(“I’m not just anybody…” --Aaliyah)
You can’t remember a time when your heart didn’t hurt. It’s become a part of you, a facet of your personality just like your goofy romanticism and your jealous, angry streak. You have given up wasting countless hours trying to put a finger on why you feel so bad, or what you can do to fix it. You wrap your pain around you like a blanket, because it’s the only thing that wards off the chill.
Your friends tell you they’re worried about you. They don’t like it when you constantly wear black sweaters and paint your face with blood-red lips and pale, pale skin. They feel more comfortable when you’re wearing hues of shimmery pink with lip gloss that makes your mouth feel like it’s been dipped in honey.
They listen when you talk to them, and they offer sympathetic smiles and strong shoulders to cry on when you decide you need them…but…they never ask why. They don’t probe. They don’t press. And you don’t want them to.
They think you’re over it. After all, your words are the same as always. You work as hard as you used to. And you giggle and joke and play around just enough to escape their radar. They watch what you eat at restaurants and they offer you snacks continuously, which you dutifully choke down because you know they’re watching…but…it never stays in your body. And you can’t eat anything without feeling a dull weight in your stomach.
You tell yourself that this isn’t like you; that you’re stronger than this, that you don’t need their pity and you sure as hell don’t need HIM, but when you’re alone at night and you cuddle under heavy blankets despite your bedroom’s warm atmosphere…it’s his name that falls from your lips.
You pretend not to give a damn what’s in the press, or how those pictures got in the paper, or the juicy, breathless statements made by the gossip columnists. You tell yourself that they have a job to do, too. They don’t know you, and they’re not deliberately trying to hurt you…it’s just…people want to know. But you don’t understand why they want to know about you.
After all, what is it that you do, really? You prance around on a big shiny stage three days a week. You change your outfit every fifteen minutes or so, just to give them something new to look at. You smile and try to be witty, even though you know you’re not that smart. You want to read the right books and do the right thing and come off as perfect simply because you don’t know any other way.
But sometimes…sometimes…you want to tell them to fuck off. Sometimes, you get a little angry…and sometimes…you have fantasies.
You imagine walking down the Red Carpet wearing dirty pajamas, or even better, a big black t-shirt that says “what the fuck are you looking at?” You want to curse like a sailor and get a really bad red dye job and give the finger to anyone who dares to look in your direction.
You want to find some random stranger and fuck his brains out in the back alley of a dirty bar, calling him nasty names and smacking his ass, screaming as loud as you can because you WANT people to hear you.
You want to take those pretty stilettos that make your feet hurt and cause blisters on your toes and shove them right into his very heart, because you think he deserves it. And you want to grab him by his fuzzy little head and scream why. You want to get even.
And you want to get drunk. You want to drink kamikazes, not sophisticated cosmopolitans, until you can’t even see straight, and go back to your expensive hotel where you’ll tear the bed apart and break any kind of glass you can find.
You want to break things. You want to break him.
But you know it’s out of the question. You know that you’ll get up the next morning and greet your make-up artist who will spirit away those ugly zits and dark circles and blotchy patches of skin that make her shake her head in pity. And you’ll go to the colorist who will paint your roots that hideous yellow shade, and you’ll squeeze your aching body into shoes that hurt and outfits that don’t let you breathe.
You have to. You’re Britney fucking Spears.
And you hate yourself.
© 2002 ~A.