Writing at work is an odd process. It’s not always linear, and trying to decipher the steno-pad sheets I tear off and bring home to type up sometimes feels like pouring over the Rosetta stone, but I am still amused. Passes the time, anyway. Without further rambling, have another little chunk of Little Miss No Name‘s backstory.
After Mommy hurt me, she was extra nice to me. Dressed me in new clothes, brushed my hair, told me I was her favorite and that everything would be okay now. She tried to make me all my favorite foods, like fish sticks and peanut butter and hamburger sandwiches, but I couldn’t eat them. I couldn’t talk or cry or laugh or sleep any more either, and moving was really hard. Mommy sat me on the bed and tucked me in, but because I couldn’t sleep or go anywhere I’d just lay there and watch her sleep. She’d toss and turn and moan and cry and sometimes scream or say Oscar or Daddy’s name or sometimes mine.
At least she didn’t have her bottles any more. She smelled like soap and the cookies she sometimes baked, or salty if she’d been crying, but not like the brown stuff. One day I saw her with one of her bottles, after she got a visit from a bunch of policemen who walked all over and asked her all kinds of questions about me. Mommy held me close the whole time and some of the policemen looked at me kind of funny, but none of them said anything. After they left, Mommy started crying and wandered all over the house with a bottle in one hand. I tried to tell her no, to make her put it down, but I couldn’t even move my lips or make a noise.
She seemed to know it was bad; she put the bottle to her mouth a bunch of times, but then she’d take it away, crying and shaking her head. Finally she threw the bottle against the wall, and it exploded into a hundred million pieces. They were really shiny, almost pretty, but it made me think about the time Oscar knocked one over and how Mommy hurt him and took him away. I wondered if Mommy would punish herself, since she’d even broke it on purpose, when Oscar had done it by accident.
I kind of hoped she would, even though I knew that was a bad thought and it made me a bad girl for thinking it.
Mommy must have been thinking it, too… she sat me down on the kitchen counter and turned me so I was looking at the place where all the glass was. Then she started taking off all her clothes. I didn’t know why, especially because Mommy had always told me it was bad to be naked in front of people. I wanted to ask her, or to stop her, but I couldn’t talk and my hands only twitched a little. She stared at me for a minute, and it was really scary because it was like looking at the plastic people in the stores where they look at you but not really, and her eyes weren’t teary or angry or anything. Just like she wasn’t there. When she was all the way naked, she went over to the glass and got on her knees in the mess, making a bunch of crunching noises. I’d cut myself once on a water glass and it hurt a lot, and I bet what Mommy was doing hurt plenty, too, but part of me was still happy, even happier when I saw red stuff start spilling on the floor from her knees. Then she just laid down on the floor and started rolling in the glass.
There was a lot more crunching and a lot more blood, but Mommy wasn’t making any noise or acting like it hurt or anything.
I was a little mad. If it wasn’t hurting her, it wasn’t really punishment, was it? I wanted her to hurt, wanted her to feel like Oscar did, or I did. It didn’t seem fair that she could do something like that and not suffer for it. Not fair at all. Something even worse should happen to her, and she should feel it the way Oscar felt it when she hit him, the way I felt it when she put the shiny thing in my chest.
Those were bad girl thoughts, but I still thought them. Worse, I liked thinking of them. Maybe I was really a bad girl, just like Mommy said. Maybe I had made Daddy go away, maybe it was my fault that Oscar had to go in the shed.
Mommy had been rolling in the glass for a while; I could hardly tell that she was naked, with all the blood all over her. She finally stopped, and stood up, really slowly, and started walking to me; I wanted to run away but couldn’t even move a little bit. She reached out to me, and her hands were all bloody. I tried to turn away, because I didn’t want her to touch me and get me all bloody, but nothing happened.
She picked me up and hugged me, and it was gross and sticky and smelly; she was getting blood in my hair and on my clothes, and some of the glass was rubbing against me, like Daddy’s face but not happy. It didn’t cut me, though. She smelled like her brown stuff, and when she leaned her head over mine it smelled even worse than when she used to drink too much of it, and my mouth tasted like I was going to throw up.
Then Mommy did something weird and happy and angry all at the same time. She bent in and kissed me on the head and her lips were dry and gross but felt good.
“I’m sorry, baby. I love you.”
I didn’t know what she was sorry for, or if she was really sorry, but it didn’t matter, because she had said the thing she never said and I think she really meant it. I stopped trying to move, to get away. I laid very still and let her rock me, let her hold me and kiss me and love me in a way she hadn’t done in forever.
Mommy wasn’t always mean. But when she wasn’t being mean were the worst times, because something really bad was coming. Like now.
After she was done holding and rocking me, she took me to the bathroom and turned on the water. She sat me on the toilet, even remembering to check under the lid and show me there were no monsters first. She stepped in the shower and I could see the water turn red right away. She took the soap and ran it over herself really quick, then bent down and did something to the tub that made it gurgle and the water to come from the faucet instead of the shower.
She reached for me, which wasn’t as bad as earlier since she’d washed her hands, and tugged off my pretty purple shirt before she sat down in the tub with me in her lap.
It was nice. Warm. Safe, as the water rose up over my legs. Mommy even shampooed me and used her scrubby to clean her blood off of me.
It was warm and soapy and steamy and happy. The best I could remember. Then she lifted me out of the tub, turned me around so I could see her face and I was afraid again.
She didn’t look like one of the plastic people anymore. Now she looked like one of the crazy angry people on the TV late at night when I wasn’t supposed to be watching, with twitchy eyes and a mad smile that reminded me of the angry clown who fought Batman.
She shook me hard enough that I thought that my head might fall off, and she started laughing. I didn’t think there was anything funny, though, and she sounded more like a tea kettle than a person.