The Girl with the Red Umbrella
The girl with the red umbrella is in front of me. Walking. The cracked sidewalk is painted in front of us, littered with puddles as the October rain falls and dribbles down the crimson above her, splashing to the ground below.
Her brown boots tap and splash with each step. Her blue jeans run up her legs to her hips where it meets the hem of her brown jacket, running up her spine to the middle of her back where it lies beneath the blanket of blonde hair.
Her blonde hair, which cracks like a whip as she snaps her head, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. I can almost hear the grinding of the follicles as they form in a wave and wash down her back.
I can’t see her face. Walking behind her, I can only imagine. But I only see a blank canvas of skin-colored flesh. What lies beneath the red umbrella, besides what I can already see? What mystery lies unsolved for those with my perspective? With my point of view?
So my mind wanders. Molding the fresh flesh to create a picture that I see fit. To create a creature deemed acceptable to me, leaving out all the intricacies that make a person unique. Instead, I blend only what I have seen. Fleeting images from my memory to put together the puzzle of the unseen. Of what is currently forbidden to my eyes, dictated by laws that cannot be changed.
Putting aside my petty thoughts of aesthetics and society-driven perceptions of how a woman should look, I delve past her face, past the flesh, and carve through her skull to access her brain. More than just her thoughts. More than what she had for breakfast. What her morals are.
You know, important things, like…
What does she find sexually attractive? Is it me? Could I be the one for her? Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a perverted emotional response.
Or… is it?
Surely she has a boyfriend already. An imagined pretty girl like her? What could she see in me? I mean, she doesn’t even know I’m here. Walking behind her. Walking behind the girl with the red umbrella. The girl with a pretend face.
Tell me, Pretend Face, can you sense my presence behind you? Can you feel me as I mold my thoughts to give you a face? To carve the statue of my inner most thoughts and perceptions? To design your look that I’m tricked into believing is attractive?
No. No, you can’t. You have your own problems. You’re struggling. A pretend pretty girl like you certainly must live up to the real pressures of society. The starving, vomiting, drunken whores who put up a pretty front to give the illusion they’re where they want to be. They’re what they want to be. Living off the approval of others for self-gratification. Feeding, like vampires, on compliments and the thoughts of every man and woman locked in their room masturbating to their picture.
Yeah, Pretend Face, you have a lot to live up to. There are so many more girls who are prettier than you.
But, who am I to judge you, Pretend Pretty Face? Who am I to decide what is acceptable in society? I’m but one person. One mind. One thinker of thoughts and opinions and ideas and morals shaped by my upbringing. By the other think tanks around me.
Sure, many of those think tanks are running on empty. Being forced to live in a world of fantasy is no certainly no burden. But what about you, Girl With The Red Umbrella? Who shaped you? Who makes you what you are?
What are you?
Where are you going?
I should come with you. You need to be protected. Protected by the fucks of society whose only purpose is to imagine you in the hole of their brain where they undress you. Where you willingly provide whatever service fits to their standards of pleasure. After which they’ll coerce you, you simple-minded imagined face. Pretend girl. Pretend whore.
You’re strong. There’s nothing pretend about you. Nothing except your face. Your face within my thoughts.
Please, just show me your face.
Turn your head for a split second. Let me in to your world. Let me see.
Let me see.
You need protection. You need me. I’m going with you, even though you can’t see me. Even though I’m hidden behind the concrete wall of your standards. I can’t see it, but I know it’s there. You can’t hide it from me, Pretend Face. I see more than you think. I can see your pretend face.
You’re walking into your apartment now. You’ll be safe there, right, Pretend Face? You don’t need that red umbrella anymore. Put it away. Put it down. I’ll hold onto it for you for when you need it next.
You closed the door. You left it unlocked. The handle is cold, but it’s burning me. Red hot from the complexity of your standards. Standards so high that if I jumped from them, I’d reach the moon before hitting the ground.
I’m inside now. With you. Inside your mind. Inside your home. You don’t know it. I’m coming closer. I have the grip. The grip on the umbrella. The grip on your reality. Holding it so tightly between my fingers. My warm, hot, freezing fingers.
It’s becoming clearer now. You’re not safe. You’re never safe. No, not in this world. Not with so many people in this world. Not with people like me in this world.
You’re never safe, Pretend Face.
The Girl With The Red Umbrella.
Safety is earned, not borrowed.
Biding your time.
I’ll shield you.
You’re slumped on the ground. Floor as red as your umbrella, Pretend Face. I still can’t see it. Your real face, that is. Lying on your stomach, blonde hair stuck to your cheeks, matted with sticky blood.
I’m kneeling down, now. Don’t be afraid, Girl With The Red Umbrella, you’re safe now.
Your blood is smooth between my warm, frozen, melting fingers. As smooth as the skin on your arm. As smooth as the back of your neck.
I’ll bet you feel better now, Pretend Face. Pretend Whore. Pretend Girl.
Tell me you feel better.
Please, tell me.
That’s okay, Girl With The Red Umbrella. You don’t have to tell me. I’ll just keep walking behind you.