* This is a fictionalized account of some shit that actually happened. All the names, locations, etc. have been changed to protect the innocent. – JG *
-Jason. Wake up.-
I sit up, still dreaming, my wife asleep at my side. They are arrayed at the foot of our bed, the women sitting, the men standing behind them. They are five in number, a little family – although I remember later that only three of them are actually related. The teenage Girl sits to the left of me, a strawberry blonde in a black t-shirt under a denim vest. She is scrawny and kind of trashy but she has a very pretty, vulnerable smile. She also has a deep gouge in her forehead and a thin red line dug into her throat where she was strangled.
-What. What is it.-
The Girl scowls. –That stuff you said about me in that last piece wasn’t nice. I wasn’t a Proj slut. I didn’t live in the Proj and I wasn’t a slut.-
-Sorry, Katie. I was just being true to my memory of the situation.-
-Yeah, but you said I was pale and scrawny too.-
I gesture towards her in the half-light. –You are pale and scrawny.-
She looks downcast. –It’s still not nice to say. You got turned on by Katie Falkner and not me, huh?-
It is my turn to avoid her eyes. –I guess. Would it have made you feel less creepy if I did?-
The Girl looks up, wraps her arms around her sides. –It’s a funny thing. You want to be remembered but you want to be forgotten.-
-Yeah. I guess.- I sigh. –Katie Falkner’s dead too, you know. She was beaten to death by that jock asshole she married, Kevin Gardiner, when we were like 30 or so.-
-When you were like 30 or so. I’ve been dead since 1985.-
I sigh. -Right.- We all sit in silence for a moment. The Girl begins again.
-Yeah, so, anyway: you should tell them more about the Punks and the Heads. That whole thing about the Proj doesn’t make sense without it, and probably the whole Snakeland thing too.-
I raise my eyebrows, say nothing. She is absolutely right.