I'm gonna take a big risk with this prose poem, but I'm assuming most of my readers are astute enough to realize that it's not autobiographical, and for those that aren't: this poem is not autobiographical. That means it's made-up. Fantasy. A bit of fiction. Although there is a statement I am making with it. Hopefully everyone will get the point and I won't have to explain it. Let me know if I'm wrong.
“Maybe the suburbs are just far too antiseptic…”
- Moxy Fruvous, “Splatter Splatter”
Cookie cutter homes passively line perfectly manicured lawns
behind young maples planted to enhance the tree line some
twenty, thirty years from now. The palate of maintenance-free
brick faced homes is as limited as the number of vehicles lining
driveways that aren’t SUV’s. Even the dogs seems to bark
with the same bark; no “arf” or “woof” outstanding against
the canine protestations of stray cats and children playing
too near the chain link fences encompassing most every
back yard. Inside one particularly un-original raised ranch,
a teenage girl sits bored on a barstool, her arm propping up
her chin on the kitchen island, a bowl of raisin bran turning
into mush as she idly plays with her spoon, lost in thought.
“How did I get here, and how soon can I get out?” she thinks.
The kitchen wallpaper, the living room fireplace in stone,
even the entry way with marble tile… all her parents’ tastes.
She hated the house, hated the street, hated the fact that she
was grounded for coming home drunk and accidentally trying
to break into the next door neighbor’s house with her house key.
It all looked so… exactly… the… same.
“It’s a good subdivision” her father would remind her
as he wrote out the check for association fees.
“It’s quiet here” her mother would quip as she
made a casserole for dinner and a pie for the church’s
cake walk. “It’s safe” they would assure themselves
when she came home smelling of marijuana and hiding
blood shot eyes behind designer sunglasses. That they
didn’t know about her hatred lurking was of no mind
to her. Let them figure it all out after she was gone
she mused. She didn’t care how, either. Life, death,
stripper, suicide, road trip, runaway – anything but
here. Anything but white walls and cream carpet
and the “nice boy” next door that her parents thought
she should date… the one with the thick glasses
and computer magazines and A’s in physics.
He wasn’t her type. He was going places. She was
more interested in getting places. Fast.
She failed at science; her parents failed to support
her dreams of being a professional dancer.
She failed at finishing her chores; her parents
failed to see the importance in dating the boy
with the motorcycle that lived in an old Victorian
in need of paint and updating. So she learned
how to cook, specifically how to dice, mince, chop,
and any other use she could find for wielding a knife.
It was therapeutic, after all. And her mother
was so proud of her that she could make dinner
without a microwave. Too much boredom, too much time,
too much restlessness, too much resentment.
What might be better than carving the turkey?
Slicing carrots? Could it be carving out a spleen?
Slicing up a variety of finger sandwiches made with
digits? Her fantasies twisted and darkened as she stared
out the kitchen window at the patio furniture beyond,
still idly playing with her spoon and raisin bran.
She was tempted to see what it felt like to slip a knife
into human flesh… her parents’ flesh…. She was…
so… utterly normal… when smiling.