in dirt and bruises, smudged makeup, and lace. Sometimes she doesn't even wear real clothes, just layers of black thrift store slips.
We snoop through the layers of her room.
We're liberal. We accept and understand both of our lovely daughters.
We hang our second daughter's disturbing paintings on the wall. We accept. We're patrons.
Everybody starts somewhere.
Nobody starts here -
But the first daughter. Our vision of loveliness. She pours over her textbooks then heads off to ultimate Frisbee practice. We sigh happily, and are able to put our arms around each other.
We're not total failures, you see? Our first batch came out just fine. Only the second one's a little burnt.
The second daughter's been crying. She is scribbling .
We close our eyes. Sleep tight, dear.
We're tired out. Sleep is safest. What went wrong? Forgot the baking soda perhaps…
Mix you with me, Me with you. Cook at 360 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and serve.
Spit it out. Tastes like shit.
Tastes like sore throat from screaming too much. Tastes like wild tears and blood faces, and running for your life to the only room in the house with a lock. Tastes like being the bad one. The regret. The shit child out of shit parents.
Therapist Joan shakes her head.
Magnets: clink. Clink. Big scruffy boots. Tears on cheeks we used to kiss. Kewpie doll cheeks that came from us. We recognized them then. But what is this?
"Where did she come from?"
First daughter shrugs her pretty shoulders. She's tired too.
Four people are tired. One is getting her perfect self the hell outta there. While the others are left to fester.
Tears and shit blood. Too much broken plastic.
We're left wing, shouldn't we be able to understand this angry being that has somehow sprung forth from us?
Her demons are overwhelming. She cannot hide from them.
Shake our heads slowly. Next morning we will all pretend everything is fine.
Wash your face.
Wipe our bloody hands.
She'll be gone in three years.