too happy, too sad, too blonde…….too much effort

when i was 11 i tried to giggle

it seemed the more you giggled

and the less you laughed

the better off everyone was

when you were at the party

or the store

or shopping at the mall

-i was never shopping at the mall…

i was loitering and rummaging

which is all i could afford to do-

i was not beautiful

i was not quiet

i was not a half-wit

and i was not at all good at giggling

i would practice in the mirror

behind the closed bathroom door

i watched the girls who were loved

the gaggles of gigglers

they would talk about things

things i could not understand

the proper way to be blonde

the right huge bow to wear with this or that

cars, trips over-seas, clothes clothes clothes

and makeup

but mostly the talks and scores of giggles

were directed at other people

the boys who were so cute

the girls who were so unworthy

what they had heard of this one

or that one over there in fake keds

the gaggle of gossiping gigglers

there was never talk of the news

or of the environment

they all read books

a series of garbage

“sweet valley high”

i worked and saved every dime

wiping snot from the nose of toddlers

and delivering papers

and walking door to door to con strangers into buying the newspaper

so i could go out and buy

every single sweet valley high book

i read the first paragraph of the first book

it dawned on me

one of the unimaginative toddlers

i watched weekly as their parents went

to the club or suppering (verb) with proper people

one of the children filled with green mucous

wrote the entire series in baby hieroglyphs

after one paragraph i was exhausted

from trying to find the meaning

and justification for publication

of mental diarrhea, which is a kind description

but i kept them in case

and i hid my love in the closet

under blankets and dirty panties

stacks of paperbacks mostly stolen

jack, chuck, willie, allen, robert, tim…..

books of roads and whores

insanity and herion

drinkin druggin and too much

motorcycles and buddhism

beets pan and perfume

in hopes i would giggle my way into friendships

it was a skill i never mastered

i was never fully aware when the giggle

was the appropriate response

when i was 12 i laughed and embraced madness

i truly was

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