This is my sister.
Lilith is her name. Deception is her game. If I had one word that I could use to describe her, it would be sinister. But if I had two words, they would be con artist. And, like all con artists, she had an agenda. This agenda involved publicly humiliating her very own flesh and blood. Yes, her agenda involved bringing me down.
Why did she do it? It wasn’t for revenge. No. She did it for entertainment. Life is boring for people in small country towns. There are no movie theatres, or pubs to sneak into. All there is to do is ride your car slowly down main street at midnight and perhaps tip a few cows if you’re lucky. After all the excitement is over, all there is to talk about is the incident where someone nearly fell down in a pile of steaming cow manure. Sure, I guess that’s actually more exciting than most Friday nights that I’ve had lately, but it gets old after a while and people are always looking for something to liven things up.
This is where my sister, Lilith came in. What she brought to those poor bored younglings at our school was like spiking the punch at an AA meeting. Everyone knew it was wrong, but deep down inside, they all wanted it because life is just too boring without it. Who cares if its bad for you, it’s just fun.
You see, I was, what they call…a scape goat. A scape goat is the person that you can blame all your problems on. Part of having a good clean conscience is knowing that you don’t make mistakes. This is difficult, sometimes, because sometimes you get blamed for things, like knocking over someone’s chocolate milk into their mashed potatoes and gravy. Naturally, you don’t want someone to think you’re clumsy and careless, so you just blame the scapegoat.
I was born to be the scape goat in the same way that some people are born to be artists and musicians. Being the scape goat is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Now that I’m older, I realize that if I don’t sit back and take the blame for everything, then there is fighting everywhere and nobody gets along. I’ve realized, now, that I’m like one of those grounding poles at the gas station that you have to touch after you get out of the car or else you’ll blow up your car. Yes, I know this all now. Now that it’s too late. But back then, when I was young, and didn’t understand the way of the world and the cycles of the universe, it just broke my heart. And there was nothing I could do about. Well, there was something I could do, but the consequences were far worse than just sitting back and taking it. They say to turn the other cheek. They say this now, because if you don’t accept the second slap on the cheek, if you fight back, you’ll get knocked down and kicked until you’re blue in the face and you don’t have any teeth left. I still have my teeth. But I don’t have my dignity. But dignity, I guess, is over-rated. But hey, I guess I’m just saying that because I’m bitter. Sour grapes, right?
Yeah, let me tell you about Lilith. Let me tell you about some of the stuff she used to do. For starters, she was skilled in the art of manipulation. I don’t know how she learned how to do this. Maybe she took a correspondence course on the art and science of mind control. Maybe she found some ancient text that taught her how to create a slew of minions that would follow her around and do her bidding. Or maybe, she was a born natural. I’ll never know. The masters never give away their secrets.
But I can tell you one thing for sure, she was sly. There is this Chinese mind trick used by corrupt cops and Nazi generals called “suggestion”. Lilith, would use certain words to “suggest” that I was plotting and scheming against them all. She would say things subtly like, “my sister has wiped her boogers underneath all the desks.” Then she would casually mention that I eat my boogers. And then she would just leave it at that and let the rest of the kids get all worked up about it. She’d never say a word about it ever again. And naturally, people believed because she seemed so utterly embarrassed by it. Just for the record…I have never eaten my boogers. I don’t even pick my nose. But that’s beside the point. She spread a much more horrible rumor about me than that one.
Route 66, went right through our town and those big semi trucks used to drive 90 miles an hour down that road because there weren’t any cops to pull them over. Our town didn’t have any cops. Our town was so small and insignificant that they just forgot about us, and nobody bothered to point out the error. So because there were no cops, people used that strip of road like it was the autobahn. And because of this non-stop reckless driving, a lot of cats got killed walking back and forth across that road. Losing a beloved cat is a tragedy to young children, but it’s worse to hear that the cat was run over by a semi-truck. That’s just too bloody and evil to tell a kid. Well, Lilith didn’t think it was too bloody and evil.
Lilith had this friend named Elsa, who had this long haired white Persian cat. Elsa adored this cat. She fed it liver and pate. She painted that cat’s nails, for crying out loud and even bought it one of those collars that looks like it’s made of diamonds. Well, one day her cat wandered out of the house and it never came back. After a week went by, and no cat, Lilith came to her crying and told her that I had done it. She told Elsa that I sacrificed the cat on a ritual alter in the middle of the forest, and then barbecued it and ate the flesh. But to make things worse, she said she could prove it.
We lived on a 50 acre strip of land filled completely with not just mango trees, but every kind of fruit tree that you could think of. Loads of people would come by and pick fruit and go fishing in the river, but we didn’t just have fruit trees and fish. We also had iguanas. In case you aren’t familiar with iguanas, these are lizards that can eat their weight in fruit and grow to be six feet long. If you don’t get rid of them all, they’ll eat your fruit.
There was this family who would come by in the evenings and hunt iguana. They had a taco stand a few cities over, and lizard tacos were just the craze. So they’d kill some iguanas and take them back to their stand to grill. But before they went home, they would always give a smallone to my great grandmother, and she would roast it on a spit.
So there I was, one evening, pulling the flesh from the iguana’s bones and nibbling at the meat, when lo and behold, I heard a shriek coming from the trees. It was dark, and hard to see. There was no electricity, and the fire had gone out. Lilith had brought her friend, Elsa, and her other friend, Sheila, to prove that I was kidnapping cats, sacrificing them to the devil, and then eating them. And let me tell you, people don’t look at you the same after they found out that you eat cats. I guess it would be one thing to eat some random tom cat from the alley, but after that happened, everyone in the entire school firmly believed that their pet could be my very next victim.
You would think that they would be afraid of me, maybe give me the respect that a dangerous criminal usually gets, but alas, this was not the case. I was still blamed for every broken pencil, bad grade, trip, and folly that happened at any given moment of the day. I was scorned and put to shame unceasingly, and then ridiculed to no end.