'Pterodactylcs' by Nicky Silver
Age Range: 20's
EMMA: Hello everybody. I’m dead. How are you? I’m glad I killed myself. I’m not recommending it for others, mind you—no Dr. Kevorkian am I. But it’s worked out for me. Looking back, I don’t think I was every supposed to have been born to begin with. Of course the idea that anything is “supposed to be” implies a master plan, and I don’t believe in that kind of thing. When I say I shouldn’t have been born, I mean that my life was never all that pleasant. And there was no real reason for it. I was pretty. I had money. I was lucky enough to be born in a time and into a class where I had nothing but opportunities. I look around and there are crippled people and blind people and refugees and I can’t believe I had the gall to whine about anything! I had my health—oh sure, I complained a lot, but really I was fine. And I had love! Granted the object of my affections was a latent, or not-so-latent homosexual as it turned out, who was infected with the HIV virus, who in turn infected me and my unborn baby—but isn’t that really picking nits? I can never thank Todd enough for giving me the gun, because for the first time, I’m happy. The pain is gone and I remember everything.
Tommy is here but we’re not speaking. He spends all his time with Montgomery Clift and George Cukor talking about movies. I assume. And I’ve been reunited with Alice Paulker. We went to school together. She was shot last year by a disgruntled postal worker. She has long wavy brown hair and skin so pale you can see right through it – I don’t mean it’s really transparent and you can see her guts and everything. It’s just pale. And she has very big eyes. Green. And we listen to music and go for walks. And take turns read aloud to each other. She reads poems by Emily Bronte and I read chapters from The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. She was always classier than me. And sometimes we just hold each other. and I run my fingers through her hair and she touches her lips, gently, along my cheek. She makes soft sounds, comforting sounds and she takes her time and runs her tongue around the edge of my ear. We take off our clothes and just look at each other. I was shy at first, but Alice helped me and never rushed me. She held my breasts in her hand and ran her lips between them, down my stomach. I touch her eyelids and her forehead and her hair and her fingers and the back of her neck. And she enters me and I am everywhere at once and nowhere at all. And I remember everything and find that nothing matters. And for a moment, for a moment or two that lasts forever we become one person. And I forget, we forget, that we were ever alive. And everything makes perfect sense.