I’m staring out the car window at the mountains. I get to see these mountains all the time. Sometimes I just feel like noticing them. Today they are covered in snow. The snow is lower than usual. I think I see frost forming outside on the window but tell myself that it is just my imagination. When I finally get out of this city the one thing I will miss will be these mountains. I should move to a place where they have mountains.
"What the fuck is this?"
I turn toward the driver’s seat where my dad is sitting, and pull my headphones off.
"I said ‘what is that?"
He motions his head towards my hands before looking back up at the road. Today my fingernails are covered in orange nail polish. An ugly orange, but it was all I had left.
"You gotta be kidding me. You have got to be kidding me. I’m okay with the hair and the clothes and whatever, but this is not gonna fly. Not under my roof."
He gets off at the next exit. There is a Wal-Mart next to the freeway. We pull in. He gives me a ten dollar bill.
"Go in there and buy some nail polish remover. I’m takin’ care of this right now. No more of this bullshit."
I wonder if they have mountains in England.
I’m sitting in my room, tearing pictures out of magazines. Some I fold and fold along the same line before dragging two closed fingernails against the folded piece of page. I then slowly spread the fold apart with my palms flat. Others I tear in jagged semi-circles, perfectly flawed cut-outs. I glue them to the poster board above my computer desk. A lot of them are pictures of women. This will probably make my dad happy. He won’t know that these are woman I wished I looked like, as opposed to women I want to fuck.
I’m walking across my carpet. It’s squishy. There’s a leak coming in from the backyard. It’s rained and it’s all seeping in. My room has smelled like mold for the past week. My dad says we’ll fix it when we fix it. I press my fingers into it. It’s cold. I imagine myself small and trapped in it. I picture my fingers pressing through the large, thick blue strands. They rise like giant trees above me. I am lost. My hair is long and wild. I kiss my hand and leave a red lipstick print and wave it in the air. My fingernails are bright purple. No one sees me. I’m too small. I’m perfect.
It’s a few days later and I’m pulling out my secret stash of nail polish. I have to hurry. Dad will be home soon. He’s going to tear my room apart looking for “queer paraphernalia”. He’s going to send me away when he finds it. I looked up the place. “Family Healing Ministries”. It’s in the middle of some flat desert.
I grab one of my dad’s coffee mugs. It has Romans 12:12 printed on it. I take the different colors of polish, red, black, pink, purple, yellow, green, and I pour them, one by one, into the mug. I hear a car pull into the driveway. I drink up as quickly as I can. I don’t feel woozy yet. I position myself on the bed with my window open so I can see the mountains. I hope wherever I’m going has mountains.