Feb. 13th, 2012

shilowallace: (sweeter than sixteen)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

1. Leave the house more often.

2. ...Through the front door.

3. Search for Dad's recipies (he has to keep them somewhere). Learn how to make use of them. Or starve!!

4. Stop taking Throw away medicine pills. Not helping. Maybe then I can, I don't know, have hair. FINALLY.

5. Clean out the attic. (Ugh.) And the rest of the house. (Double ugh.)

6. Spit in Amber Sweet's UGLY FACE.

6. Meet people. Nice people. Actually nice people, not just people pretending to be nice so they can use me.

7. Stop using the piano as a desk. It's not its fault that it was the only thing I had to play with for twelve years. Try playing again. It won't hurt.

8. Don't forget the bugs! :)

9. Tell him Just one more kiss. ♥ One more chance. I can do it. (...Maybe read up on the subject, too. Do it right.) I LOVE HIM. ♥♥♥

10. No surgery. EVER. No matter what.
shilowallace: (dreams of a life past this fence)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

SOUNDTRACK

1. Emilie Autumn, "Shalott"
She's locked up with a spinning wheel
She can't recall what it was like to feel
She says "This room's gonna be my grave
And there's no one who can save me"
She sits down to her colored thread
She knows lovers wakeing up in their beds
She says "How long can I live this way
Is there no one I can pay to let me go
'Cause I'm half sick of shadows
I want to see the sky
Everyone else can watch as the sun goes down
So why can't I


...So, I guess I've been looking at this page for the better half of the day. And when I'm not staring at it, twirling my pen, I'm staring at my watch (I love my watch), like looking at the seconds tick by's going to make it any easier to think of other songs. As it turns out, I don't think there are any other songs that are about sitting in your room for your entire life and not much else. If there are, I don't know them. That's sort of depressing, I guess, because who wants a soundtrack about their life that's only one song long? I don't, really. But I'm sort of okay with it because, the more I stare at the page, the more I listen to this song to see if it makes me think of anything else, the more perfect I think it sounds. I mean, there's a part, at the end, about escaping on a boat and actually dying and stuff, and that hasn't happened to me (yet). But it...still fits. You know? I mean, I almost died. Well. I could have died. A few times. I felt like I was dead. And then, there's that part where she says:

"That man's gonna be my death
'cause he's all I've ever wanted in my life.
I know he doesn't know my name and that
all the girls are all the same to him."


And that just makes me...I don't know. That's true enough, too, I guess. Kind of. UGH. Shilo, you are SO LAME. Just shut up, ok?

But...yeah. I don't know. This is just my song. Maybe I haven't...really left because...I don't know, maybe I will die, if I go outside. Not just like once or twice, but for good. Outside, as in like, not home. Not here. Even though here barely feels like home, too, because I'm still opening doors and finding rooms that I've never seen before. This place is too big for just one person. It really, really is. I think Daddy might have known that, too. (But that's his own fault for putting a lock on the outside of the door to my room. >:[)

...Eleventh New Year's Resolution: figure out how to forgive Dad. Really forgive him. Not just say I do, then keep getting mad. This is going to take some work. I don't think I hate him anymore. I told him that didn't, anyway. It sounded right, saying it. And I'd be pretty upset if he thought that I hated him. I was never really good at standing my ground and being mad at him. Even if it was just because I'd get lonely, after a couple hours of being "really serious" about not talking to him "ever again". I think I have guilt issues. And I think I know who I get that from.

I think I also think that Mag's version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" might also fit somewhere onto a soundtrack for me. That wouldn't be entirely wrong.
shilowallace: (how'd you do that?)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Magdalene,

Maggie.

I'll call you Maggie. I always wanted to be named after someone important. I don't know why Mom and Dad picked what they did. My middle name should have been Magdalene. Mom wrote it in all the baby books. I wish Dad hadn't changed it, but I can't do anything about that, now. That's why I'm going to give you what I never had.

Well, lots of things I never had. Like, you know. A mother. I'm not sick. Well. I mean, I'm sick. But I'm going to get better. It's not going to kill me. It's not that kind of poison. I'll be well, I'm sure of it, by the time it matters. I won't pass on faulty, diseased genetics to you.

You're going to be healthy. You'll never be grounded. Your room won't have a lock on its door. This house will not be your house. We'll live somewhere that's full of light. Natural light, sunshine. Away from prisons and drafty mansions and tombs. No more death, no more graveyards.

Well...okay, maybe some graveyards. I won't say why, now. But I won't make you wait until you're older, either. You'll know when you want to. I'll never hide anything from you. There are no more secrets in this family. I want you to know as much as possible. I want you to know everything.

I think you'll be beautiful. In my head, you're as pretty as my mother on her wedding day. Prettier, maybe, because you'll have other genetics to draw from. Genetic perfection - you cannot buy it at GeneCo. You have to be born with it. (...Duh.) And I'll make sure you are. You'll have the prettiest hair. I think it'll be curly. Wavy, at least. And thick. You'll probably have blue eyes. Daddy, your grandfather, had blue eyes. And...well. If that's what you want, I think the odds are in your favor. I hope it's all what you want because I don't ever want you to change who you are, once you're here.

No surgeries. Surgery makes your face fall off when you're on stage trying to sing (BUT FAILING!!!!) and, while this is funny when it happens to certain people, it would not be funny if it happened to you. When people see you - and they will because you'll never have to hide in your bedroom - they won't laugh. They will love you, too.

Just like I love you, already, even though you're really just pretend and I'm really still a kid. An advanced warning? Don't look forward to your eighteenth birthday. Some things are nice, but those things are circumstantial and you would be selfish to expect that they'll keep happening, just because you're "of age". Age is not magic, it's a number. That might work for you or against you. (I'm not sure what it's doing to me.)

I know you're not even an idea yet, but if you ever happen, I'll be so happy to see you. I hope you happen. And, if you do, these are my promises to you. You will always be loved. You will always have me, in your time of need.

♥ always,
Shilo Marie Wallace (your mom)
shilowallace: (no sense in girlish dreaming)
Since Shilo doesn't even know ten people, the first five are people who have disappointed her and the rest are people she's (under the impression that she's) disappointed.

* * *

1. Her dreams turned rotten, again. How, at the age of four, could she have understood the meaning of the word "hologram", especially when Marni stood just outside her room, waiting for her with open arms. Shilo ran, but hit the wall before she felt her mother's touch.

She didn't just cry, when her father carried her back to bed, she sobbed. Wailed. "She's not real, Daddy," she bawled. "I. Needed. Her. She's not real."

And that marked the night Nathan began locking his daughter's door.

The rest are hiding under here. )
shilowallace: (something real to cling to)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

I'm not sure if it's something I can actually put words to, but there's this person I know. And there's this problem I have where I get really silly when he holds my hand or looks at me or even just walks into a room. It's like there's this knot. No, okay, not really a knot. It's more like a pit, like someone's gone in and scooped something out of the very, very, very bottom of my stomach. But whatever it is they used, it doesn't hurt. And it feels like there's this big...I don't know, I guess a bubble of...warm or something. Not always warm, I guess. Just a bubble of something pressing against the absolute bottom of my stomach. At least, I think it's my stomach. Maybe it's more like where my stomach meets all those other things down there.

Between my hips, kind of. You know. There, but not quite there.

It almost never goes away, even though I'm starting to get used to him. Which is a weird thing to think I'm capable of doing. Getting used to him, I mean. Because he doesn't seem like something I should be allowed to be used to. You know? Like he's a reward, not something I'm entitled to. Like he's a treat that I should only get when I'm really, really good. It's not like I'm being bad in the meantime, but.

Daddy only brought me treats when I was extra good. I mean, if I'm not doing something outstanding, why should I get something outstanding in return for the outstanding things I'm not doing?

And more than that, I don't know what to do with that scooped out, bubbly, hollow, warm, gooey feeling that I keep having. I never really understood what people meant, in books, when they said their hearts fluttered. My heart stops and it starts and it pounds and it just beats, but until I met him, it never really fluttered. It's like not being able to breathe, but in a way that I could live forever with, if that's what I had to do. I don't pass out, I don't even get dizzy. Just a little wobbly in the knees sometimes, but he's been explaining to me that that's completely normal. It's a physical reaction to...

Um.

Okay. See, here's the thing. I know what the feeling is. I've already been over that and over that and over it again. It's in the family of good feelings. Class of love, obviously. Subclass of...very much not familial love. And I know that. But it's still a problem! Because what do I do with it? How do I handle it and what am I supposed to do? I'm not even good any good at loving my parents the way you're supposed to and that's hardly anything like how you're supposed to love someone who you want to kiss all the time, more than you would just a normal old friend (if you had one, to spend time with), but not in the way that you kissed your dad goodnight or goodbye or thank you.

Daddy taught me about love, whether he meant to or not. What he taught me - and here's the part where I'm right about how I don't even know how to love my parents because I love him, but I also hate him because, look - is that love is never letting go. It's trapping the people you love, tying them down, not laying them to rest or letting them fly. It's keeping them until they rot, but at least you'll always have them. Love is possession. It's keeping. It's being selfish and not listening to anyone else because you think only you know what's best for someone who isn't you, just because you care about them so much.

I know what I've read and seen and heard and I know how Juliet and how Yvaine and how Satine and Katrina and Sally do it, but that's them. And I'm just me, I'm not fancy and I don't have someone else who knows what they're talking about writing my words for me. Do normal girls have an easier time learning how to behave when this sort of thing happens to them? I guess they have to because they get to know more than seven whole people in the time of their lives before they're teenagers who are actually almost not teenagers any more, when you think about it, and are probably running out of time to figure things out before they're adults and are just supposed to know exactly how to do everything, like all adults do.

I don't want to love like my dad did. What if that's all there is, what if love stories are really just faerie tales that people make up, so that everything seems better than it really is? What was the word? Propaganda. Like all the fake good that GeneCo puts out, all the masks and fancinesses that the Largos wear so that people can't tell what awful creatures they are. Lies that we have to pretend are true so that we don't have to think about how ugly everything really is. Because if we think about that, well, what would ever get done? We'd be too sad, I think, to function.

If it's true, if that's what it is and those are the things I'm supposed to do with these feelings that feel so good that I can't even give you real sentences that describe what they are, then I don't love him. I never loved my dad or my mom or Mag. I never loved my bugs or Rabbit or Wolf or Mister Bear.

That's not all there is. That can't be all there is. But. I don't know. How would I know? I don't know anything.

No. I do know some things. I know things that get grouped in the order of bad feelings, like Sick and Hate and Death and Sad. I know things that border on bad and good, like Respect and Duty. And I know good, like Worship and Freedom. I'm just afraid that I won't be able to figure this out and that by the time I say, "I love you," and know what it means, he won't care anymore. He'll be sick of me and he'll go back to his real life, away from me, with all the other people who worship and need and adore him. I do all those things, too. I do all those things all the time but I don't know how to tell him and I don't know what to do for him or what to say to make him want to feel the same way back. I don't know how to tell him that every time he kisses my shoulder or my hand or touches my wig or the small of my back that every part of me starts to tickle and that no one's ever left that imprint of ticklishness on me ever or ever will, ever again, no matter how many new people I meet and make friends with.

Ugh. I'd say I'm making myself nauseous and sick and ill and light-headed, but I think that's the...what's-it-called. The withdrawals.

I'd use my bathroom but I think my toilet is haunted. It keeps flushing by itself, when no one's even near it.

I need someone to hold my hand so I'm going to go find him now and tell him that I love him always and that I'm sorry for it because I don't know for sure that it's a good thing for either of us. I want him to tell me that it is. I think he will. But I don't know anything for sure.
shilowallace: (sweeter than sixteen)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

People, animals, places, things - post some pictures of whatever gives you those tender feelings.

Well, this should be very, very easy. More than anything else in the world, I love the following.

Bugs!






Those are my favourites, obviously, but I love all bugs. Well, okay, no, I love all insects. Anything with more than six legs is unnatural. Sometimes milipedes and centipedes are excused from this, but only on a case-by-case basis. And, really, the only centipede excused is Mr. Centipede from James and the Giant Peach, which Dad never bought for me. I didn't even know it existed until recently. I think he did not want me to get any ideas in my head. Although I don't know what he expected me to think. I mean, first of all, where did he think I was going to find a real piece of fruit? That grew from a tree, in the ground, much less? I don't even know.

But that's another thing I love, James and the Giant Peach. Actually, I don't know if I love peaches, to be honest. I don't think I have ever tasted one. And James was all right, but what I really loved was escaping from somewhere terrible with a bunch of very nice insects (save for, of course, Mr. Centipede and, also, Miss Spider, who, now that I think about it, is also an exception because she was very nice, despite being an arachnid) who want to be my new family. I think I would have liked that to happen to me very much.

So, that's one of the things I love most in the world.

BLIND MAG!!!!


There is no one in the world more talented, more beautiful, more spectacular, or more wonderful than Magdalene Defoe, aka Blind Mag. ...Also known as my godmother. She was nice to me. So nice. Like, the real kind of nice, too. Not the fake nice that Mr. Largo kept putting on, every time he wanted me to sneak out of the house so I could help him get some sort of stupid revenge on my dad. Mag was nice to me because she wanted to be nice to me. Because she ccared about me and she loved me and she loved my mom.

We didn't have much time to actually be together, but I've loved her, really hard, for my whole life. I don't even think that knowing she was my godmom made me love her any more or (obviously not) any less. I'm sorry I didn't get to tell her any of that, but I'm not sorry that we only had a little bit of time together because I would rather just have had that little bit of time with her than no time at all.

I hope she knows how much I love her, even though I never got to say.

And the last thing?



:)
shilowallace: (something real to cling to)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Post a picture of someone you see every day.



This is GraveRobber. He's wanted for grave-robbing (duh), Zydrate peddling, and probably corpse defiling and "child" "endangerment", too.

(I love that.)

If I don't see him, at least once, every day...that means something's wrong.

♥♥♥
shilowallace: (do i also inherit his shame?)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Have you ever told a member of your family that you wanted them out of your life? If so, why?

Um.

Yes.

And, I mean, I meant it at the time. I'm not sure if I mean it anymore. I definitely meant it when I said it. A little while after that, I wanted to take it back. I don't know what's right, though, anymore.

See. Here's the thing.

I used to be sick. I'm still kind of sick, but not because of the same sick I used to be. It's because I'm still trying to work the medicine out of my system. If I gave it up, altogether, I'd probably...well, have an attack. But attacks are what I had when I thought it was still medicine. It wouldn't be an attack, now, it would be...what does he call it? Oh, right, duh. Withdrawl. I would have withdrawls.

...I should start over.

I guess I can't really say I used to be sick because what I "used" to be sick with was a blood disease that it turns out I never actually had. Who knows if my mom even had it, even though I was always told that I inherited it from her. My dad told me that, at least. But only because no one else could ever tell me anything because, for seventeen years, my dad was the only person I ever knew, ever talked to. Well, okay, he was the only person whoever talked to me.

Wait. Even that's kind of not true.

But for all intents and purposes, for seventeen years, my dad was the only other person in my immediate world. I knew there were other people, outside, but I wasn't allowed outside. That's how sick he told me I was. So sick that I couldn't even leave my room, much less the house. Sometimes I believed him, too. I think I believed him more when I was little, but I guess that makes sense. Well. No, I believed him about a lot of things, but particularly the sick thing was what I didn't always believe. The being-too-sick-to-leave-my-room-bit, anyway. Because I left my room a bunch of times. I didn't really poke around the house, too much, but I did take the tunnel to my mom's tomb. I wore my gasmask in there, for a while. Well, I always wear it in the tunnel. That's just common sense and there's dirt and a lot of gross stuff, probably, to be inhaling. I mean, I'm the only one who uses it and I know I don't clean it when I do. So, safety first.

Okay, well, maybe someone else uses it sometimes, too, but I know he'd never clean, either.

When I was really little, I used to visit my mom's crypt a lot, actually, even though I was sick. My dad even took me, most of the times I went. When I was seven, though, he told me I had to stop, though, because the air quality outside was too gross, I guess, for me to breathe. It'd trigger an attack or something and that could be dangerous if I went down there, especially without him. But, since he spent most of my life being far too busy for me, he never wanted to take me, after that. So I started sneaking out. I even wore my mask, for a while, in the tomb, but that got uncomfortable and made it really hard to eat. Nothing bad happened when I stopped. Sometimes my chest would get a little tight, but usually that was because I'd forgotten (or hadn't wanted) to take my medicine earlier. And it never got so bad that I passed out or anything. ...Most of the time.

I guess kind of in Dad's defense, the first time I actually tried to leave the tomb, I did have an attack, but later, he told me it was because I hadn't taken my medicine. Which is a lie, I definitely remember taking it before I went down to visit Mom. But he also told me I hadn't been outside at all and dreamed the whole thing up. Which was also definitely a lie because I'm pretty sure GraveRobber isn't someone I could have ever imagined, for starters. I'm pretty sure the reason I had that "attack" might have had something to do with the fact that I was being chased by GeneCops and hiding in a mass grave and seeing real dead bodies for the first time and being shoved around once I got caught. All that, just to catch one silly bug.

The good news is that I did catch the bug and he survived the whole ordeal, just like I did, in one piece. He has his own shadowbox and everything. :)

I got definitive proof, later that day, actually, that my dad was lying to me about pretty much everything. Like GraveRobber. Who is very definitely real. And other things, too. Like about how Mom didn't actually die from the blood disease I "had", but because Dad killed her. I still don't know if it was an accident because no one ever told me how he killed her, but I guess it makes me feel better to assume that it was an accident because I know he loved her very, very much (more than he ever loved me) and I don't think he would outright kill someone he loved. I think he wanted to spend a long time with her. Maybe he would have liked me better, if he'd been able to. I don't know.

And I'm getting off the subject.

Anyway. I think he probably killed Mom by accident, but what he definitely didn't do by accident was lie to me about how sick I was. Which, it turned out, was not at all. Well. Okay, kind of. But I was sick because he made me sick. Because my medicine was never medicine, it was low-grade poison. Never enough to kill me, just enough to keep me sick so I'd have to always depend on him, so I'd never be able to leave him. Which meant he'd also lied about all the times he tried to find something he said he thought would cure me. Whatever he put in those, he just made me even sicker with so I would be tricked into thinking I should just keep taking my regular "medicine". He...never wanted me to get better.

GraveRobber explained the problem with my medicine, once. I guess people can get addicted to just about anything and my dad gave me so much of that poison, I got addicted to it. So it kept me pretty weak, most of the time, but it also made my body freak out when I wasn't getting enough of it. That's why it seemed like my attacks were always worse when I didn't take it. Because my body was starting to go through a withdrawl.

I think I got a little ahead of myself. I told my dad I wanted him to go away and to die before I knew all of that. I wanted him to die because he lied to me about being a doctor. He wasn't a doctor, at all. All those days and nights he spent being too busy to spend time with me, to take care of me, to be a real dad instead of a jailer, he wasn't caring for patients at the hospital. He wasn't giving new organs to those in need. He was murdering people. He was ripping organs out of their bodies and bringing them back to stupid, evil, old Rotti Largo at GeneCo. My dad was a Repo Man. You'd think that was bad enough, wouldn't you? But the whole reason he was there? Was to kill Blind Mag and take her eyes. Just because she wanted to stop being Mr. Largo's puppet and live her own life.

FYI, Blind Mag? She was not only the most beautiful, amazing, wonderful, talented singer in the whole history of the world (my favourite), but also MY GODMOTHER. My mom's best friend. Yeah, that's right. My dad knew that I was obsessed with Mag for my whole life and never bothered to tell me any of that. And she never came to tell me herself, until that night, because he told her that I died with Mom.

Ugh. I'm getting really, really, really mad again, just thinking about it.

Mag was already dead, though, by the time my dad could have gotten to her. I want to be glad that she went out on her own terms, I guess, because it would be unfair to not want her to be free the only real way she could have been...but...I still don't know how to feel about that, either.

That's when I told my dad to get away from me. For forever. And I wished he would have. But then I found out all the other stuff (on stage, even, in front of everyone in the audience and, like, everyone in the whole world who was watching the Genetic Opera that night) and wished it even harder.

...And I got what I wished for, even though by the time it happened, I'd kind of stopped wishing it as much.

Like I said. I don't know if it was the right thing. I didn't want him to die. But I think nothing would be different if he hadn't. And I'm glad everything's different. I'm glad that, soon, I won't have to worry about being sick anymore. I'm glad that I'll probably have hair, soon (I hope!). I'm glad that I can have friends and that I have someone who wants to help take care of me, but doesn't want to keep me locked away and helpless. I'm glad I'm learning how to be a real person, a real adult.

Sorry, Daddy. I never could have done any of this with you. But I still love you, I think, most of the time.
shilowallace: (i want to go outside)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Are you worried about where technology will lead us? Do you think it's possible that civilization may someday turn away from technology altogether for the betterment of humankind?

I guess I can't say I'm worried, anymore, about where technology is leading anybody. I know it used to be a really big problem for everyone. Technology and the overabundance of it is what caused the plague, you know. Neuro-Overstimulation Syndrome. People used so many hi-tech items, so often, that their bodies couldn't handle the...well, overstimulation. As the name would imply. They got sick, their bodies stopped working properly. They needed to fix the organs that...I guess, essentially, shorted out, due to the electrical charges running through them. Thus, the plague. And this whole mess with GeneCo and blah, blah, blah. Everyone knows the rest. That's the boring part.

Our civilization already has turned away, partially at least, from the devices that caused such problems. That's why I'll never have an iPod, even though the really, really antique ones are totally cool looking. Anyway, I like my phonograph. And I guess it would be neat to have one of those vintage HUGE, clear, flat television sets, but my little one does the job just fine. So does my VCR, so does my video tapes.

I don't know, though, if it's always going to be like this. In my lifetime, I hope nothing changes. I worry, sometimes, that people (who seem to be so dumb about so many things) might think that they're safe from NOS because of GeneCo, who'll just "give" them the organs they need, if ever they need them. I'm worried that someone might think it's a good idea to bring back or reinvent or invent new devices that are just as powerful as the original causes of the plague, not taking into consideration that the "cheap", repossessed (and easily repossessible) organs are still just organs and just as susceptible to failure. I don't know if anyone realizes that, if we have another NOS outbreak, we're practically giving the world to GeneCo. Organs will become even more scarce. People will die and not just from the disease.

So, if everyone else wants to start using fancy music players and weird phones that you stick in your ear, that's fine. I'm going to stick to my records and my watch. Because I'm not ever going to have surgery for any reason, least of all something that's my own fault.

I just wish everyone would understand that. I'm so sick of people dying.
shilowallace: (no sense in girlish dreaming)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

If your pet could talk, what is the first thing s/he would say to you?

I guess this might be an easier question to answer if I, you know, had pets. That's not to say there aren't plenty of animals and things in my room, of course. The trouble is, though, that none of them are living. Which...well, when I put it that way, makes me think of this dark vintage comic book - Lenore, I think it is - about this little girl who has....I don't know, a bunch of dead cats. And other dead things. Things die around her, a lot. I'm not sure how, exactly. I could probably say I know how she feels, but I think the books usually try to make it seem funny. That things die around her a lot.

I'm not sure I get that.

Fortunately, a lot of the things I have around me that aren't living were never alive to begin with. That'd be my stuffed things. My toys, I mean. I don't know if I could say for sure what, exactly, they'd all want to say. Most of them, I guess, might say something like, "It's not like we asked your dad to buy us, either!" or "We appreciate that you don't do it anymore, but getting thrown around really sucks, you ought to know!" or maybe even, "Now that you're not sick, can you please stop stuffing pills into our folds and things?" I'm not sure how to respond to any of that, though. All I can really do is apologize for taking everything out on them and hope they understand that it was either them or my dad. And I think if I'd started taking things out on my dad sooner than, you know, I actually did...he might have. Um. Well, anyway. It's easier for them to get thrown around than it would have been for me. I hope they understand that.

When they were done voicing their gripes, I guess I'd hope they'd thank me for the good times. We did have a lot of very nice tea parties when I was little. Well, some of us, did. And I would hope that Rabbit might thank me for still letting him sleep in my bed and not always over on the settee with everyone else. I'm sure he knows I've always liked him best (even when I did throw him around or stuff half-taken pills in his pouch...), probably because he came first. He came at a time when I didn't mind getting stuffed toys for every single present. He didn't make me feel like a child. ...Also, he's the only one who's perfect for cuddling. Hippo and Lion are too fat and Monkey's arms are easy to get all tangled in a person's wig. (I learned all this the hard way.)

So Rabbit might say thanks, but no thanks, next time it's not just me sleeping in my bed because, despite being optimal cuddling size, he is easy to lose when there are other things to be hanging on to and then he just gets lost in the sheets and usually winds up between someone's legs and that's really just awkward for everyone. No one wants to say anything about that.

Or, well. Rabbit and I certainly don't.

Now, the other not-alive things (the one that are actually dead) that surround me are all bugs (save for my mom). Insects, actually, because like I've said, six legs is the maximum number of legs one should have. Unless one is an octopus, but then you aren't a bug at all, so you're okay. My insect collection is just that. A collection. Not a collection of pets because they're more like decorations than pets. I've caught a few that I've contemplated not sticking in the killing jar, right away, but what it's always come down to is that I've never really had any way to take care of them. And they're just another thing that my dad would have come up with another reason for me to not keep. Because they'd make me sick, if they were alive. But obviously, once I suffocate them and impale them on blocks of wood, then they won't make me sick anymore.

Right.

So. Really, I guess some of them might just say, "Shilo, why did you kill us? We could have been your friends! Can you please take these needles out of our backs so we can crawl around and not feel like we're being stabbed to death all the time?" And that makes me sad, especially since I can't fix it.

I don't really like this question, anymore. All it's done is make me feel bad and, big surprise, want a real pet. Even the butterfly cage dad bought me, a million years ago, was better than nothing. Even though he always yelled at me for trying to hold them. And we let them go, almost as soon as they'd hatched out of their cocoons. Or, at least, I guess I thought we did. Knowing him, he probably threw them away and made up a whole story about how we let them fly away, to bigger and better things, together.

The story of my life.
shilowallace: (i want to go outside)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

If you were given a life do-over card, would you keep it or give it to a friend? If you kept it, would you prefer to be born to the same or different parents? Would you want to keep your memories?

Well. I only really have one friend and I don't think he's the kind of person who would want an opportunity like this. I mean, I'd offer it to him, but I think he'd probably just smirk and shake his head and say something like, "Kid, there aren't enough cards in the world to do me over." Or something like that. So I guess I'd have to keep it. Or, probably, I could throw it away, but if someone gave me something that big and that powerful, it'd be pretty ungrateful to just dump it. Who knows whose hands it would fall into, then. I think too many bad things could happen because of that. I don't really want to be responsible for messing up the whole world (even worse than it's already messed up). If I used it, it wouldn't screw anything up. No one would even know to miss me, I don't think, and not just because if I did my life over, the me I am now wouldn't exist. Even if they knew I was gone, I don't think it'd make too much of a difference.

If I started completely over, I would want new parents.

No, I take that back. I want my parents, the way they should have been. I want my mom to stay alive and I want my dad to not be a scary, selfish, unhappy control freak. I want to know that Mag is my godmother and I want to get to spend the time with her that we never had, this time around. I want to be allowed to go outside, even if it's still just to play in the cemetery because there's really nothing I like all that much, in the city. Except kind of for Sanitarium Square, but only because it looks pretty. Not because I actually like anything there. (I especially do not like getting thrown into surgery tents and told to stay put. What was I staying put for? Why did I have to stay put anywhere?)

(...I do, however, like getting rescued from those tents.)

I want a chance to not be sick and to not be bald so I can see what my real hair actually looks like. Because I don't have any idea, still, and I know I probably will eventually (so long as the poison didn't completely ruin my abillity to grow hair at all), but right now, it's frustrating.

But if I can't have my parents done right, then I guess I want new parents. But I want new parents who love me and care about me and want the best for me and aren't completely wrapped up in their own problems. I want parents who are good people and good parents. Because as much as I don't want a do-over with my dad being exactly the same way that he was, this time, I also don't want parents who don't care or who think it's okay to let me to get tons of stupid surgery and, ugh, let me become a stupid junkie.

...But, if...well. Never mind.

There are plenty of things that I would like to forget about my life. I don't want to forget about them in the way that I have amnesia or something because then, eventually, I'd probably remember them all again and that would be just as horrible as remembering them, in the first place. I want to forget about them in the sense that I want them to never have happened. I want to not have to think about them, all the time, and realize how horrible it all was and the way that it impacted me.

That being said, though, I want to keep my memories, if I start over. They won't hurt as much as they do now because I'll know that was a different life and that's it's not anything that actually happened to me. I want to remember why it was that I decided to start over. But I also want to remember important, good things. I want to remember that I need to find GraveRobber, as soon as possible, and...well, I don't really know. Make sure that he's doing okay, I guess. See if he still wants to...be my friend. To know me.

I guess I don't really know what I'd do, if he didn't. I guess then I'd want another do-over so I could undo-over and go back to the way things were because I don't really like thinking about what life would be without him. I don't know what life would be like without him in it, since he's the only thing that's saved me, this time around. I guess that's probably more important than a do-over. I probably don't hate remembering things so much, if it means he's still here. With me.
shilowallace: (sweeter than sixteen)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Give us a list of perfect moments.

I don't like to complain about things, I really don't. At least, I don't like to complain to people. For starters, I don't really have very many to complain to. I have one person. If I complained to him, I think he'd say something like, "Kid, we all had shitty lives. You had a tough break, but dwelling on it won't get you anywhere." And he's not saying that because he doesn't care or is unsympathetic or anything. What he is, actually, is right. But sometimes I get really sad about things that have happened that definitely shouldn't have happened and I just want to talk about it. I guess that's why I have a diary, but the diary doesn't talk back. Anyway, it doesn't matter, so much, what he says because, in the end, he'll almost always hug me.

I don't know how it is that I always get caught up trying to talk about something that I don't actually mean to be talking about. This was supposed to be a list. And a list of good, at that. My point was supposed to be that I don't like to complain, but that doesn't change the fact that there's been a lot of bad that's happened to me. The bad outweighs the good, overall, but that's only because I'm not done have good moments in the future. But this list I'm trying to make is of good things that have already happened. Not even just good things, but perfect things.

It's going to be a short list.

1. Once, Blind Mag came to my house. There are all sorts of things that you would think should have made it not-perfect, but as one, isolated event that happened in my life, it was. Utterly perfect. I was stupid and tired and had, I guess, scared myself having gotten so far away from the house so many times in not even twenty-four hours, so I didn't know what to say at all. Also, I mean, I don't know how it works for "normal" people, but it's kind of hard to think of anything to say to beautiful, famous people you worship and love, at all, when they just show up at random at your house. Except, apparently, things you had drilled into you when you were a kid as ways to handle people you don't actually know coming to the door. Those were really easy to think of. But despite the fact that I was probably really rude and she seemed really sad, most of the time, and was saying things like, "Shilo, I knew your mom and I'm your godmother," I think it was perfect. She wanted to know about me and listen to what I actually had to say and I wanted to tell her everything and I should have, but all I could think of was how much trouble I was going to get into if Dad came home and a) saw Mag, especially if everything she told me was true (which it was because Mag wouldn't lie), b) caught me out of my room, and c) caught me talking to Mag.

Which, I mean, he did come home and find out all those things, but before he did, she told me she wanted to know me and for me to be happy and free. My dad ruined everything, but, for the rest of my life, I'm going to pretend that the little pockets of time when I wasn't freaking out, when Dad wasn't home as perfect. If not just because Mag was there and everything she did was perfect, always.

2. My first chocolate. See, GraveRobber brings me lots of things to try. He knows that my dad never knew how to cook and always cooked the same, stupid, boring things over and over again and all of it tasted like cardboard or vomit. (I wish I was kidding, but I am not. As someone who's had to throw up a million times, I think I know the flavor by now.)

Anyway. All the ads and propaganda that gets played around Valentine's Day always made me assume it was a holiday about people looking really "hot" (or whatever GeneCo wants you to think is looking "really" "hot") and having sex with each other. I guess it used to be less about just sex and more about affection and love. People would bring each other flowers and heart-shaped cards and boxes of chocolate. I guess maybe they had sex after all of that, but probably as an expression of how much they loved each other and not just because GeneCo is running those stupid ads with Amber telling you what bodypart ought to be replaced to "ensure" a "happy" Valentine's Day. (UGH. SO GROSS.)

This year, GraveRobber brought me a box of chocolates and not just because he assumed he could have sex with me as soon as I ate them. (I think.) Lots of people, I guess, don't really like these boxes because there isn't anything to indicate which chocolate is which and they're all different. Some people, I guess, don't like raspberry cream or coconut or anything else, but I think they're all great. But I didn't know anything about it, at the time, because Dad always said that sweets were bad for me and would aggravate my attacks. Turns out, that's not true at all because GraveRobber picked me out the perfect piece (it was the one solid chocolate in the whole box!) and I bit into it and it was perfect.

Everthing, actually, that he brings me to eat is perfect. But chocolate is the most perfect because I know it's not made out of anything gross. Tacos...those might be gross. Chocolate is not gross because it is made out of pure delicious and definitely not cat meat. (He still won't tell me if he was joking about that.)

3. Sometimes, when you're just sitting around with someone, talking about, oh, I don't know, everything, you might start to ramble on about something and let your words get away from you. Not in the way that you're embarrassing yourself, but just kind of in the way that you can't stop talking and what you're saying might not be very interesting, but you're still saying it because no one's told you to be quiet or go to your room or to not be so silly. Even if you do find yourself again, though, in the middle of your story that got away from you, it doesn't matter because nothing is more important than being interrupted by someone putting their drink down on the table and leaning in to kiss the words right out of your mouth.

It happened like that, the first time.

...

See, I knew that would be a very short list. But it's okay because I know I still have a long time to find perfect moments. I don't ever have to worry about dying without being kissed or without getting to meet Blind Mag or without eating food that isn't something horrible my dad threw together. Even if I was really sick, if I was dying, if I did have a blood disease, or even if it was just that I have too much poison soaked into my body to get out, I guess it probably wouldn't be horrible to only have the three perfect moments that I've had. It's better than some people have and it's better than I ever thought I'd get.
shilowallace: (don't look back)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done? Are you glad you did it? Would you do it again?

If you asked my dad this question, about me, he would tell you...okay, actually, he wouldn't tell you anything because he's dead. But if he was still alive and you asked him, right now, what the most dangerous thing I ever did was, he'd say it was all the times I didn't take my pills. ...No, okay, I guess he probably wouldn't say that now, he'd say that when he actually was still alive, all of the two (of hundreds of) times I didn't swallow. To be fair (not that he deserves anyone to be fair to him), it might be true in the sense that I could have triggered an attack and who knows if it would have been one I would have been able to recover from on my own. Or if I could get to my pills in time. Or if it didn't matter, no matter what I did, because poison is still poison and kills you, eventually.

That's what he'd say, though. Because that's all he cared about. Me doing what he told me to. And, I guess, making me feel bad for not doing what he told me to by insisting that I was risking my own life. By putting it on me, he could make it seem like he actually cared if I was risking my life. I never really knew, at the time, that he just wanted to control me.

Really obviously, though, I think taking the pills, at all, when I did take them, was a lot more dangerous than not taking them. Because, I mean. Not taking poison is probably a lot safer than taking it.

If I had to pick one, big thing, though, it wouldn't be taking the medicine poison. I think the most dangerous thing is probably the time I snuck out of Mom's crypt to chase that stupid little bug.

Well, he wasn't little. He was actually particularly huge. For a bug, anyway. Not for his species. I think they're all about that huge. I've never seen another one in person, though, so I guess there's no real way to gage.

I know, I know, that doesn't matter. What matters is that I was probably pretty stupid to think that I could do something like sneak out into a cemetery in the middle of the night, especially when there were very obviously body dumps and a GeneCop invasion happening, probably like two feet from where I was, at any given time. But when it slipped between the window bars, it never even crossed my mind that I might get in trouble. I don't know what I was thinking, but it definitely wasn't, "Hm. Maybe I should stay put and take my medicine and not get captured by GeneCops who are ordered to kill grave robbers. I'm not one of those, whatever they are, but how would the GeneCops know that?" For whatever reason, I just...Knew I was going to be able to get my bug and get back before anyone noticed me.

The only reason I even knew the word "grave-robber" was thanks to all the stupid commercials GeneCo used to run about blah, blah, blah don't trust them, blah, blah buy Zydrate from us, talk to a surGEN. They never really said anything more than that, but...I don't know, I guess I never really put two and two together. What else would a grave robber do? Rob graves. Duh, Shilo. But why would I ever need to know? Until the moment that I stepped over the threshold of Mom's tomb, I thought I'd never go outside. I thought I'd never see the rest of the cemetery. I thought I'd never run into a grave robber who wanted to show off how special he is by never getting himself caught, but leaving me to get caught by the stupid GeneCops he kept attracting.

I don't think he got me caught on purpose, though. And, really, I wouldn't have wanted him to fight them for me. I'm sure they only didn't kill me, right away, because I don't look very scary. He's really scary-looking, sometimes. They would have shot him right away. I don't want that. I didn't want it then, either, even though I thought he was terrifying.

When I first thought of this, I think I was going to say that it was the most dangerous thing ever because it set off a whole stupid chain of events, but now that I'm thinking of it, I think Mr. Largo probably would have bothered me, anyway, even if I hadn't gone into the graveyard, that night. And the worst thing about if he'd bothered me, even if I hadn't gone out? I wouldn't have had anyone to save me, all the times I needed saving. I probably would have made the wrong choice at every turn. I probably would have gone home with my dad, after all that. Actually, I probably would have died. Worst completed life ever, right?

No, the reason it was the most dangerous thing ever is because my dad caught me. (I remembered that, a few days after the Opera. I remember the GeneCops backing off before I passed out. And I remember his voice.) I don't know, I mean...he hit me when I talked about all the things I wanted to do, against his wishes. I know I was having kind of a tantrum, but he hit me. For talking. Not for doing anything. I don't want to think about what could have happened, knowing that he knew I wasn't just all talk. Knowing that I did disobey him. And that, in the end, I wasn't sorry for it at all.
shilowallace: (this is the thing i can't bear to lose)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

What is your opinion of relationships where there is a significant age difference between partners?

Sometimes, um. Sometimes certain people aren't raised very well to be normal human beings so they can't relate to anyone their own age. Sometimes it's easier to talk to a grownup, not someone as old as you are and sometimes someone who's older than you - maybe in a significant way - is probably the person you want to spend all of your time with because they know everything and you don't really know anything and they want to teach you about everything, when your parents - or, you know, whoever it is that you were stuck being raised by - wouldn't.

Sometimes when a person is ten years older than you are, they know all the things you need and how to get them for you, even when they say things like, "Kid, I'm no good for you. I can't give you what you want." Usually you know they're just saying that because they get scared or something, probably, because you know they can give you exactly what you want, so there's not really any reason to say things like that unless they're scared. Or, maybe, unless they just don't want to be around you and don't know how else to tell you. But I'm pretty sure the first thing is what the case always turns out to be.

Sometimes it's just smarter for someone who's never experienced anything in their whole stupid life to hang around someone who's experienced just about everything. And it's not just the ten and a half years that make the difference, either. Even if the someone who's experienced everything was seventeen, too, they still probably would know a lot more than the other person. But, either way. The extra years of experience help. For both of them.

Um.

So, what I mean to say is that there's nothing wrong with age differences. No matter how many times a person goes, "Kid, I'm too old for you," it doesn't actually matter. Because they aren't.
shilowallace: (how'd you do that?)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Who is your personal choice for greatest singer of all time, and why?

BLIND MAG!!!

Because, uh, she's amazing. Duh.

...That's all.
shilowallace: (don't look back)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Tell us about a time you teamed up with somebody to do something.

Once...well, actually, you know, really, it was two times. Can you say "twice upon a time"? Does that make any sense? I guess I've never really taken into consideration what "once upon a time" actually means, other than being the beginning of a fairy tale. Or something that's supposed to sound like a fairy tale, even if you're just kind of being silly or sarcastic or whatever. I guess what it's probably trying to say is "once, during this period of time"...right? Since it's always for a fairy tale, it's probably just implied that the "time" is some sort of legendary or fantastic or special time. But probably not always, since you're really allowed to use that to start off any kind of story, if you want. So, okay. It does make sense to say "twice" instead of "once". Because then it just means "two times, during this period of time", something happened. Which is what happened in my story.

Twice upon a time, I teamed up with someone to make a narrow, daring escape from certain danger!! I wanted to say "certain death", but I don't think death was all that certain, the first time, and the second time had nothing to do with death, at all. (Not mine, anyway.) But both times were really dangerous and probably could have ruined my whole life.

My first team escape attempt...it didn't work so well. At the time - and sometimes even still - I thought my partner-in-crime (although I certainly wouldn't have picked him, at the time, to be that, if I had been committing any real crime and, if he was considering me his partner in crime, well...he's crazier than I think) wasn't that at all. I kind of thought that he wanted to use me so he could get away, safe. I mean, I know he wanted to get away, safe, but...I know better, now. I don't think he really wanted it to be at my expense. I mean, he tried really hard to help me, even though it didn't really feel like it, then. Then, it just felt like showing off. It scared me so bad, at the time, I almost had a heart attack, but...I know when I thought of it later...when I think about it now? It was pretty cool. I mean, it was really cool. Can you imagine being that sure of yourself? That good at what you do? I watch him do it, all the time. He dances around the search lights like they're not even there. Without even looking at them!

I still don't know if meeting him out there was an accident or what, that night. I mean, as a grave-robber, it's not like it's, you know, weird for him to be in a graveyard or anything. For all I know, he was there, every night, just to work. Nothing to do with me. Or with me, specifically. That being said...it's a big cemetery. I guess he could have been anywhere, in it. But he wasn't, he was near my mom's crypt when I snuck out and, even if he hadn't planned to be, I know he already knew I was there, too. Maybe he heard me come out of the tunnels. Or maybe he didn't know until the crypt door creaked open, but he knew. He knew he'd have my attention and that we were going to be a team, that night. I guess I was probably so scared with the stupid thing I was doing that I didn't even know he was there until he threw that stupid body at me. Jerk. My stomach was already in my throat, by the time he stood up, too, and then he had to go and yell GRAVES!!! at the five or so GeneCops who wanted to, you know, kill us for tresspassing. Idiot, I thought. But he had smiled at me, when he stood up. He knew what he was doing.

I thought, then, that he just wanted to tell everyone where we were, so they would come get me while he got away, but that's not really it, at all. He wasn't just showing off because he's the kind of person who likes to show off (but he really is, sometimes), I think...I mean, I figured out, way after the fact because it made not even a little bit of sense at the time, he was proving himself to me. It was actually his way of getting me to trust him, his way of telling me that if I wanted to get out of this, I could go with him and I'd be safe because he knew how to get away, how to be safe. In the momet, I guess...it kind of worked. I mean, I didn't exactly cling to his side or anything, but when I couldn't get back in to Mom's tomb, it's not like I threw myself at the mercy of the GeneCops, either, or ran in the opposite direction. He said, "come," and I ran to him.

And, you know, the reason the whole thing failed is probably my own dumb fault. I was stupid and trusting (I'm still that), but I was also stupid and scared. My scared won out. If it hadn't been for that, if I hadn't felt my heart going so fast and my breathing get so shallow, I like to think that I probably would have just surrendered to him. Let him take me wherever, anywhere. But, nope. I was terrified of everything. Him, the cops, the dark, the dead bodies in the hole we'd climbed into, the idea of getting caught, the idea of getting killed, and - most of all - the idea of my dad finding out about everything. I wasn't thinking about anything else except how scared I was. I did what I always do, even still, when I'm stupid and scared. It's like I have this stupid setting I default to where all I can do is parrot things my dad used to tell me: I need to be home, I'm sick, I shouldn't be out, you shouldn't be here, blah, blah, blah. I hate that that's what I do, but it's just so automatic. Ugh. So I whined and rattled all that off and wouldn't just listen to him and watch him and go with him...so I got caught.

By the second time, though, I'd learned my lesson. It wasn't even a whole day later, the next time we teamed up, but my whole world had begun to change so dramatically, I'm surprised I didn't of NOS. Or some kind of overstimulation disorder. Anyway, seeing him a second time unraveled that much more of my world and, I guess, whatever fear or doubts I'd had about him (the biggest one, of course, though, being that he wasn't real...). Again, I still don't know if he came looking for me or found me by accident, but I know that he definitely didn't have to rescue me, when he did find me, if it was, in fact an accident. I told him I needed to get home because, while I might be trusting and naive, I also know when I'm in over my head.

We took the long way home and there were probably more than a few times that me, from the day before, would have freaked out (...like she had, the day before) and found a new way to get caught and hauled away. Instead, I promised - myself, at least - that I would, no matter what, this time, when he said, "Follow me." I know plenty of people who don't, now, but I like to stick to promises I make. So, I trusted him when...he...inferred, I guess, that the best way to get rid of an unwanted Amber is to...you know, obviously throw a bale of hay at her. (Maybe it confuses her as badly as it confused me, but to the point of paralyzation?)

Do you know how heavy bales of hay are, by the way? I didn't, at the time, but I just looked it up and the "small" bales? SIXTY TO ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY POUNDS. Does he have superhuman strength????

Sorry. Um. Okay, yeah. When we stopped to...well, do a little business, in the alley behind the support group's meeting hall? ...Yeah, that sucked, but even when it seemed like he was maybe throwing me to the dogs, he never didn't have it under control. He never wasn't protecting me, I don't think. So, this time, when we heard the sirens, I took his hand and I did what I promised I would. I wasn't even scared, that time. I just wanted to run. Hold his hand and run away, wherever he wanted to go, even if it wasn't anywhere near my home. But. Well, I told him that was where I'd wanted to go and, even though it seemed like we'd never get there by his route...we did. He kept his promise, too, even though it...wasn't what I wanted, anymore. Maybe if I'd told him that...I don't know. I just know that my heart kind of hurt when we ended up in the cemetery, by Mom's, and not in the way that meant I had an attack coming on.

...You know, actually, it's three times...upon a time. Thrice? Thrice upon a time. Because we teamed up, later that night, too...just, um. Well, I don't really like that story, as much. If my whole stupid life happened to be made up of a bunch of short stories? That one would have the worst ending and I'm so, so tired of stories that don't finish with "...And they lived happily ever after."
shilowallace: (this is the thing i can't bear to lose)
from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

I thought I wanted to write about this a few nights ago, but once I got going with it, I think I got scared. And sorry that I write in pen. So I scribbled it out and tried to start again. But then everything under the scribbles was still there and I was already starting to write the same things over again. I scribbled some more, but then the whole page just looked messy and I tore it out and threw it away because I wasn't getting anywhere. Also because what's the point in having a messy looking page sticking out of my journal, in the middle of a bunch of other comparatively nice ones? It's in the wastebasket, now. I might flush it down the toilet, later. I don't know.

But I know that I'm actually ready to start writing this again. Or trying to. And seeing as this is my diary, maybe I don't need to scratch anything out, anymore, because who else is going to know? (I don't really want to know the answer to that, but I have a really gross feeling that if I don't watch it like a hawk, I'm going to end up with someone else's notes in the margins and that's just embarrassing.)

The more I think about this, the more I want to apologize. You wouldn't think that someone who spent eighty-five percent of her life stuck in her room and probably about fifty percent of that time (that eighty-five percent, I mean) too sick to move out of her bed would know anything about what it's like to run away. I mean, I wouldn't, at least. Because when you're all but chained to your bedposts, where can you go? Well, I wasn't actually chained up. So, I mean, there were places. Even if it was just my closet, the bay window, the balcony. Under my bed, when I was small enough. (I'm still kind of small enough, but just a little too big for it to be comfortable, now.) I ran away from my dad, every chance I got, even if I stayed put. I tuned him out, I ignored him, I pretended to be asleep. I never confronted him. No, okay, I confronted him once. Mostly, I didn't. Mostly, I ran in the opposite direction, even if it was just in my head.

That's what was so great about Mom's crypt. That was somewhere to run away to. The cemetery. Where it was pretty and quiet and no one reminded me that I was sick and, for all everyone else there knew, maybe I was dead, too, and not to be bothered with stupid, worldly problems like dead moms, distant dads, blood diseases, no friends, forgotten birthdays, broken moth wings, worn-out skirt hems, wobbly gramaphone needles that can't be fixed until someone (see: distant dads) had the time to take it to get fixed. I could read, I could sing, I could dance, I could nap, I could make friends (...with...robberflies and cockroaches...), I could sneak treats (the good kind, not Dad's "cookies"), I could be in charge of everything. No one ever had to know, so I never had to deal with the problems. The fallout. The impending fights that always waited for me, just beyond Dad's stupid rules.

Somewhere along the line, I got too used to it. I mean, sure, now I know that it's probably an okay thing that I did, but I didn't know, at the time, that Mr. Largo wasn't going to help me. But as soon as I got upset...scared, really, I gave up and tried to run. Not even away, which is probably the worst part. I tried to run home. And I don't get that. When I'm home, I just want to go away. When I'm away...I just...want to go lock myself back up? I did it that day, at Sanitarium Square. I did it, again, when Mag came to visit. My favorite person in the whole world came to tell me she loved me and I tried to tell her to go away. Who does that? I tried to run away, again, later, but...well, you wouldn't let me. You were mean, but you wouldn't let me and that's probably more important than if you'd been nice and taken me home again.

That's why I'm trying to apologize. I tried fighting, over flight, once and it hurt. So I started running again and sometimes I don't think I can stop. Even if I should. Even if it's for something I want. You hold me down, sometimes physically. I like when you hold me down. ...Sometimes physically. I want you to keep doing that, for always, even when I learn how to do it to myself.

Do you think it's something I can learn how to do? Did you have to learn, too, or were you just born with a magic fight-only response built right in? I'd like one of those, one day. I want to be able to look searchlights in the face and yell at them, even though I won't make anywhere near as big of a noise as you do. (I'll probably look a lot sillier, too. I'm too small for that sort of thing, maybe.)

But. I'm sorry I keep trying to run. I'm sorry I don't know how to stop, yet, and let something out-of-this-world good happen to me. I'm sorry I'm afraid of everything and that you have to literally restrain me, sometimes, in order to...um. Well, you know. Get me to do lots of stuff. (Not even just the sex things that I'm still too embarrassed to talk about in the "privacy" of my own journal.) I'm sorry and I don't want you to stop.

I love you for all of this and a bunch of other things.

PS: Do you like how I stopped pretending that you weren't going to be digging through here, eventually? Just don't mark up my margins. Or tell me that you've been in it, again. Or even look at me like you might know.