Keep Art Alive :: Art by Francine Van Hove
Save Me :: Aimee Mann
“Come on and save me.
Why don’t you save me?
If you could save me,
from the ranks of the freaks,
who suspect they could never love anyone.”
The little girl that she was in the once upon before used to roll up tiny paper notes and slip them into empty Coca Cola bottles. They were the glass ones, back when they still made glass ones, bought with the coins her Grandfather would give her. She would leave the note filled bottles under the slide at the park, behind the ride-on horse in front of the grocery store, and sometimes, when they would take a trip down to San Clemente, she would throw them off the edge of the pier, out into the ocean.
Sometimes she wrote tiny, four sentence stories. Other times she would confess to things, like the broken lipstick from the drawer in the bathroom her Mother always told her not to touch, or the crush she had on the girl in class who she thought looked like Nancy Drew. When things got bad, beyond confession bad, she would scrawl the words help me or come get me or save me, secretly hoping that bottle would make it into the hands of her real father, or maybe, Princess Leia.
When the little girl grew up she gave up a lot of childish things, like her belief in God, and in all those thrown out bottle pleas. No one ever came to rescue her, and when she finally decided to scream loud enough for everyone to hear, things seemed to get worse. Everyone looked at her then with dark clouds in their eyes, clouds of pity, clouds of disdain, clouds of blame. She would stare at her mirrored reflection and try to see which she held in her own eyes. Her clouds were different, though. They were usually the clouds of guilt and self-loathing.
All the saving she would have to do for herself, though her chosen parachutes and tourniquets were full of holes and razor sharp blades. The cure was often worse than the original sin. She went on a hunger strike, decorated her body with long, red lines, and filled her bloodstream with the stuff of electric sleepless nights. Sometimes she looked into the eyes of alleyway Superman’s and late night Gypsy Kings, but they were just strung out temporary fixes, even when they promised forever.
Love was never be strong enough to save her.