Art and Suicide: Hours Away from the Suburbs
Dani Spinosa

"There's just no art here," she mumbled as she etched another swear word into the swinging door of the bathroom stall. Outside students walked like sheep through the halls all in the same stressed visage. The bell sounded. She ignored it and drew from her bag her English teacher's copy of the movie "The Hours." She had watched it twice the night before and realized then that her identity was locked in the disc.

She, with her newly dyed red hair, was Laura Brown, yearning to escape the monotony of the suburbia in the halls of her school. Despite this she wished, for that afternoon at least, to be Virgina Woolf. This, however, could never be the case. She had never found a way to create anything that resembled art: clay and plaster fell from her hands; paint dripped from her brush; and words were listless and unfortunate in her mind, on her tongue or on the page. She could never be Virginia, so as Laura she waited on the cold bathroom floor for her John C. Reilly to deliver her from an outsider's life into the brick walls of the suburbs. So as to fool everyone (if only herself) she whispered that this was not a deliverance she asked for, but it was inevitable, and could not be ignored. "No art here..."

Opening the DVD case carefully, she removed the iridescent disc. The rainbow of colour on the back was deceiving - no such calm existed yet, she was still in the middle of the storm. Outside thunder rang like a school bell, but she ignored the real world and focused on the rings on the back of the disc which twisted and turned as she watched the disc spin in her hands. She stopped it abruptly and, pressing tightly on both ends, snapped the disc in half, sending shards of rainbowed plastic onto the dirty tile floor. And, with shards of paintbrush, plaster, poetry, and words, she pierced the sharpest edge into the blank canvas of skin on her wrist and began her first masterpiece. "After all," the blood spelled out, "someone has to die."

Finally, after years of stifling convention, air was let inside and the tear in her body opened up to take in more oxygen and let out more catharsis. From the rainbow illusion on the back of the disc she drew a deep red and painted the bathroom door with Monet and Vermeer, with Atwood and Rumi, with Cooke and Cobain, until the lights dimmed and the screen read Finis.

From the back of the auditorium an eruption of applause rose and ruptured the walls as the curtain threw itself shut and the doors were opened to let the crowd out. Behind the navy velour, the red-haired protagonist wiped the stage make-up off her shirt, and dreaded the long walk, in the rain, to her tiny city apartment.

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