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FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD

by kat mellon

[EXCERPT]


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD First off, writing this damn thing is one of the dumbest, most asinine things I’ve done yet. Give a demented monkey a keyboard and it’ll tap out a load of shit—give me a keyboard and I’ll do the same, though I’m willing to bet the monkey would still do better. Here's the thing I just can't figure out: why in the hell am I writing this? It's not like I've got anyone who'll read it or give a damn. I guess my thinking is that someday when I’m rotting six feet under, someone I've never met'll pick up this bundle and make me matter again. That's a real stupid notion, though, because I’ll still be as dead as a potato-state spacker. This whole thing is goddamn stupid, but here I am, still typing and everything. This weed looks damn tempting right now. Damn tempting. But you know what? I’m not going to take it. That last trip to the hospital did me in, I tell you. It really did. Too many nurses and water bags and needles and stuff. Goddamn heroin. And the smell. Trust me, the smell is enough to drive you crazy, guaranteed. If I ever smell that latex glove smell again, I’ll know that my time has come. They’ll stick me in one of those goddamn body bags and dump me in the morgue and clean me up for a goddamn funeral, assuming that he would even bother to pay for one. They'd probably just bury me that day and be done with it. Anyway, I’m thinking about running away tonight. Getting away from this shithole of a house and going somewhere else. Anywhere else. I’d rather sleep in a box. People might actually leave me alone in there. Oh, I’ll keep a journal and all, I promise. I’ll print out this page and buy one of those cheap notebooks at the drugstore before I take off. But who the hell cares? Like I said, I doubt anyone will read it. I can’t name a single friend or acquaintance, honestly. Well, there was Jakely, but he’s dead. If you love someone, they die. I swear. This chair is crappy. It’s puke yellow and it creaks whenever you lean back in it. There’s a bunch of beer stains on it too. I hate sitting in it or on anything in this house. Even the goddamn bed is crappy. My feet hang off the edge and it feels like I’m sleeping on a slab instead of a mattress. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I want to leave. I can nick some money from The Bastard and dye my hair and run away, kind of like the kid from The Outsiders. I’d even get the damn leather jacket and


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

join some bikers and go rob some banks or something. Anything but being stuck here where I can’t even goddamn sleep, and it’s not just because of the bed. The Bastard brings women home almost every night, and with all that screaming and drunkenness, it's a wonder that I even get as little sleep as I do. I’m practically an insomniac. I’ll stare up at the ceiling sometimes and when things are bad, I always find the little Devil on my wall. I kid you not: one of the paint splotches looks like the Devil, tail and all. I’ll kind of miss it, actually. It was almost like being able to see into the future. If I looked up and saw it, I knew I was pretty damn screwed. If there were any time of day I would run away, it would be right now while he’s off at work. Yeah, The Bastard does work, though at what I don’t know. We don’t talk much. He can say a lot without words. My head’s been hurting all damn day. You know why? I fell down the stairs because I was trying to avoid him. I smashed straight into the goddamn wall. Right into it. I even left a dent. I hope he doesn’t notice because I’ll be up shit creek. I’ll be painting the wall with my blood. I’d be like one of those crazy hospital inmates fingerpainting with things that should never be used to finger-paint. Stuff like that makes me nuts. Finger-painting with shit. I mean, really. Can’t they find anything better? You know, like Crayola or Roseart? I have a bag to put my stuff in, in case you were wondering. It’s black with a strap and it zips up and everything. I don’t have much, but I figure that I can pick more stuff up as I go on down the road. I’m going to leave the last of the drugs in his drawer to thank him for not killing me after all these years. It’s the least I can do. He had come pretty close a few times, I have to admit. I’ve got five shirts and a couple of jeans, so I’ll pack those. I’ve also got this weird hat with the little pom-pom on the top. It’s black and white. I just put it on. Jakely gave it to me for Christmas before he died. I think he found it out on the street one of the few times he got to go outside. I don’t remember what I found for him. I sure wish I could remember, though. Oh, and I’ve got some pictures and stuff I’ll take with me too. One of my mom, believe it or not. I had more once, but I tore them up after I met the bitch. I actually met her a few years ago at a café. She phoned The Bastard and wanted to know if he was still taking care of me. I ended up waiting for her in some slummy café with him watching me from outside (making sure I didn't run away or anything), and we sat down at this goddamn dirty table and talked for about fifteen minutes before some


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

guy with a goatee made a move on her, and boy did she move quick. Made up some excuse and was gone with him, just like that. Left me with the goddamn bill and everything. But yeah, I’m leaving. I’ve made up my mind. The bag is packed and all I have to do is print this out, nick the money, and hit the streets. I don’t know where to go, really. I don’t know where the good jobs are or anything. I suppose I’ll just clamber off into the Wilderness like that Supertramp guy. He’s going to be home in about twenty minutes. I’d better get the lead out before I get caught. Hell hath no fury like a Bastard scorned. ❖❖❖ I did it. I’m ON THE ROAD! Well, technically I’m sitting outside the back door, but that’s beside the point, really. What counts is that I’m outside of the house. It’s hard to actually come to terms with the fact that I’m leaving. I mean, I’ve lived here my whole life, so what the hell am I going to do besides bum around on some crappy city streets? I doubt I’ll find a job. They don’t need any creepy-looking teenagers. Heck, I’d scare off all their business. They’d pay me to leave. I’ve got this black shaggy hair that The Bastard’s always hated. It makes me look shady and demented. Anyway, I don’t think of myself as the tortured soul type like they talk about on TV. I’m more of a leave-me-alone-and-shut-the-fuck-up type. I have these crazy incisors. They'll all think I’m a vampire. Truthfully, I hate blood, especially the smell. Latex gloves and blood have got to be the worst smells on this earth. I think I mentioned that before. I’m writing on the back of the page I printed out. My handwriting is kinda crappy. I don’t know why, but it just is. Too loopy. My ball-point pen keeps on quitting, so I’ll have to get a new one. It’s got bite marks all over it. I chew on it when I’m nervous. Like now, for instance. I’ve been chewing on it for fifteen goddamn minutes waiting for a good excuse to leave. I think I’ll chew on the pen some more and wait. The Bastard is pulling in the driveway. I’ve just decided that I’m leaving forever. I’m sick of him and that stupid goddamn shitty Jeep. I want the hell out of here before I go so crazy that I dump my blood in a latex glove and drink it.


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

❖❖❖ Ok. I made it out all right. I just grabbed my bag and walked. Boy, I walked. I walked for ages. Well, it seemed like it was ages, but it was probably only a couple of minutes. I’m funny that way. So, I waited for the bus and that’s where I am now. On a goddamn bus. I've never been on one before. You want to know the worst part? I forgot to nick the goddamn money before I left. I gave the bus driver part of my last few bucks. I don’t even have enough money to buy a stupid muffin for dinner. It seems like I always forget the important things. Like that thing I gave Jakely. It scares me, to be honest with you. I don’t want to lose my mind. Boy, this place is a shithole. Most people think downtown's full of glamour and pretty stuff, but it really isn’t. It’s full of porn and drugs and sex, and I can only stand the second one. The other two scare me. I don’t like to think about things that make me remember the past. Pretty soon, I can forget about it all because I’m getting the hell out. Maybe I’ll be a cowboy out West, if they even have those anymore. I’ll probably just be shlucking dung at some old Farmer’s place. But that’s ok. As long as I get my own damn shack to live in. I remember when me and Jakely rode the city bus together. Actually, I'm not sure if we really did or not. Stuff from the TV mixes in with my memories sometimes. Anyway, I think we went to visit his aunt across town, or maybe he did and just told me about it. She had this little house with a picket fence and all these little flowers and everything INSIDE the house was all cute and covered in flowers too. She had a cat. I’ve always liked animals. They can’t tell you what to do and they’ll always listen. The Bastard wouldn’t let me get a pet, ever. Not even one of those roly-poly’s I used to find in the house. I don’t think Jakely’s aunt had any of those in her house, though. The cat must have eaten them. I don’t think Jakely ever had a pet either. Maybe he would’ve lived if he had. I always told him he should get a pet mouse, but he didn’t want one. He said, well maybe YOU should get one if you want one so damn much. I told him I couldn’t because of The Bastard and all. It got quiet after that. He knew me better than anyone. Maybe I should get a pet. Then I wouldn’t be so damn lonely all the time. But really, I can't bear to have another mouse after what happened to the last one. I’ve always liked reptiles, but I don’t like the idea of taking it out and talking to it. I mean,


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

does a lizard ever really look like it’s listening when you’re talking to it? They just kinda sit there, all dumb and oblivious. At least a dog looks at you when you tell it your life’s story. They sit there and wag their tails and lick your face and act like they CARE. Why can’t PEOPLE be like that? I don’t mean the face-licking and the tailwagging, but the whole caring part. People are like lizards that way. They don’t listen. They just nod and then bite you when you’re done talking about how much everyone’s been an ass to you lately. I’m gonna have to get off the bus soon. I’ve been riding for half an hour and the driver’s looking at me in the mirror like I’m bothering him or something. Really, I’m just sitting here and minding my own business and everything. I mean, I should get off eventually, but where? I wish I could tell him to keep on driving out West. I’d make an I.O.U. for the fare, and I’d pay him back someday after I got my job shlucking dung for an old farmer by my little damn shack. But I know that he wants me to get off because he stops and comes over and says, “Hey kid, what’s the problem?” So, I tell him. “I don’t know where I’m going.” “Then why the hell are you on this bus?” “I don’t know.” “Then get off! I can’t just drive you around all day for nothin’.” I think for a minute. The driver looks ticked off. It’s like when The Bastard gives you that fuck you for living look. A lot like that. “Hey, can you drive me out West?” I ask him, all polite and everything. “I want to be a dung shlucker.” I can tell that this doesn’t warm him over, because he looks at me funny and goes, “Shlucking dung out West? Kid, are you crazy? I don’t go further West than ________Street, and people don’t shluck dung much anymore, anyways. Society’s run by McDonalds and Walmart. ” That sets me off. The only job I could have, and now I can’t have it, not even that little goddamn straw shack I wanted out on the farm. So I ask him, what is there if there’re no farmers to work for? “Well, kid, you oughta go there and find out yourself. Catch a bus and head on out.” “But if you can’t take me out further than _______Street, then how the hell am I supposed to get there?” “Well, kid, catch another bus.”


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

“But this is the only bus that comes this way.” “I hate ‘ta tell you this kid, but get off my bus. I don’t have time to argue. I have people to pick up and I need that seat.” So I dump myself out of the goddamn bus, bag and all. People like that are a dime a dozen. I’d be halfway to Texas by now if he would just shut up and goddamn DRIVE me there. Like I said, I’d pay him good and everything. The street I’m on is dirty. There’s a bum lying on the ground with a “Why Lie? Need Beer” sign propped up against his side. God, I could use a drink too. So I go over and nudge the guy with my foot. He wakes up all fast, his eyes popping open as if he hadn’t even been asleep. Well, I take a look at that and then I think fuck the beer and I run off. Stuff like that is just too creepy for me. It hits too close to home. I could never sleep, really. I’d only pretend, though I’d nod off occasionally. It’s getting kind of dark now, so I need to find a place to hunker down and rest for a while. I doubt I’ll sleep much, but at least my legs will be alright in the morning for when I head out West and all. I’m not too sure if I want to go, though. Thinking about it, it seems pretty dumb. I’m starting to feel like I want to die because I know I can’t go anywhere, but I can’t kill myself yet because if I did, I’d have to die out here and rot until the goddamn rats picked me apart and I’d be haunting the goddamn streets of downtown for the rest of forever until Satan came down from my wall and stabbed me through the heart with a knife made out of latex. The thought makes me feel real queasy. I just remembered that I haven’t eaten. I’d better go get some food somewhere with my dollar and twenty-nine cents. That’ll be a start. ❖❖❖ I didn’t buy any goddamn food because I remembered that I had to buy the goddamn journal. It’s black, the same shade as my hair. One hundred and seventy pages exactly. And you know what? I’m going to fill every single goddamn one of them. Too bad you don’t get paid for that. I could get a job where you just write— vomit on and on about anything that comes to mind and get money for it. I could do that for AGES. It’s what I’m DOING, for christssake. Imagine if I got PAID for it. Then I’d just stop eating and drinking and even MOVING and just write the bullshit in my


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

soul out in some goddamn notebook until I drained myself of every single thought I had ever had. Now THAT’S a dream job. Better than that goddamn straw shack. The reason I want a straw shack, you see, is because of the movies. Those uncivilized people, that’s what they live in. All alone in their little communities, not bothered by hardly anyone; and if they are, they’re shot dead before they know it. I’ve never cared for people, so it would be a community of one and one only. I would call it the village of FuckYou. It sounds like some Chinese proverb, to be honest. I don’t know why, but it just does. I’m starting to get tired. I mean, I’m ALWAYS tired, but this is the kind of tired where you can’t even keep your goddamn eyes open and standing would be a feat in and of itself. I think I might pass out, actually. So I sit on a bench and close my eyes for a little bit. It doesn’t help much, but at least I haven't passed out yet. It’s times like these that I’d like a beer or a cigarette or something. Something to live for, you know. Kinda keeps you going. Huh. Just woke up and the goddamn pen is still in my hand. It’s really dark now and pretty damn freaky too. I’m just sitting here on this bench on this street. No one’s walking on it, so I guess I’ll be ok. But just in case, I’ll wrap my bag in my arms and lay on the journal. I can finally get some sleep out here, I reckon. So I lay on the goddamn bench like a bum and I’m shutting my eyes and damn I’m sure hungry. ❖❖❖ When I wake up, it's real light outside and people are walking around again. Some of them are staring at me kinda funny, so I pull myself up and straighten out. I must have gotten more sleep than I had for AGES. I look around, but then I realize: where the HELL am I? There’s a bunch of shops for tourists, some flower shop, and a Walk-In-Wills. I have to laugh at that. It’s not like I have anything to leave or anyone to leave it TO, for that matter. And the flowers. Who the fuck needs flowers? They die, just like everything else. Give it to someone and it dies. What kind of a message is THAT? I’ve always thought flowers were real goddamn stupid, although they sure can smell nice. So, I get up and start walking down the street so I can try and figure out where the hell I am. I’ve never really left the area around the house before, so everything here is new to me. I start to get this awful feeling as I get further down the block, so I


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

pull the hood of my jacket up and crouch down against a wall with my knees against my chest. I hang my head down and start humming a freaky tune by a band whose name escapes me. Named after some kind of food. It helps, though. So I look up and all of a sudden there's a damn cop walking toward me, so I put my head down again. I’m shaking like mad for a few seconds because I don't want him to take me back to the house. I peek up through my hood and the cop is walking away and whistling a tune. Real familiar. I snap my arms around my knees like I always do. I can’t breathe real well. I calm down after a minute, but not by much. My heart is still hammering like a bitch, just dying to rip out of my goddamn chest. I feel like I want to kill something, maybe even myself. I’ll never be able to escape, will I? Goddamn. Every goddamn thing I see reminds me of him. Even being a dung shlucker would remind me of him because I would see him in every single piece of shit I shlucked, but I’d see me too and I’d probably just drive the shovel through my chest so that I wouldn’t have to see either of us. But this cop is really bugging me. He seems too goddamn happy. I’m not keen on sticking around, so I get up and start walking as soberly as I can. I forgot to mention it, but I did take a few of the drugs with me. I couldn’t just leave ALL of them, you know? So I had a touch of weed to make me stop thinking about how goddamn thirsty I am. Anyway, I’m feeling kind of iffy right now from everything and it’s hard to walk straight. The man starts whistling that song again. I could kill him. So I turn around, and then I know that I’m dead. The shit-headed Bastard. A cop. The man's a damn cop, the kind of guy who was supposed to have come and saved me. I couldn’t even move, I was so messed up. I knew I ought to have run, but I goddamn COULDN’T. I couldn’t make sense of anything. He saved peoples LIVES, but he couldn’t even save his own SON? I had my pocketknife with me. I could slit his fucking throat right here, right now. I could hardly believe it. A damn COP. But I would do it. I’d kill him. I wanted revenge, for HIS blood to run all over HIS goddamn face. But as he gets closer, I freeze and then I'm tearing up. I hate him so much, but I can’t fucking KILL him. Just like he never killed me. I just CAN’T. So the tears start coming and then I can’t even goddamn SEE, which doesn’t help a bit. I wipe them just in time to see him help a little kid and his mother cross the street because there's a big puddle of water on the side of the road from yesterday and all. And like the dumb fuck


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

I am, I want to scream my pain out to the entire world because keeping it all in is just killing me. So I do. “HEY, ASSHOLE!" He turns around, and when he sees me his eyes are like a bull’s. He's gonna kill me if I don't move soon. “I’M YOUR FUCKING SON!” Then I run. I just turn and run. Then I run and run and run until I start coughing up a load of phlegm from all the cigarettes and then I stop running. I collapse on a bench because my side is cramping up real bad. I thought I would feel some kind of satisfaction, but I sure as hell don’t. When I screamed it at him, he didn’t even look like he gave a damn. I'd wanted to yell that at him for years, though. It was my little fantasy; to run the hell out of the house, scream those words at him, and leave for good. Leave him alone to entertain himself without getting me involved. So here I am, all alone on a damn bench in the middle of downtown. I don’t know what in the hell to do anymore. I don’t even think I care. If I had a gun, I would blow my brains out here and now. But I don’t, obviously, so I’m screwed. I know I have to run for it before he catches me, but where the hell to? So I’m just going to walk. Walk, walk, walk. Maybe I’ll get somewhere nicer for once. ❖❖❖ I’ve stopped in an alley. I’m fucking freezing. I walked all damn day, past all those people I’ve never seen before and who I’ll never see again. I’m a nobody. They all looked at me funny. After a while, I just kept my head down. The concrete is better for looking at anyways. I’m also real hungry. I never really stopped walking. I just kinda kept going like I was in a trance or something. I mean, I just can’t believe that he’s a cop. I can’t. It makes me so depressed that I want to die. Maybe I could meet Jakely up in Heaven. Most likely they’ll send me to Hell for all of the bad things I’ve done, though I can’t say I did any of them willingly. Well, maybe the drugs, but I don’t know. He liked me better drugged up. It’s around dinnertime right now but I don’t have any money. As gross as this sounds, I’m thinking about digging though the trash. I mean, I’m starving. My


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

stomach feels like it’s going to eat itself. And I’m dead tired. I’m getting these huge blisters on my feet from these shit-ass shoes I grew out of a long time ago. It’s dark and I’m getting scared again. I don’t like the dark.

Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this? I’ve been asking myself those questions for my entire goddamn life, but I still don’t have any answers. And you know what? I don’t think I ever will. ❖❖❖ Heyy. I bak. Its great Im not hunrgy anymre. Im fucking fabulus. Damn spiffy. Dance with me, Jakley. Take me to danc with you and all thos starss and shit up there in heaven, all the little pussy clouds and shit up there just waitn for me. Give me my fuckin wings, God. Im ready for em. I’ve been waiting a long tiem for some justice, fucker. Jakely’s dead, and you didn’t come bak for me. I’m just a useless fuckin loser on these shit city streets. Why did you leave me hheere? I know I not religious, and I know Im a shit person. Just fuckin kill me. It’s all I got goin for me. Just take me out of my fuckin misry and let me smile for te first time in my fucking life. ❖❖❖ I had this dream that my dad came after me. He had a knife and he threw me on the ground and pinned me down and held it to my throat and said that if I yelled he’d kill me. Then he stuck a heroin needle into my arm and everything went all fuzzy, and then I was walking with Jakely at the park and we saw a girl and she came up to me and smiled and I froze, and then suddenly Jakely fell over and was dead and the girl smiled wider and held up the knife, and then blood started coming out of her mouth and she was dead too, and my dad was back and somehow I grabbed Jakely’s body and ran away, and then we were in his room and he was alive again, and we were talking about the Christmas present I gave him and he had it in his hand but I couldn’t see it, then later he got up and went outside and I heard a scream, and I go up and he’s laying in a pool of blood and some woman is crying over his dead body and then I’m screaming and screaming and screaming, and then when I wake up and open my eyes I scream for REAL because some blond haired fuck is right up in my face looking at me.


FLOWERS WHEN YOU'RE DEAD | KAT MELLON

“Whoa, man. You ok?” “Fuck off." I backed up against the wall of the alley real quick. “Now, you're obviously coming off of something,” the guy told me, as if I didn’t know already. “But I want to help you. How many fingers am I holding up?” “One, and you can shove it up your ass. I don’t want your fucking help.” I hate people. I HATE them. This guy was really ticking me off. And I couldn’t believe it, but the dude was actually SMILING. “Hilarious, aren’t I?” He nodded. “It’s like déjà vu, bro. Once upon a time, I was just like you. Well, sort of. I didn't end up in an alley.” I couldn’t help it; I laughed. Damn crazy bastard and his stupid words. “What changed?” “I grew up.” Then the guy gets up and tells me he’ll be back. I thought that maybe he stole my journal, but it’s still here, so here I am writing this. He’d better not come back. I want to be left alone. I didn’t get much sleep and I really do feel like shit. Coming down off a high is a bitch, though I must admit it did feel nice for a little bit. I didn’t even remember where I was or what I was doing. ❖❖❖


FWYD EXCERPT