"I do not want to be an ugly woman, and when I write, I am an ugly woman." - Kate Zambreno
What's so wrong with being an ugly woman? What's so wrong with making mistakes and following your dreams and falling down. I have tried to be good. I really have. It has been too difficult for me.
They say revenge is best served cold. In my mind I always imagined revenge as hot, red and sticky but cold...no...not cold. Cold is blue and smooth. I tried to make my revenge blue and smooth. I tried to wait and hold it inside and think about it and savour it. The trouble is I am always seeing red when I seek revenge and I never, ever see blue.
My name is Madeline.
I’ve always been good. Good -such a simple word. Always used on me “Good girl, good girl, good girl”
Good means ‘having the right or desired qualities. Good means ‘satisfactory and adequate’. I suppose you can say I am adequate. I function as a woman should. It’s just that no one ever took me seriously. Do you ever find that? You go about your daily business and you’re never at the top of the queue and people are rude to you and I just never seemed to know the right people to get anything done properly.
The shit hit the fan so to speak after the episode with the workmen. I decided I would like to renovate my house a little. I wanted a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new carpet in the dining room and a paint job for the lot. And why shouldn’t I have nice things? I work bloody hard. So does my husband. My husband works full time so it was easier for me to do all the organising – even though I already do organise the kids, the housework, the bills, the pets and him. Anyway, it was my job to project manage. But, I tell you those bastard workmen drove me to drink. I tried to be nice to the workmen. I made them coffee and I left them detailed notes but they just kept being fucking assholes. They kept fucking up. They would say they would arrive at 8am. Now, I can tell the time. Did they arrive at 8am? No. They didn’t. Did they arrive at 9am? No. They didn’t. Did they arrive at all on that day? No they didn’t. They arrived the next day at 11am – worked for five minutes and then had to stop for a cigarette. I tried to be pleasant. I spoke to them nicely. I stated my expectations. But they just wouldn’t listen.
I was tipped over the edge on the day that had been particularly busy at work. My son had been up twice in the night and I got home to find that when the workmen had sanded all the walls, they had not vacuumed it up and something in me snapped. When they got back from their afternoon break, I had them up about it and do you know what one of them said to me? He said ‘What are you going to do about it lady?’
So I did something....about it. I didn’t just kill them. I must confess. I tortured them before they died.
Do you think less of me? Hmm I thought I would feel guilty. I thought there would be a pain in my heart so big and so great that I couldn’t bear to be alive anymore or look at myself in the mirror. But, do you know how I felt? I felt wonderful. I felt alive and I felt respected. Because those men, before they died – they respected me- they respected my power. I drilled their eyes out with a screwdriver and I whispered in their ears “That’s so you won’t see another cent from me again.” And they screamed and they begged but I didn’t give a shit. After all, I had asked them nicely – REPEATEDLY to finish the task they were being paid to do.
I genuinely thought it was a one off. I locked that part of me away and never spoke or thought about it again. After I buried the bodies I felt a sense of relief and the police never even came to question me about it. Ha! I’m so ‘good’ I can’t even be suspected of murder. My husband was questioned, mind you. Of course it wasn’t him so the whole sorry business sort of just disappeared.
I always try to look nice when I go out. I make an effort with my friends. I buy them gifts for their birthdays. I tell them things about myself that I don’t necessarily like. I had two very close friends. Maureen and Penny. I was loyal to them. We had been friends since high school. They knew all my secrets and then one day it started to dawn on me that Maureen didn’t actually like me very much. She started saying snide comments about me and my life. She said mean things about my kids – she said my son had a funny shaped head and she said I spent too much money on my sofa. At first, I thought I was being paranoid. But other people started to notice it too. Penny even said that she was very nasty to me when we were out having cocktails one night and then my husband commented on it too. Then one night she told me that she thought my daughter whined too much. That bitch. We had been friends forever. I’d never said a bad word about her or her shitty little kids and she didn’t show me the same loyalty in return. If you can’t trust your friends, who can you trust?
So I shot her – right in the head.
“What are you doing” she cried.
“Well now”, I said. “I’m sick of you being such a fucking bitch.” “Haha.” She thought I was joking!
“Put the gun down” she asked
“No” Boom. The look of surprise on her face probably stuck around until they found her three days later. Everyone thought it was a tragedy but I thought it was great. It was time we had a break from each other.
The third and last time I killed was truly a crime of passion.
We went on a holiday so I dropped the dog at the doggy day care to be looked after. We had a lovely holiday in Hawaii. We had a ball. The kids were so well behaved. We got some great pictures from that holiday. I got home and for the first time in months, I felt truly rested.
When we returned, we rang the doggy day care to enquire about what time we should pick him up. I said ‘Hello, it’s Bugsy Malone’s mum here. What time is it good for us to pick him up?”
And they said: “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. We have some bad news. He died.”
And my mother you know she really winds me up bless her. She kept on and on at me about what I should do afterwards. I should sue. I should definitely sue, otherwise it might happen to someone else’s dog and I suppose I could have sued but I couldn’t be bothered with all the lawyers and the red tape so I just went round to the doggy day care and beat them to death with a sledge hammer. I didn’t know my own strength.
My kids really loved that dog. I really loved that dog. He was like a part of the family
I’ve got to go to work now. I’m a bank teller. Don’t tell anyone what I’ve told you. God help me. I’m just a woman cursed. I’ll try to be better. I’ll try to be good from now on.