NEW πŸ“—Story: Radio ❌

Big Mouth, Fat Lip

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019
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For the first six months Baron had known her, Zelda was a serious and wisened young woman who carried symptoms of her troubled past as gracefully as anyone ever could. Poverty ages a person, and she’d nurtured a calm and dispirited disposition. She did not like war films or books with unhappy endings, or loud noises or arguments. She dressed conservatively and spoke quietly and uncontroversially. She had lived a lifetime already, working in exploitation in motels and supermarkets, watching as Utah unraveled around her. She was an immigrant and uneducated, homeless and independent, and so by the time she arrived in Vekllei she was ready to settle down and live quietly.

Watching her psyche attempt to reconcile her sombre nature with her desire to be normal and socialise with people her own age was heartbreaking. She had this pathetic, mythical idea of normal girlish life, and it took her a long time to figure out that teen-age life worked differently from films. She had a group of people she hung around, but always on the periphery. She was blatantly disposable and socially innocent, and so she carried on pretending she could somehow rework her own image into the mythologised Coca-Cola teen dream she’d clung to since California.

Eventually, the idea fell apart. Where she was mousy and pitiful as a school-girl, as Zelda she was uncompromising and principled. As bullying got worse, and her school friends came to resent the parasitic relationship she’d worked her way into, things eventually came to a head and the whole thing came crashing down. She got beat up pretty bad, and ruined a new school shirt, but Zelda had fought tougher creatures than Vekllei schoolgirls and she was suspended for the rest of the semester.

Eventually, Zelda would figure out that she never really needed or wanted the sort of bubbly teen-age friends she’d imagined. Zelda was, after all, not that bubbly or teen-age. Throughout her life, her closest friends were always those that required nothing and gave her space. That was how she liked to be; loved and shown affection, but left to her own devices.