You shot your daughter to death on a cloudless Sunday afternoon, and then you shot yourself. There was a picture of the little blonde girl in the paper, smiling, clutching two stuffed animals brightly colored. The picture was small and blurry and very depressing; depressing only in retrospect, I mean. Of course we always get sad when children lose their lives, however tragically, because itís like they never really got a chance. You know, like maybe she would have been nothing like most of the rest of us. Or maybe she would have been amazing like a few people Iíve met over these years. Weíll never really know.
You didnít leave a note, so we donít know why. You were going through a bitter divorce, and although I canít personally relate, Iím starting to understand the torturing pain someone like you must have experienced, having something you loved so much ripped away. Or maybe you were just fucking crazy. I donít know. Maybe both.
I myself can understand, but I couldnít imagine having to pull that first trigger. The second one, after you had seen what you had done, was probably much easier to pull. But that first one: how did you get those muscles to work? How did you get those neurons to fire so? Quite amazing things these brains of ours, the things we make them do.
Your daughterís name was Mikayla. A pretty name. She wore glasses, and looked like she might have grown up to be an editor of a medium-sized literary arts magazine, or a classical pianist. Did she like arts or literature or piano? Iím sure she was too young to articulate this desire, but as a parent, Iím sure you could tell. More than we sometimes like to admit.
What else did she like to do? What were her 5-year-old dreams? Did you let her see it coming, or did you do it while she slept? Did she wonder what you were doing? Did she cry? Did you tell her you were sorry, or try to rationalize it all for her, thinking maybe she could see where you were coming from, your point of view? Did it make you feel better afterward, in the end, knowing you had finally gotten back at your wife? Did you accomplish everything you had hoped? What were her last words? Was she happy? What were yours? Were you happy? Can you remember anything at all now, or is it all a blur, did you block it all out?
Itís these things I wonder as I look at your daughter smiling back at me. She probably forgives you now, whatever sheís doing, wherever she finds herself. She just looks like the forgiving type that can't hold a grudge, stay mad very long. But me, I canít quite yet, because her blurry and hopeful face is still haunting me tonight.
You and your friends were going to go out and beat up some faggots because one of them had looked at you in a bar, and you thought he wanted to fuck you. This was wholly unacceptable to you, enraging. Fuck him, you thought. Who the fuck is he to want to fuck you? Who the fuck does he think he is?
You thought about him, his hard chest pressed against yours, his cock pressed against your thigh, his deep voice whispering in your ear, your hand caressing his arms, then his down his back, then his ass, then his shoulders, your lips pressed against his, your tongue in his mouth, and you were utterly disgusted and forced yourself to puke all over yourself to prove your revulsion. You punched the bathroom wall where you stood staring at yourself and imagined the now-broken wall was the disgusting face of the faggot, and you did not at all realize your hand was now broken, too, like the wall.
Who the fuck does that faggot think he is? Who the fuck do you think you are, faggot?
You often wondered if you really loved her, or if you even knew what the fuck love really was at all. You sometimes thought your generation had become so sanitized and culturally retarded, you never had a chance to figure out what it was for yourself. "Like a plumber hired to build a rocketship," you told yourself. But you thought you might love her. She felt right. Like when she's in your arms she fits like perfect, and the endorphins crawl straight into your brain and fuck you straight up and you can't let go. And like when she's on the phone with you, you can't let go then either. You can't say good-bye cause you don't know how and don't want to know how. And when she's not around you wonder what she's doing, like if she's laughing and what the fuck is she laughing at, it better not be something funny that some cuter guy said, or is she crying and what the fuck is she crying about now, it better not be something some no-necked jock asshole said to her, cause you'll kick his fucking jock ass (even though you know in your head that would be impossible, cause you're a pussy. But a pussy in love, you tell yourself). Things like that you wonder.
She wondered if she loved you, too, sometimes; but you thought she probably didn't. She had other things to love, more important things. Things that needed love much more than you needed love. But she thought she loved you, too. She could feel all the things you could feel, even if she didn't like talking about it. And she wondered about things, too; girl things, like did you like the stupid outfit she had on, or did you notice the new thing about her (like painted nails or a new haircut), and did you remember the little seemingly-insignificant-thing-to-you-but-very-fucking-significant-thing-to-her (Like how she was wearing the same earrings she wore the first night you fucked each other in the park, or the various scents she wore.)
And sometimes, still, you wondered if it was all worth it, this thing you didn't understand called love. And sometimes you thought no -- what a fucking waste of time and money and emotion -- but tonight, looking at her in that dress, and the way she made you fit perfect, you had no choice in the matter.