The things that make her who she is. A child’s face gazing up from a deep abyss, innocence lost in the touch of a hand, the flick of a tongue where a tongue shouldn’t be. The fear of telling the one person who should be told. The words of a monster . . . “You did this. It’s your fault.” A life lived with fear and guilt that should have been lived with Barbies and dress-up games.
A 45-rpm record on a turntable, relentlessly cranking out a song that will haunt her forever, send chills down her spine and prompt a return trip to the abyss, the one safe place to be, where there are demons to keep the monsters at bay.
A sneer across a dinner table as they say they’re going out and she [it] has come to babysit. Leaving her alone with it again. A single tear (“Baby!”) overlooked and laughed at, left to drip silently onto a half-eaten mound of mashed potatoes.
A scar that runs too deep to cover, a rift straight to the abyss, where the demons become her friends and show her things she shouldn’t see (“Witch!”). She walks disguised in darkness, day and night, the underneath never showing on the surface, the facade etched with pain mistaken as weakness (“Loser!”).
A laugh, a jeer, a taunting face. She holds out her arm, long slim finger pointing. A burst of energy from the abyss and the demons bring peace. Justice. They keep their distance now (“Witch!”).
Nightmares filled with angels disguised as demons chasing her. She retreats to the abyss, where the demons drive the angels away and keep her safe, teach her things she needs to know. To be safe.
Older now, a touch on soft skin, a flutter where a flutter shouldn’t be. Or should it? A faltering step toward the abyss, toward safety, then two back. A touch, a shiver. Two steps forward. (“Jesus Christ!”) Anger, the touch growing rough. Lust. (“Bitch!”) Then down, down, where it’s safe. (“Bitch! What’s wrong with you?!”)
Older still, another touch, rough and hurried. The abyss isn’t so close this time. A laugh and a jeer. (“Cunt!”) She can hear the demons, there’s safety there in the abyss. She moves forward. (“Frigid!”)
Older still, but young again, this time a soft hand, gentle. A word (“love”) where the word shouldn’t be. Or should it? The demons are silent. The word again (“love”), not in her vocabulary, but could it be? Another gentle touch, the word spoken (“love”). This is truth, she knows it. And safety. Part of what makes her who she is, a child’s innocence returned at last, a little shattered, a little dusty, a little bruised, returned with one word (“love”). Same abyss, different name. Release, rapture, safety.
This is truth. The Bitch is back.