*LIVE READING OF WORK ATTACHED AT THE BOTTOM*
Spoke to someone today who actually heard me,
I was lost when you showed up,
“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain’s words burn in my mind as I wake to see streams of early morning light peering through the curtains suspended across the windows of the conversion van. Those ineffable words, chilling and haunting, strike me at my core. They irk me to the point of psychosis, for how am I supposed to be in touch with reality if the supposed “pivotal equation” for my life is unfinished? I know who I am. I’m Donna, Donna Leota Seaman Kirkpatrick to be specific, born into this disillusion on May 7, 1933. But how am I meant to go on when the reason as to why has been destroyed on more than one occasion? I suppose my good friend Mark didn’t consider that, and it makes my entire being ache with disdain.
There was only one way to keep her quiet. She needed to think it was her idea. She wasn’t like most twelve-year-old girls. She was dark, cynical to the point of self-destruction. Her outlandish sense of humor made it impossible for her to connect with anyone. This being what it was, she never viewed it as much of a problem. She was rather small for her age, the runt of the litter — a description that rang true on more levels than one. In fact, she always felt like an outcast in a society she never had a desire to be a part of to begin with. Her jet-black hair, the coffee-colored irises of her eyes, her swarthy complexion, and her overall disheveled appearance were all very true reflections of shadows lurking beneath the fleshly level — the secret looming, longing to be discovered, revealed. Her name was Simone Coletun and there was one way to keep her quiet; it was simply this: ask her to talk.