Thursday, March 22, 2007
Our SECOND (not first!) published collaboration.
In the right kind of story, I'd buy a purple roadie bike at Valencia
cyclery—the one that's on sale, the cheapest one there—it's a beauty
with a small, bright purple frame. My friend, who sold and repaired
bikes at the shop, introduced me to her. I hear it is possible to fall
in love with bikes, and if I were prone to that sort of love, the
purple roadie would be my special lady, and I'd name her Sweet
In the right kind of story, I'd ride all the way to Humbodlt
county just to tell Jordan I loved him. When I found him and told him,
he would tell me that he did not love me, so I'd tell him the truth.
The truth would be that I did not love him. The truth would be that I
couldn't go back there and Jordan wouldn't need to know where I came
from to know what back there meant and so, he'd let me stay with him
in his house set high in the mountains and deep in the forest.
In the right kind of story, the purple stains underneath my eyes
would disappear and bright pink would appear, and the fake blonde
highlights in my hair would grow out and my ashy hair color would grow
in. I would drop all my extra weight, I'd be all skin and bones, and
the bones in my mouth, my teeth, would be crumbling and no, it would
In the right kind of story, late at night, we'd leave the house
in the forest and ride down to the dumpsters in the town. We'd
dumpster dive for food and sometimes we'd find tea and we'd drink hot
tea back in the forest, back at home. We'd sit on green milk crates
and sip hot tea from yellow plastic canteens. I can see our bony
fingers, pale and dried pink at the tips, wrapping around those
In the right kind of story, I'd lead a hillbilly life and when I
reached my maximum hillbilly girl potential, that is when the Police
Chief would declare Humboldt County was turning into a hellhole and
he'd declare that meth was at the center of it. He'd decide it was
time for some punishment to take place, so the Police Chief would
bribe some pathetic loser user and the pathetic local user would
mention the meth lab in a basement of a house set high in the
mountains and deep in the forest. One night when the moon was looking
swollen and hanging low, the police would creep up the lonesome
mountain road and the silent, single file row of black and white cars
would turn one by one onto a narrow country road that led to the front
of the house where I would be waiting. I'd be standing on the porch
with a shotgun in hand, holding it the way Jordan taught me, holding
it and aiming it at them real serious like, so serious like the cops
would fire. They would gun me down and that would set the house on
fire and cause the lab in the basement to explode, and the entire
house would turn into flames the color of the swollen moon.
But, as you probably know, this isn't that kind of story. No,
this is a story about a girl who lives near the city in a house with
her boyfriend, who is sleeping. She can't sleep and she can't really
eat either. All she can stomach is sushi, sparkling mineral water, and
lattes. You see, there is hardly any hillbilly girl left.
words:Zoe McCann. drawings:Jasmine Ou.