Russian Roulette

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I’m drawing lots of circles. Tiny red circles are spiralling around each other getting bigger and bigger. They start to fill up the whiteness around my head. It’s the backdrop to my suicide, the bloodstained walls and the .22. It’s doodled on the back page of my mathematics book. This is all just a cry for attention but nobody notices. You know you have nothing to offer the world when the only way you can even try to get attention is by drawing a picture of your own death in the back of some sodding book.

The day staggers past like a geriatric spinster. It ‘s dry and lonely and it smells like moth balls. I’m so bored I count my steps; 2000 so far. I speak when spoken to, which is rarely. Most people can’t remember my name and so avoid any social interactions out of embarrassment. Even my so called friends don’t speak much. Sometimes when no one’s looking I squeeze my eyes shut tight and wish. I wish I had been born with a personality. My parents gave me everything, except that.
Oh, they also forgot about:
Love
Tenderness
Attention

Beep, beep. Click. Dinner’s ready. Every night I have a Woolworths “Eat Well” meal. It’s all balanced out on this little tray. There are the carbohydrates and the vegetables and the sauce all in their own cosy compartments, like little beds. Maybe I watch family time television until they come home. Or maybe I’m in his room rifling through the neatly ordered socks in ten shades of grey to find something metallic and cold. And maybe I’m smiling for the first time that day because I found what I was looking for.

8:30pm on the dot. The garage door hums and groans. Silvery slippery sedans slide in and a couple of vessels walk in the front door. Beep, beep. Click. Shuffling of feet and the sound of the television being switched on to SABC Three. Beep beep click and more shuffling of feet. Somewhere a little less far away there’s another series of sounds. They are mechanical clicks that start fast and end slow.

On the way to the lounge I’m counting my steps again.
4781 I hate this
4782 I’m so bored
4783 I hate them
4784 Stupid microwave
4785 Stupid bloody TV dinners
4786 Stupid bloody sodding parents who forgot to cultivate their child’s sense of self and have left her uninteresting, unimpressive, and unable to express herself.
4787 I am so thirsty

“Hi, darling.” He says.
“Hey, sweetie.” She mimics him
“Hi.” Minimal is the new warm and loving.

I’m waiting for the ad break. I want their full attention. At last we’re switched over to Brand Power: helping you buy better. I am still standing next to the couch with my hands under my sweater and they still haven’t noticed. Turning my back to them I withdraw something metallic and give the cylinder another good roll. Inside, my one passport to posthumous personality is going round and round. A couple of deep breaths later I’m facing them again.
Instead of faces I see two grey pages of the Argus business section. I watch my father’s well-shod foot rotate round and round while he reads... flick, flick, flick. This is getting ridiculous. Twenty minutes later they switch off the television and just read. I make throat clearing noises. Mother turns the page of her paper and glances irritably at me over her spectacles.
“How was work today mom, dad?”
Mother continues to stare at me for a moment, and then Father lowers his paper;
“Fine” one of them says “How was your day sweetie?” I feel like a big stupid zeppelin about to explode. They don’t wait for me to reply and return to reading.

Damn them. I reach under my sweater and spin the cylinder one more time – one more time for luck. Click click click. Lady and gentleman our contestant tonight, your daughter, has a one in six chance of winning. The little cylinder goes round like a merry-go-round. Father’s ankle continues to rotate... flick, flick, flick.

The .22l is to my temple. Less than a second passes. It happens too fast for them to do react. I pull the trigger. Nothing. Again.

I slouch out of the room. Defeated again. Back to the drawer of grey socks. The ritual is over, but there’s always tomorrow.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Canfani said...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm
GREAT source of details. Loved it all the way to the end.
 
Gabriele T. replied...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Thank you so very much. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it. 
 
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