By Hannah Phinney
Milef had dyed green hair, of course, because she was punk. One side of her head was razored to the scalp, while the other was overrun with the glossiest of clumps and spikes, their shapes unswervingly faithful to the ULTRA-MAX HOLD spray applied with deliberate abandon each night before the slamming of screened front doors. Milef was the coolest of all the punks. She said “fuck you!” to society, and the vehemence with which she said it was renowned. She led the large pack in their rovings through the night city, where they weaved, pranced and stalked around the main points and pulsings of electric light. The punks were hyenas in their badassery, and she was their anarchist Mother. Members of the pack, safety-pinned, cloaked in black, would ask her advice, first and always, in such ways as carnivorous but domesticated animals beg for marrow-filled bones. Her pronouncements were opulent emeralds of The Revolution. It had been this way since early middle school…mostly as long as she could remember. And Milef cherished her top-of-the-food-chain status, guarding it cruelly.
Then one day, it came. It was a lovely punk child named Raven. Without much ado – without even trying really, Raven became the punk clan’s new violently idolized leader. She had a pink mohawk, sleeve tattoos, black rubber moon boots with six-inch platforms. She said things like ‘blotto’ and ‘fried to the hat’. The boys lined up, obedient, whimpering nose-pierced Chihuahuas to light her cigarettes, and the girls squawked in circles around her, preening through their layers of fishnets, waiting for their turn to caress Raven’s saw-toothed magenta mane.
Milef had been pushed to the rear of the rowdy pack, where she seethed blackly and paced unnoticed. She was blinded by white rage at having to fall back amongst the rabble. She planned elaborate deaths for her new usurper – slow, torturous stabbings, rat-poisoned beer, and the like. She saw in her mind’s eye Raven’s head on a stake. But then, truly, in the mile-deep trenches of her secret punk places, Milef craved Raven’s undying friendship. Pink hair! Pink was the new green, ultimately and of course. So secretly, silently, at night in her room, she breathed ragged breaths for Raven’s hair, sleeves, style, for her love…she scratched herself raw to rid herself of the gnawing itch to be close to Raven – to be so close that it hurt, so close that she and Raven melted into the SAME PERSON.
This continued: night after night Milef ping-ponged between detestation and adoration, and stewed thickly on the idea that she could not stand for much longer not having the things that Raven now had, the things that had been illegitimately wrenched from her. She scratched and scratched, and sores blossomed like dewy roses over her body. An infection pollinated some of the larger wounds in her stomach, and Milef thought this was just as well. In the hospital, she was made to strip off all her accoutrements so that she could don the same depressingly hideous gown as every other sicky in that hellhole…and the former anarchist Mother felt the last of her cool dribble away. None of the pack came to visit, which was also just as well. Milef wept salty black tears, and dreamed of slipping on a body suit of the loveliest Raven skin.
Hannah Phinney is a bartender, a graduate student in linguistics at San Francisco State, and an aspiring writer of semi-surrealistic/sci-fi/postmodern fiction. Her poetry and prose can be found at: http://kingzoko.wordpress.com/