Emily, 2014

She says, “I want to look happy,” and it makes me laugh a little because it reminds me of when someone suggests that I should do commissions, a sore subject. She’s curious to see how I paint, so I place a mirror directly behind me. The negligence of faith crosses my mind. House of 1000 Corpses, the shrillness of Baby’s voice loosens the screws of the spine. We are all locked in houses of horror, looking for ways to scream our way out. The muted dinging of an endless stream of texts; her hand clutches the future regardless of the fact that it always leads to the womb. Like a Christmas stocking stuffed with coal, I can only offer the nothingness of everything. Silent Hill, Dead Silence, like rats, teenagers live on cheese and nest where it’s most abundant. I twist her mother’s hair into braids. Nail lacquer, black licorice, catechismal thunderclouds, the road to our Final Destination, dotted with popcorn and earbuds.

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