Tinfoil by Ann Petroliunas
The forest green carpet isn’t so ugly when all the lights are off. It scratches at my chin as I bury my face in it so he can’t hear my sobs or my screams. I have my headphones on so I don’t wake my sister. And so He won’t know how I angry I am.
I can’t be angry. I went to Catholic school. I am only allowed to be sad. I can’t be angry that she’s gone. I can’t be angry at God for letting her die. I am supposed to find comfort in the fact that she is in heaven now. God says she is at rest. That she is with her father and mother. That she isn’t suffering. That she doesn’t need any more surgeries. Or chemo. Or radiation. Or bone marrow transplants. That she isn’t scared anymore.
Fuck you, God.
I’m going to lay here in the dark on this scratchy forest green carpet that has been my floor since I was 2 and listen to Rainer Maria scream “God Damn It” over and over again.
And I am going to do it with my headphones on so God doesn’t know I’m angry. So my dad doesn’t know I am angry. So that in a half an hour I can wake my sister up from her nap and drive her to ballet class. So I can get dinner on the table by 7. So that we can keep pretending to be a middle class suburban family with a white picket fence.
You know what, God? I am going to keep listening to angry people screaming over guitar riffs. And I am going to tell dad that I’m going to Jenny’s house but I am going to take his minivan to the city to the Fireside Bowl to see Rainer Maria play Tinfoil tonight.
And I am going to smoke pot in Tony’s room. And cigarettes in your mini van. I’m going to pretend that if I keep the windows down you won’t notice. And I’m probably going to have sex. And maybe stick something up my nose.
Because that’s what happens to 17 year old girls whose mothers die and whose priests tell them it’s not okay to be angry. That I should trust God instead.
I trust Rainer Maria. I trust Sleater Kinney. I trust Braid and Ambition Mission and the Ramones. I trust Jenny, and Tony, and Steve. And all the other Flounders who helped carry the hospital bed and ventilator out of our house and then drove our mini-van so I could get drunk.
So I could come back here to this scratchy forest green floor to listen to Rainer Maria take the Lord’s name in vain and feel something other than emptiness.
About the Author:
Ann Petroliunas is a 2017 graduate of the prose certificate program at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, OR. She is an educator, traveler, and editor at Arq Press. She’s Chicago born and raised, but loves to surf, and is pretty sure she was a sea lion in a past life. Her work has previously been published in Bridges: A Lithuanian American-Journal and Hot Metal Bridge.