Postal Girl’s New Mission Statement

Here’s something from my uber-pretentious prose fiction writing. It’s an unedited piece from something I started writing some time late last year, but have been unable to finish because I don’t write like this anymore. With excuses out of the way, what follows is a little bit of ‘Postal Girl’s New Mission Statement’:

You have never met someone so strongly desiring to be considered an adult while maintaining a series of almost childlike beliefs about real life as Nadia Booth. Perhaps it was the obstinacy of her Polish forefathers, whose blood flowed through hers from her mother’s side. Or maybe it had more to do with her gossamer English heritage, which her father – English only by name – brought to the genetic supper table. Either way, it was with a great degree of determination that Nadia created and shaped her opinions of society around her. She wanted to be sheltered and coddled about as much as she loved being the all-knowing mother superior to anyone she met. Her life was about as unfulfilling as a young woman’s could get. She carried a great yoke on her back, gilded together from a series of unsuccessful past relationships with dull-eyed father figures whose false passion made her ache, but not in a bad way. Her heart sank and fluttered like the tide whenever she considered her misspent youth, where everything seemed to pulse like the glowing red heart of an 80’s film soundtrack or an acid trip she had denied herself. She had attempted, unsuccessfully, on several occasions to convince herself that this period in her life – her faded Polaroid past of only three years prior – was something she could rely on whenever she felt the world creeping on over her current life. She was wrong. Instead, her past seemed to hang over her like a rain cloud, blocking out a sun which to her was already a dying white dwarf of uncertainty.

Her voice cracked in her sleep, alerting her to the sunlight watching her through white satin curtains. She liked to pretend, in most conversations, that this was her favorite time of day. She told avid listeners about the warmth of that early flashlight S.O.S. from the Creator. It told her it was time to begin her day’s work with the sort of zeal attempted only by those who have nothing else to do. She knew then, her eyelids lifting weights off her sight and creaking open like venetian blinds, that she had lied, so she quickly denied it to herself and forced a smile. To the untrained eye, it may have been convincing enough, but she caught a glimpse of herself in her mirror, set on the white wall across the room, and she frowned at that reflection. The smile looked as if she’d swallowed toilet paper coated in Tabasco sauce – not a sight worth smiling back at, for sure.

Nadia leant up on her white sheets and took in the pale, stagnant space around her. She knew that she wanted to go back to bed, placing her head back on the pillow in a dramatic drop, like she was Molly Ringwald or Ferris Bueller. The thought of more sleep, however, only reminded her of the day she had populated for herself. She was young and free to do as she wished, still only kept in check by insignificant university work. However, she had assured herself that, when the adult world came calling, she would be ready for action. So she made sure that she was always busy.

Her hair hung back in the well of gravity, trying to pull her back to sleep, but she shrugged it off and sat up. Then she turned away from the side of the bed that looked at the mirror. Her bedside radio alarm went off, perfectly on time and yet still behind her internal clock, and cracked out some new pop hit that radio overplayed. She scraped her top row of teeth along her tongue; a sign, to her, of her distaste for the song and for the radio and for the disc jockey. His voice was only now becoming clear as the song faded from the speaker, but not from her mind.

Nadia did not want to stand up and move on, but she told herself that go-getters stood up and moved on, so she would have to do the same. The world was already up and moving around her – the sounds of traffic on the streets somewhere outside and below told her as much – and she needed to join the race, lest she be left behind in her eternal youth. With each step away from the bed she reassured herself that she was getting stronger, livelier, more ready for action, and her feet no longer hurt once she’d entered the bathroom. She showered, smiling with toilet paper and Tabasco again as she shampooed her hair and considered all the sex she’d had a year ago. When she climbed over the lip of the bathtub and back out into the bathroom’s tile and linoleum reality, she saw herself in the mirror again. The smile looked legitimate this time and so she returned it gracefully. She pulled on her underwear to the sound of a song that was more than ten years old, depressed by the fact that the same DJ had made the selection even as she convinced herself that she did not resent him. A moment of pause at the closet before a minimalistic row of clothing, to consider what would say the right things about her. Her reflection, looking on from across the room, had nothing to offer in the way of imagination. She pulled on what made her least comfortable and breathed in and out rapidly to assist in feeling casual.

Once she’d collected all her valued possessions and incorporated them all into her outfit, she moved for the door, where she paused again. Her heart felt empty, pumping nothingness through every cavity in her body, so she touched her chest and gasped. Everything around her seemed to swoon and lose its light for a second, so she fell back – like Molly Ringwald or Ferris Bueller – against the narrow wall next to the door. Her entrance table looked up at her and she clasped its edges, as much to steady as to assure herself that she did not need it to help maintain her balance. One hand still held its position over her chest, which was racing up and down a lot for an empty chasm. She shut her eyes and searched her head for someplace safe. Another Tabasco and toilet paper smile took shape around the image of a smiling ex-boyfriend whose abundant acceptance of her seemed to go on forever. His face, now, reminded her a little of a cat or a fox, though it hadn’t before, and he looked like Jesus or Buddha, his head surrounded by a halo of significance. Her breathing slowed. She sighed and opened her eyes. The world was all still there, returned to its upright position and still moving forward, waiting for her to hop on the conveyor belt. All thanks to her ex-boyfriend who was God.

More to follow? Maybe.

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