The Life And Times Of Little Miss Anti-Social
I suppose I should start at the beginning.
I was born on April 1st (lovin' the irony there) to Hannah and Lyle Carmichael in Los Angeles, California. They named me Eleanor Rose. The year was 1986, before Nirvana but after the wonderful discovery of marijuana. My mother was a pathetic creature really, and I was only conceived to stop my mind-funk rocker father leaving her.
Well he disappeared shortly after I was born.
So I was raised by my weakling mother and ignored by her weekly boyfriends. It's bizarre, I guess I should have grown up an overly dependant child/woman like my mother, who always relied on men to support her.
But I didn't. I grew up as me.
Instead of being overly-dependant, I was too independent. Instead of being too affectionate, I was, to quote Jet, "a cold hard bitch."
So I was a lonely, friendless, but oddly content girl.
Maybe friendless is taking it too far. I had friends, a whole two of them.
Blink, my little blonde boy. Like California's answer to Kurt Cobain he seemed uncomfortable with the world, yet still managed to bewitch anyone who set their eyes on him.
And Katrina, the warmest, weirdest and most wonderful girl I had ever met. Katrina was the kind of girl who could say anything and get away with it, just because she was so lovely.
Life in LA was easy. I got up in the morning, ignored my mother and went to work. I dropped out of school before my senior year ended to get a full-time job. Heaven forbid my mother supports herself.
I was a waitress in a mock French bistro (everything in Los Angeles is fake to some degree) not far from the beach. I had no great ambitions, no goal that I was aiming for except to get enough money to pay rent that month. No, I was quite content just to drift from day to day, working till 8 and meeting Blink and Kat on the cool sands of the beach to drink until even the stars themselves blurred.
I never asked for things to change.
It was another sunny Monday and I gazed longingly out of the huge window wondering if Blink would be awake and out skating yet. I wanted to be out there, in the sunshine sitting in the sand with Katrina as she pleated my long red hair.
But I needed cash to pay my mother's rent and if I wanted cash I had to work.
A black stretch limo pulled up and the whole place went into over-drive. Customers were whispering without caring who saw them, and my boss, Miss "Spinster" Summerson was cleaning like mad in an attempt to make the place look respectable.
And me? Well I couldn't have cared less.
The cheap wind chime above the door tinkled and two people came in.
One was a middle aged woman, with flecks of grey in her brown hair and a permanent frown on her lips. She was well dressed though, obviously rich and definitely a bitch.
If she expected everyone to drop everything and run to help her, she was sadly disappointed. No, everyone was more interested in the boy beside her, her son.
Him I recognised.
His name was Vincent Stokely and I knew him because every teenager in the States knew him. He was 19 and already being hailed as the best young actor in the world. He had just played a character called Murphy, a sort of mix between Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield in a movie called "Don't Wake Me." The film was so popular that it made him the closest thing to a real teen superstar, and quite an over-rated one at that. I had seen the movie, and I knew that Murphy would become a sort of cult icon. The movie was good, but I've always been that way - if something is over-hyped, there's a danger I'll lose interest in it.
I could lie and tell you that he wasn't that good looking either.
But Jesus H. Christ he was. His chestnut hair shone with golden highlights that shivered as he walked. His smile showed perfect teeth, but wasn't too LA false and his blue eyes were sexy and unbelievably bright. He looked like a movie star, but was dressed like a normal kid. His jeans were faded and torn, his Bright Eyes t-shirt frayed along the sleeves.
Usually, any normal girl would collapse in a swooning heap at his feet. But I was no normal girl and I really couldn't be assed, no matter how pretty he was.
I did what I always do with customers. I showed them to their table, gave them menus and rattled off the day's Specials (well, the reaction you had to them was special) in a dull monotone. Then I took their orders, blah blah blah. You've been in a restaurant before, you get the picture. Vincent and his mother were customers and I was their waitress.
In fact, nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Well what happened wasn't exactly unheard of, but it was unusual for me - brace yourselves - I found him attractive. Not squealy girl fainty attractive. It was more of a "I wonder what he'd look like with eyeliner on" attraction.
But I was angry with myself (I'm always angry at something). I don't like boys, because that would mean admitting I need people other than Kat and Blink. Like leads to love and love leads to broken hearts.
Despite my intentions, I found myself gazing at him instead of out the window like I usually do. I couldn't help it, he was so damn nice to look at, sitting with a sunshine halo and smiling politely as his mother rabbitted on.
I took them the cheque when his mother demanded it, and watched him leave with a heavy heart. I went to the table to collect the money (which hopefully included a ridiculously large tip) when I noticed a scrap of paper folded in half with handwriting scrawled on the top, that said "To My World Weary Waitress". I opened it.
"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."
His handwriting was a neatly slanted scrawl and I couldn't help but think that maybe he was a leftie like me, a kindred spirit. But my thoughts were bordering on cheese, so I snapped myself deliberately out of it.
Wonder may fine well be the beginning of wisdom, but that note was the beginning of something else…