Monday, June 14, 2010

Amelie Gray's Week 6 Entry: Looking For the Golden Life

Amelie Gray

Amelie Gray's Choice: Picture 2

Looking For The Golden Life

Hollywood infected your brain
You wanted kissing in the rain, oh oh
I've been living in a movie scene
Puking American dreams, oh oh
I'm obsessed with the mess that's America
I'm obsessed with the mess that's America

{Hollywood - Marina and the Diamonds}

The problem with Forks is the lack of public relations.

But, whatever. I can totally handle that. Besides, the whole 'small-town kid hitting it big' cliche that Hollywood's got going on isn't too far off the mark. If Miley Cyrus can shake her ass into fame and fortune, what's keeping me?

It would help if Dad and Mom were willing to let me go to the talent show tryouts voluntarily. I really didn't understand their problem with music. Well, maybe I did. In my opinion, there's not much a Saint of Forks church member can do without pissing off God, the Archangel, and Jimmy Swaggart. Apparently rocking it to Billie Joe screaming "Holiday" was a big no-no with Reverend Webber, which meant that it was a sin worthy of Hell to Mom, which meant that Bella was going to have to miss out on the tryouts and find something more suitable for a lamb of God.

Like lanyards.

So maybe that pissed me off. And maybe I snuck out using that cloth ladder Emmett made in fifth grade to sneak out to the parties where they spike the punch and play Seven Minutes in Heaven in their elder sister's bedroom closet - but what was the harm in that? Jesus died for our sins. Doesn't that mean that God could cut us a little slack when it came to the fun stuff?

Anyway, there I was, my guitar hanging off my shoulder, hair spiked and nails carefully painted a special onyx, waiting for my turn to wow America and live the dream I was created for.

There was just one problem.

"Bella? Aren't you supposed to be at home?"

I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth, resisting the urge to scream. The plan was genius - waiting until Mom turned on Nightly Devotionals and Dad started his imitation "Life with Father" act, putting his feet up and reading the newspaper in his armchair. Neither of them would hear a bomb go off. Emmett was in his room jacking off to porn most likely than not, and I doubted he'd give a damn if his poor misguided sister indulged in her passion for an hour or so.

But still, I had forgotten the crucial part of living in Forks: everyone knows everyone.

And the 'everyone' in this case was Jasper Whitlock.

Something you need to know about Jasper: until probably like two years ago, we were tight. Like seriously tight. Like 'Bridge to Terabithia, he'd cry over my dead body if I drowned in some stinky river' tight. I stopped planning out our wedding though after I realized one thing.

Jasper is seriously attached to Forks. I can't understand why, seeing as his life is probably worse than mine. See, his grandmother is crazy. She lives in this houseboat out near First Beach on the La Pushe reservation, selling cigarettes and 'novelty' items to the Quileutes while she practices her religion, a weird mix of voodoo, Wicca and Hinduism.

She thinks that Jasper's dad - who ran off with some traveling salesman back before gay rights were vogue, or something - died, and his soul lives in Embry Call's Golden Retriever.


With that sort of mixed-up shit going on, you'd think that Jasper'd be trampling me in his haste to get the hell out of America's sponge and into a spotlight at Beverly Hills.

But he doesn't. He actually, quote unquote, "likes taking care of Grammy, and besides, you're not sugar, Bella. You won't melt."

Things between us pretty much ended at that point.

At least, they did for me. Jasper still functions under the belief that we're taking some sort of break in our friendship.

But that didn't matter. My problem was the fact that Jasper is seriously the world's worst tattletale. I mean, he'll tattle and not even realize he's doing it. Everyone pretty much figured that out in second grade; all a parent had to do was ask Jasper how their child was doing in school, and he'd totally spill his guts out - and theirs - without even blinking.

"Hi, Jasper," I forced out through gritted teeth. I didn't smile. That would just be encouraging him. "What are you doing here? You don't play an instrument."

Jasper smiled at me, his braces catching the stage lights as he pushed his glasses up his nose. I wouldn't call Jasper a looker - he's vintage Nerd, without the pocket protector and the weird accent - but he's not that bad looking either. I have it on good authority that Lauren Mallory fantasizes about yanking those wild blonde curls while Jasper...well, never mind.

The kid's not my friend, but I certainly wouldn't wish the Slutmeister on anyone.

"Oh, I'm not here to try out," he replied. "James is performing with his band as a big finale gig sort of thing, and I just dropped by to wish him good luck and all that. But the real question is, what are you doing here? I thought I heard that your parents weren't letting you come."

Right to the point, that boy. I could appreciate such bluntness, from anyone else.

"Things change," I snapped, and then added as an afterthought, "And I hope this doesn't mean that you're going to be running to Grandma and blabbering about this."

Old Lady Whitlock might be crazy to most, but my mom, oddly enough, considered her as a 'touched spirit'.

Go figure.

Jasper held up his hands in the sign of surrender, his eyes widening.

"No, of course I won't! Scout's honor!"

Psh. Didn't believe that one. I narrowed my eyes at him, before I decided that it wasn't worth it and turned my attention back to the line of performers streaming on and off the stage. The competition didn't seem too much for me to handle. I could cut over all of them, easy. This was my moment to shine. I wasn't going to let some two-bit Carrie Underwood wannabe steal my spotlight.

And definitely not Jasper.