You are a curiosity, or a mental case, as some called it rather crudely and dismissively, and you knew everyone noticed. But they didn’t care, and neither should you. One day, you impulsively proclaimed, whilst balancing on the top of a redwood tree branch, that disappearing acts never got old, so you said goodbye to your squirrel friend, clambered down the tree hurriedly, and dashed home. You burst into your room with a loud door slam, gathered up your paraphernalia, grabbed your half-full rucksack dotted with strange pins and souvenir keychains, which was patiently waiting by your ramshackle oakwood cabinet, and began haphazardly shoving various motley things inside. Once you were finished cleaning up and made even more of a mess in the process, you quickly plastered a teddy bear print band-aid on your cheek from where the rough wood accidentally scratched and left a thin red mark, clumsily tied your DIY pinstriped Keds’ purple and green shoelaces, stretched out—as if competing in a marathon—on an abandoned Twister board on your carpeted floor, and finally you left the house, chasing your dissolution without so much as a backward glance. The first part was easy. The next part was easier.
The nightwalking horizon was tinted virtually the same colour as your ripped stonewashed denim overalls, the reticulated stars were in implausible full burst and clearly visible, a myriad riot like the splattered black inkstains on your bohemian tie-dyed shirt, and the moon was shaded exactly and uncannily like your ivory silk flower leggings, the number of the craters perfectly aligned with the number of the frayed holes by your knees, the ones you tore yourself with zigzag safety scissors. The dreamy air tasted faintly like bubblegum ice cream, and the astral bodies were softly clicking into their designated places, a marvellous tableaux of God’s fanciful ethereal jigsaw puzzle. Nothing more was to be prepared; all you had to do was pass against the serendipitous turn of time. That particular task in itself was no difficult feat for your whimsical affinity. The other factor to consider was your destination. Invariably, it didn’t matter which bus you got on, if you were even waiting for a bus at all, for you have an overpowering ominous sensation within your heart that you’ll always inevitably end up on a wayward road, diverging on the intersection to nowhere. And in your own quote unquote words, as that one cliché that nobody says goes, signal for the universe and the galaxy will come.
Your vintage analogue Hello Kitty clock ticked sluggishly second by second, and the small candy floss pink lights by the side came to life and began to glow fervently as the hands struck exactly 8 PM. You had a lot of time to spend thereon and then, sitting prim and taciturn on the graffitied wooden bench, waiting for the longest forever. You intertwined scarlet camellias on your plaited geranium hair and held it in place with a gargantuan leopard-print scrunchie. You tapped your hands, plucked a few sweet and sour notes on your marmalade-orange ukulele, and hummed a Joy Division song melodically, and you laughed quietly when you flubbed the chorus with a splintered squeak. You counted the cheap glittery stars you stuck on your plastic journal even though you knew the number by heart, some microscopic yellow speckles transferring to your skin as you absentmindedly peeled one at the side with a polkadotted fingernail. You scribbled lines of guitar keys, and doodled literal intricate keys without paired locks, onto the slightly-torn cover page with a blueblooded space pen, and used the same pen to trace the wiry butterfly outline on your right ankle. You observed with childish wonder and twinkling heterochromatic dandelion eyes as prams, automobiles, taxis, and tallyho’s passed by you in an amicable whirlwind breeze and friendly engine revving. There were a billion tangible stars in this side of the dimension, just a little more than the glamorous stars shining on your notebook, and you can pluck each and every single one off their orbit. You had a lot of fun little preoccupations, and the time on your hands seemed almost eternal.
Time was up. When it seemed like the aberrant clocks hitched their breaths and you’ve done a thousand and one tasks to fill such a lacuna, finally, Hello Kitty’s spinning hour hand gingerly moved into its designated place. The moment it touched the notch and exactly as the pink lights began their little show, you tilted your chin until it was higher than your freckled button nose, and stared enthusiastically at the empty tranquil sky. As if on cue, your implausible carpool vehicle hurtled imperceptibly from beneath the atmosphere, burning the crepuscular firmament’s concrete shadows at light-year speed, and arrived with a dissuaded thump, to take you away from such a bland and diluted planet. Tucking a stray highlighted neon hair back in your pierced and heavily-ornamented ears, you cautiously replaced the overflowing tatterdemalion notebook back in your bag, bounced on your heels and stood up with lilting sneakered toes, and ceremoniously stepped into that rocketship invention calmly, without any nuance of surprise or astonishment. It seemed you would simply walk straight and be swallowed whole by the blinding flash, but at the last moment, you turned back at the dominating darkness and sent a quaint, fragile, almost palpable air-kiss flying from your painted ruby lips and painted dainty fingers onto the open space. The entire population of the world must have felt a faint zephyr graze their cheek softly at that very moment, but they were too naïve to even bother with noticing it. Yet you said your polite goodbyes, so it didn’t matter. You grandiosely waved a final farewell, the tattooed patterns on your arms spinning and dancing with pastel motion, and you smiled lazily, quite cryptically, as the metallic-gold doors closed in dénouement with a sibilant hiss and a burst of flourishing steam. The metaphysical vessel roared as it propelled into ignition again, shooting up into the sky immediately and billowing into evanescence out of peripheral view, and you were gone with it. Your wish was granted, and you permanently left behind the life you always tolerated with distaste, into a more interesting place with a better yesterday, and no one cared…except for one.
Stargirl, when you ran away and stole the cornflower moon with you from the midnight sky to elope, did you think no one would be interested? When you vanished and charmingly serenaded the sun into a retrograde motion, did you think no one would find out? Did you ever think, for a single heartbeat, that when your star, hiding in plan sight among millions of the other specks in the star-freckled sky, was quietly extinguished, I wouldn’t even notice?
I out of all people would hate to admit such a fact, but for once in your extraordinary yet ephemeral existence, Stargirl, you were wrong.