Jacqueline Suzanne simply wasn’t feeling it. The crack in her ceiling stolidly refused to look like anything whimsical, and remained a crack in the ceiling. The ceiling was off-white. Jacqueline Suzanne lay in bed for fifteen minutes, hating the off-white of the ceiling. A bluebird landed on the sill of her open window and started whistling zip-a-dee-doo-dah; she growled at it until it took off again with an audible “Well!”
It took her nearly an hour to get dressed. All of her clothes had turned the color of day old oatmeal overnight and had pictures of kittens on them. When she came downstairs she was in a cold-oatmeal sweater over cold-oatmeal slacks with the edge of a cold-oatmeal dress shirt peeking out underneath. “Don’t you look nice,” said her mother.
Jacqueline Suzanne signed to her in her own madeup language: apple fishstick pineapple wear.
Her mother laughed. “Sue, dear, you know I can’t understand you when you mumble. Use your words, dear! Your words!”
In a voice like a piece of toast breaking, she said, “good morning mother.”
Her mother gave her a sharp peck on her forehead, right at her hairline. “I’ve got to run, Sue, darling, but you be good today!” After she’d gone, Jacqueline Suzanne rubbed her head. The kiss burned and sizzled on her skin, a piece of sunlight breaking through the clouds.