"Soon all the kids in England will be pushing up daisies. Thats what Girl says every night before I go to sleep. Girl is my sister and Im scared of her. Shes seventeen years old and got ice in her veins. Tonight she reads me my rights."
His name is Billy and her name is Girl. Together, theyre on the verge of Paradise or Hell, Girl says, you can never tell; maybe youre having someone elses memory.
Billy has Girl. Girl got nobody. Girl got no body. No name, no lips, no thighs, no bottom. Girl is bottomless. Like a pit. Like the darkness underneath the sea where her soul is still ajar, tangled in blue algae and bits of undigested fish. Girl is white and merciless. See-thru. Shes "as evil as a blonde can get."
"You have the right to complain about the weather. You have the right to promote Billy products when youre famous. You have the right to help me find Mom and you have the right to tell me what happened to Dad. Which one is it to be?"
Billy doesnt give a shit. "He is a crippled angel." He just wants to be famous besides, his dick is now bigger than Dads, so Billy thinks hes really close to a breakthrough. He might write a book: Billy Englands Book of Pain. Pain he knows. He can do pain. When he was small Dad tried to kill him. Thats when Girl set Dad on fire. Burnt like a tire (Dads a car salesman). Not all of him, though. Theres still some walking about. But they dont live together anymore. No, sir!
And Girls free cause Mom took the blame. And now theyre looking for Mom, Billy and Girl are. To set things straight.
If, by some sick twist of fate, Dickens were still alive and kicking, hed write like this: dirty old mans writing, splashed with rage. "A man with a womans soul." A story about children who work hard at staying alive. Unloved, uneducated, wild. Street beggars at the corner of Paradise and Hell. Pickpockets of sentiment, filthy little buggers. "Watched by God who, as far as Girl is concerned, is just heaviness in the sky."
Is Billy the postmodern Oliver Twist in a world adverse to coincidences? Is Girl nothing but a plot device? How else would the story advance, and whose story is it, anyway? Some chapters are narrated by Billy, some by Girl and some ... well, some by nobody. A voice without a body. See-thru, like Girl.
Girl has no lovers. "I want to be a love diva." She doesnt know how to kiss, how to fake an orgasm, how to take Prince by surprise when he arrives, that is, on the finest white stallion in Kent. "The prince is Dad."
Girl lives vicariously through other people, well-tempered sides of her personality, nicely groomed young women, like Louise. Louise has done it in the back of her car numerous times with intimate strangers. She knows all the tricks: the rhythmic gasps, the little cries head pushed back against the velvet plush seat, hips twisted, legs spread wide. Wider.
Louise knows Girl is watching. Princes fingers, his lips, his face radiant with charisma. Laughing. Girl takes it all in. Like food. Girl substitutes one pleasure for another. Today its bananas.
"Girl wanted banana everything. Banana milkshakes, banana blancmange, banana curry."
Louise loves pizza. Big pineapple chunks and ham with extra pepperoni and egg and an order of garlic bread. "Louise is going to eat Billys pizza with relish ... She is going to chew on inky squid and kiss her fingers which she has formed into a small cluster as she brings them to her lips ... Bon appetite." Quick and lavish, like a blow job on the back seat. Aaaah. "This is the life. Dont ever tell Girl. Its a secret for ever."
Why is it that Girl like all the girls before and after her time, pre-, during and post-Victorian, so to speak is tortured by her sexuality, while Billy Billy England, Billy New York, generic boy-next-door Billy, the King of Pain is so bloody comfortable in his skin?
"I have access to more masculinities than Dad. I am husband, father, son, brother, virgin, pimp, career man, homme fatale ..."
Why is it that Girl needs other peoples bodies in order to have experiences of her own? Is it because shes crazy, heroic, tragic, flawed? Is it because she is a Girl? It doesnt matter. Soon, all the kids in England will be pushing up daisies, anyway.
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