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The thing that doesn't like daddy is really loud today.

Mama is sleeping, but she never hears it anyway. She never makes it go away. The triplets are sleeping. Everyone's far away.

It's quiet, so it's loud.

In the bottom. Of the cupboard. I'm sharp. Take me. Hold me. When he comes back...

I hit each of the babies. They start to cry. They wail enough to make it become a whisper. I like them best this way. Useful. Mama sits upright and asks me what I'm doing.

Nothing, mama. But the babies, they howl pretty good, don't you think?

She's mad now, and talks angry at me, because I'm always naughty. I don't care. I know I'm not very bad at all. I only do things because I need to.

But she makes me go into the next room. The thing can't reach me as loud here, but I'm all alone and there's nothing distracting.

If you cut someone here, they bleed and bleed. Do it here, and they can't run. But the best place is right here, because they can't scream...

I wrap my arms around my head. Eyes closed tight. I sing. I sing anything that comes into my head, even things that aren't music and don't have words. I just sing and sing and my throat hurts but I keep on singing singing singing...

Out of nowhere arms lift me into the air. I kick and scream but it's daddy. He picks me up and rests me against his chest. He looks worried. He wants to know why I was curled up in the corner. What's the matter, sweetie?


Nothing, daddy.

And uh-oh I'm gonna cry. I hate that. But he holds me tighter, and rubs my back. I hide my hands in his hair and he says that he loves me he always will and he wants to take care of me but he mostly doesn't know what to do so we all just have to try our best. Oh, daddy, you make it harder when you're nice to me, those ideas hurt all the more.

Take me away, daddy. Let's go somewhere far away.

Is the park far enough for me?

Uh-huh. For today.


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