The following is a preview of my short story anthology, “Catharsis: Tales of Abuse Survivors”, which should hit the presses soon. Enjoy!
The Daddy Diddlin’ Blues
Tanya R. Simon
(this is copyrighted material)
My name is Violet. I have always thought it was a silly name and showed how little my mother visited reality. I have a body that makes men weep and eyes that makes their balls shrink in fear. My voice is like smoke over fine cognac. I have no illusions; I know there are no princes, knights, or second chances. Nobody in this big, cold world could give a damn about you, and sometimes that includes you. I have always laughed at that bumper sticker, you know the one, “Shit happens and then you die.” It doesn’t really get to the truth of things here on Old Mother Earth. It should say, “Shit happens, you better learn to live with it or it will bury you.” Let me introduce you to the others.
We’ll start with Tiffany. Her name reminds me of something overly sweet and fluffy. Her voice and her speech remind me of a little, yippy dog. She is overly thin and has these big liquid blue eyes that make men come running to the rescue. Once they rescue her, they find out what a bore she is, not much is going on beyond the eyes, if you know what I mean. I believe she is well acquainted with Valium. Although, most days by noon she has had way too much caffeine and is motion personified. I just know she was a cheerleader.
Sitting next to our yippy dog is Margaret. Not Margie, Maggie, Meggie or any nickname of the whole, she is Margaret. She is aerobized to within an inch of her life, no fat allowed on her body. She stamps it out like she does wrinkles on either her clothes or her body. Her hair is perfect. Her clothes are the latest in “upper class suburban mom.” Her teeth are perfect. She knows enough about everything to be socially entertaining. She has two perfect children, one girl, and one boy. Her husband is going places in his firm and they know all the right people. She drinks too much, smokes too much and feels as little as possible.
Next to our beacon of suburbia is Gretchen. She has so many initials after her name that it has just become alphabet soup and stopped being impressive. Her bright red hair is the only thing about her that is allowed any color, any splash of life. She wears it back in a tight, unforgiving bun. I don’t think she has heard about makeup. Her eyes are intelligent and remote. Her face schooled in a detached, purposefully relaxed position. She screams with her whole person, “There is no passion here.” Screams it with the lack of emotion on her face, the lack of style and color in her clothes, the sensibility of her shoes. She is intimidating because she really does appear to know everything. And makes no secret of the fact that you are less because you don’t.
By the “know it all” is Cinnamon, everybody call me “Cin”. Her body was definitely made for it. And she clothes it in as little as possible. She can give a man a boner with a glance. And if he is lucky, she is likely to follow it up with all the glance promised. If she put a notch on the bedpost for every man she has laid, spindly toothpicks would hold up her bed. She reeks of expensive perfume that has been liberally sprayed in all the right places. I like her. She has no illusions, either. And she looks like she is on the verge of laughing at some private joke. She knows I am the only one here likely to get it.
Cin sits next to the disease-spreading whore. She goes by Java, because she thought it sounded exotic, she doesn’t care to remember what the real name was. She’ll laugh a humorless laugh and tell you she stopped being that person a long time ago, so what does it matter? Her body is lush and you get the sense that it is well used. She is currently in exotic dance, but she takes things as they come. She is hoping the film deal, she has been working on pans out, if she is going to screw, she might as well do it on camera and earn more money for her time. If there is a “recreational” drug she hasn’t tried, I would be very surprised. Even now her pupils are the size of silver dollars and her hands are shaking. Her black eyes are dead; she died a long time ago.
And finally we have Amber. She has a slight twang to her soft, comforting voice. She smiles and it reaches her eyes, but only when she talks about the obvious reason she is still alive, her children. She has four. They live on a farm that she fights to keep. She is recently widowed. But we all are jealous of her; ‘cause we can tell she was in loved and loved. He knew everything about her and she knew everything about him. She was happy and had almost forgotten. She is in love again, and he helped her to see she needs to be here. He helped her to see that she owes memories nothing, those that deserve to be honored will be honored by honesty, and those that don’t will be silenced by truth. She actually has a chance.
The seven of us are sisters in a way. We share a common bond. We all took different paths to get here. For some of us, being here will help us to enjoy the rest of our lives. For some of us, it will save our lives. For some of us, it came too late. Our stories now are very different, but they started out pretty much the same. We all have the blues. We have what I like to call, “The Daddy Diddlin’ Blues.”