Saturday, August 15, 2009

"It’s Been A Long, Been A Long Day"

Three chapters completed! An excerpt from Ch. 19:

A few hours later, we sat on the bed, paging through my senior yearbook. A Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon played in the background.

“Things that make you smile,” He read from the Question Pages in the middle of the book.

“My nieces and my nephew.” Meaning Colby. The other nephews needed to learn how to behave. “Okay, next. If you could script the plot for your dream tonight, what would it be?”

“Me as Wolverine from X-Men. The movie.”

“The second one? Also known as, my favorite one.”

“No, the first one,” he replied with no hesistation. “Otherwise known as the best one.”

“My turn again. Things that make you go hmm . . . ”

“Duck-billed platypuses. Platypi? Mammals laying eggs.” He took a bit of the Croissant Hot Pocket in his hand, with the silver and white microwave sleeve still attached. “Now my turn. If you could have your SAT score be 1400 simply by having an ugly scar on your face, would you do so?”

“I had over a 1400, and I had scars. I think it would be 2100 now. And I still have scars.” I lean in to show him my cheek. But as I placed my finger on my face, I shrank away from him.

“What’s wrong? Are you having a flashback? You don’t really have to take another standardized test again. Sometimes I have nightmares that I have to retake the LSAT. Then I wake up shaking, all sweaty and scared.”

“I’m not Fancy Bianca.” I looked at my clean, pinkish fingertips, which had no cocoa-colored powder or concealer on them. “I’m Casual Bianca.”

“What are you talking about?”

“This morning I put on my GMAT outfit, so I would be as comfortable as possible. Then you called, and we went to Johnny Rockets. But I didn’t change my clothes, or deal with my,” I lowered my voice, “dermatological issues.”

“Okay . . . ?”

“So I’m still Casual Bianca.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“I wanted to be Fancy Bianca! I wanted to look nice.”

“You look fine. We got burgers, not filet mignon.” Mike furrowed his brow. “If I’m following what you’re saying, which is doubtful, you’d rather be fancy than casual? That doesn’t seem like you, though.”

“I like being casual. With my friends.”

“I’m not your friend?”

“You are, but,” I exhaled. “I want people to like me for who I am. So I show them Fancy Bianca first. By the time they see Casual Bianca, they already like me. So they won’t run away.”

“Why would they run—That’s insanity.”

“No, that’s LA. And the rest of American society. People judge you by an impossible standard of looks, which I could never measure up to. So I try to make the best of what I have. I try to look normal.”

He swallowed the last of the Hot Pocket. “You’re a piece of work.”

“So are you, kid.”


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