[This is called Pickles, which you might already have noticed. I still fucking loathe the way this site forces me to format paragraphs. I mean, it kills me. I may look into changing to another site. I also don't like the footer that hovers sometimes, telling who designed the pagey bits. On another note, it was September 4 when I last posted something. Huh. That seems long ago, but to be honest that will probably be the more regular schedule for things, every 20 or 30 days. Maybe I'll just post funny pictures to fill in the time; squirrels, for example, do funny things. Last, I think I might use commas too much; maybe semi-colons, too.]
As a child, whether outdoors or in the quiet of her basement, Gail would play alone. It didn’t matter if it was a rambunctious game meant for a yardful of kids or a game best enjoyed beside a single friend—Red Light-Green Light, Truth or Dare, she was by herself. She would call out Bingo numbers pretending there was a captivated crowd of younger children sitting in front of her. She’d pace up and down the imaginary rows as she imagined an adult might, checking the legitimacy of Bingos and encouraging the kids who were having difficulty keeping up. Regardless of the game, she treasured having neither to explain the rules nor negotiate any. She would kick out the cheaters and troublemakers—and there were always troublemakers.
Gail’s mother would listen from the top of the stairs with her arms clutched across her chest, each elbow cupped in the palm of the opposite hand, and in due course either tears would well or she would turn and walk away before the crying was kindled. She was usually fine until the point at which Gail grew angry and kicked out the smart alecks. Gail’s voice became an unusually high-pitched shriek when she was upset and her excitement would often grow quickly into wildness, into threats and flying fists, even when the antagonists were imaginary. It was the shrill voice in particular that forced Gail’s mother to the realization that a black, volatile temperament would be among the traits Gail would take with her into adulthood, and so probably into a bleak, protracted loneliness, as well. She would cry for the person she saw her daughter becoming, and for her own inability to do anything about it.