A Halloween party before Halloween itself. Brooklyn walks around in a correctional officer uniform streaked with blood and red handprints. She sits down in the back by Pumpkin’s Throne, the single table near the pool tables where the girls, myself and Pumpkin congregate to converse and laugh and complain.
“It fucking sucks ass,” Brooklyn says above the crowd, “I want to take everybody’s dick and cut it off and glue it to their [taints] so they always fuck themselves in the ass.”
“Yeah,” I say, my voice rife with sarcasm, “But how do you really feel?”
Tarin shouts over the music and the din of a busy Saturday night to no one in particular and to everyone, whether they wanted to hear or not, “I want to puke in your motherfucking mouth!”
“I feel like making my own Halloween costume out of one of these guys,” Brooklyn confides. A smile stays on her full lips though her eyes show she might be kind of serious.
“With my [tears] running down your nose!” Tarin continues.
“What?” I laugh.
“What’s that movie? ‘It rubs lotion on its skin’?”
“Silence of the Lambs?”
“Silence of the Lambs shit! Imma take one of these guys, I’m gonna skin him [and wear him] and it will definitely win the contest.”
Tarin sits down with us and with a reminiscent fondness in her voice she says, “I love that movie.”
The best way to describe how Brooklyn looks is that she is photogenic. Pictures of her show blonde curls and green eyes as vibrant as summer grass in the sun set into a face that has stayed pretty despite three children and a failed marriage, MMA fighting and stripping since she was eighteen. And toughness abound lives behind those eyes. More than once from the stories she’s told me I imagined Brooklyn standing over some poor bastard with fist reared back and bloody knuckles, breaking noses and splintering bones, the crimson rose tattooed on her hand splattered red. Yet every photograph I see of her, whether she’s simply smiling or making a duck face or posing with her children, I can’t help but see her and think “How pretty”.
“I’m obsessed with numbers,” Brooklyn says. In her mouth is a pink lollipop and dangling from her fingertips is a cigarette. She alternates sucking on both, “And I feel like if I don’t do something in those certain amount of numbers somebodies gonna die in my family.
“I don’t like the number two but I have twins so I try to work in the number two sometimes but if I do something and I walk away and my stomach feels gross, like, I feel like I need to touch it again and [if] I don’t then I [feel] like I’m gonna puke. And then if I don’t go back and touch it and make myself do it, I’m afraid my mom’s gonna die, my kids are gonna die.”
Brooklyn’s lisp shows ever the slightest. She speaks quicker and more professional the deeper she goes into her condition. Excited with tinges of panic soak her vocal chords. A fear of what rests within.
“Odd numbers are even to me. There’s two on each side and one on top. Five. One, two, they’re even.”
“Wait,” says Sadie. She’s been sitting with us, engrossed in the conversation. The woman still doesn’t like me and she acts as my foil, only coming around when she needs to cheer herself by demeaning and degrading me. To this day I have never met someone so proud of being a cunt. And a self proclaimed one, mind you. “You have twins and [a baby], right?”
“Yeah!” Brooklyn shouts. Enthusiasm comes to her in a rapid wave as she feels someone understands her blight.
“That makes sense.”
“Three is my favorite number,” Brooklyn tells me and Sadie, “I do almost everything in threes. “When I get shit from the vending machine, if it’s in the number six spot I will not get it. I will not getting anything with six. If a [cashier] hands me back change that’s ‘666’ I will give her money, say ‘take it’ and if she doesn’t take it I can’t leave until she does because I will feel sick to my stomach because she fucking-,” Brooklyn laughs at herself and smiles, “I know, I’m crazy. See, these are the things you don’t know about me. Now you understand why I am the way I am. Complete torture in my brain at all times.”