Sunday, 19 December 2010

To Die For

I swerve around the ice. I crash cars, bang bins over; kill three passers-by: so many different people I see, but do not notice. My mind is elsewhere. It’s on holiday! It’s all over the place, slaloming around the words in my ears, around the cats and Kerouac copies; between stitches in roadside ditches, and the widows rich and free. Stitches? I hear an electric scream. Why stitches? They skate into the pictures before me; circling the weathergirl, so beautiful in front of the white fluffy clouds she moves like galleons on a war map. I look again. Squeezed inside a tiny TV she’s winking at the sun. I look into my windscreen and it’s so strange. She’s on a broomstick in her black underwear: the snowflakes, she says, will be stars! with the Beatniks, and cats, and the sunshine stitches on velvet witches.... Stitches? I kill some more people; a dog, and three birds, their feathers confetti around my windows. And there she is again. I speed up, skid and slide; I lose control. No longer do I follow the singer around his song. No longer do I watch the pictures before me; nor see the open air; only bushes, trees, and large rocks. There is an electric scream; my brakes do not work…

And when I look into my window?

I see his sister, she’s like a winter imp, erasing our heroine’s face, freeze-framed under the ice. Soon it will disappear, as figure eight follows figure eight over the glass coffin. She is writing a book! Full of triumphant hate, it is written in short paragraphs all over this television screen. She is burying a lost fame under pages of abuse, in a cuneiform that no-one will decipher. I follow her. I watch her rub out this pretty face; I see her skate and skate, as figure eight follows figure eight, and I see the window scratch and mist; and disappear...

I see her dancing in front of a car, in the wilderness in the night. She is so happy! Nothing exists but the song she dances to. So beautiful, in her short skirt, as she rolls her hips, skips and dances, and laughs; dancing in the headlights; ecstatic oblivion… The boy looks on. Infatuated with her beauty he does not understand the wildness within her; the emotions she has set free.

I see her tease and seduce them. She flirts with, and titillates, them all. His girlfriend loves her, and him she screws; blowing him when he has his doubts... Paradise! Marilyn on the doorstep; Hollywood fireworks in the back bedroom.

Is there nothing there? Is she just a mindless wannabe hooked on fame? One moment suggests some talent: when editing video footage, of her new mates, her ladder to the outside world, she finds a strong juxtaposition of disparate images, which seems to capture something of the boy’s personality. Or is it just an accident?

They see her in the classroom talking about TV, and are attracted to her sexual charms; her short skirts and long legs she exposes to the class. Meeting afterwards for a school project she recognises an opportunity.

Kids! Beer! TV! It is a prison cell in the suburbs. She wants to murder the bovine stupidity that engulfs her.

I see her in the cable station. She is young and beautiful; a bomb blast of energy corseted inside immaculate business suits. She is like a fast car amongst rickshaws. A young Bardot in a Bingo hall. She is a New York fantasy in a provincial town; a star amongst slobs and bores. How incongruous! Working in a small and lethargic local TV channel our heroine acts as if it is CBS. For she has modelled herself on the small screen celebrities, the pretty weathergirls, she has seen at home with her parents. Did they watch the King of Comedy?

We see the madness of ambition; and her refusal to recognise the banal realities that surround her; as she creates her own universe, to live in, happily. If only! But no, she has to expand this world. Her fantasies are not real enough; they are far too small to live in.

It wasn’t to be. Why? She has the looks, the energy, and the vision. And there is the determination. However, she is also too self-centred. Without a feel for the world around her she is not flexible enough to adapt to it; and thus cannot change it. Suzanne Stone. It is all in her last name. No matter where she is she is always the same. Highly attractive, yes, but also selfish and egotistical; and far too ambitious, a trait she cannot hide. Too impatient, and too grasping, she is too easy to read (a professional will exploit this later). Immovable and impenetrable she cannot see other people; or understand their deepest needs. For don’t we all want to be conned just a little bit? To be liked for ourselves alone; not for our status, or our money; or for some fantastic future we are meant to represent.

We see her snatch the most attractive boy in the school: a future rock star that will carry her across the airwaves. She murders him when, after they are married, he puts his drums away.

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