soft palms good suit, realtor buy-the-house-after-one-room smile, he chuckles, “yeah, but,” sniffs in like he’s inhaling a sedative, “where do you hide the bodies in a place like this,” says: a place like this,
let me tell you about a place like this because under the trees and fresh paint and cars they get detailed with a toothbrush and windows that they cover with soap just to make sure ‘the cleaning people fully do their job’ (ha, ha, ha), let me tell you where they hide the bodies
let me tell you what their kids smell like, or maybe not, maybe your stomach isn’t strong enough. in our last week of junior year bella breaks down in the hallway and says, “i’m bulimic,” and i want to say, “no, you’re bella,” but instead i say, “why, why, why? you’re beautiful as it is,” bella’s history says: this is why, this is toddler in tiara turned young girl in tiara, turned teenager with too much baby fat on her to get anything but kicked out of beauty pageants (she hated them, she hated them, but what her mama wanted, her mama was gonna get), this is girl-on-cheer-squad looking down at her hands and thinking, “would i get a crown if they saw me today” and no, and no, and no, her body floats in a toilet bowl
let me tell you the body of justin with his chattering teeth who got straight-A’s but never stopped trembling with what we thought was caffeine: one day I caught him crying in a back room, he said, “please don’t tell, please don’t tell,” he said: anxiety. he said: self-harm. he said: been pushing myself too hard for too long and now it feels like everything is crawling down my throat and setting up camp on my vocal chords and sending little spiders through my bloodstream, now it feels like no matter what i do, i can’t feel anything. he said: look for my body next to the dean’s list, i have to make it, i have to make it.
where do they hide the bodies here? in senior year the captain of the football team killed himself when he didn’t get into the college his parents had pushed him for. randi’s stomach turned purple with the bruises her father gave her. david never got out of drugs after they made him drop art as his main subject. alex just wanted to be a boy in peace but his mother’s contempt refuses to acknowledge the “he” part of “she,” was struck down and suffocated by dresses and makeup. everybody wanted to be the best but only one person could be, which meant the rest of them were left upstream with nothing but fingers they rotted through while trying to catch their parent’s dreams.
oh, trust me, they murder plenty here, but they dress up the corpse and keep it running. wouldn’t want to ruin a long-term investment. wouldn’t want the neighbors to notice something bad is stinking up their jewel-green lawns, their soapy windows, their garden-by-the-pond. nothing different lives here, not for long. either you are one of their button-ups or you were made all wrong.
in a place like this, you got nothing but bodies. the houses are all too clean and the mothers drink too much and are overly friendly and the fathers don’t come home until way after their shifts are over. oh, sure, the kitchen floor is stunning and you gotta love the failing school system and you gotta love the community and you gotta love everything, just gotta, just gotta.
a place like this. a place like this. a place full of emptiness.