becoming someone else.
Everybody says I oughtta get over myself.
I'm thinking I can't move,
if there isn't somewhere else,
There are costumes and masks, bottles of hair dye lined up on the bathroom shelf, and a borrowed brand of cigarettes (and those shoes, the ones she tossed out in the dumpster that you took for your own); they make up who you have become now, haven't they? Thrift store dresses from the late 70's, my Aunt June had a dress just like that he tells you, leaning in with whiskey breaths and a kidney shaped stain on his sleeve. You squint your eyes and pretend that whatever he says to you is funny, that you don't notice the decay that is playing at charm all around him, and you refuse to admit that this is nowhere you should be.
But the nights get lonely and the years they tick by, one by two by ten by twenty; not a one of us are getting any younger. He calls way too late, in what they call the wee hours, though we all know they are really the hours of desperation. You carry the phone with you into the kitchen, hold your hair back while you catch a light from the gas stove flame, and you sigh deeply. There are promises and proclamations, blurry-eyed role reversals, and we all pretend to pretend to be somebody else, to love somebody else, to just make it through the night (again).
Jane lets her dress fall to the floor, she tears the pages of her teenage diary into pieces, and she lets the lies trill off her lips, vodka laced and cherry glossed. She palms the lipstick cases at the corner Wallgreens, every third week when she changes her hair again. Tonight she will pull on boots and a name-change, Delia Louise who grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago, summers spent at the pinky side of Michigan with a Grandmother who taught her to play cards. She sings at the corner bar on Wednesday when the crowd is light, mainly truck drivers and minimum wagers who never remember her stories, or her name.
But she can't move if there is no place else to go.
(inspired by Can't Lose :: We Are Scientists and a found photograph of Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)