She's a black lace bra
kind of woman, the kind who serves
up suicide with every kamikaze
poured in the neon blue of evening.
--from "Black Lace Bra Kind of Woman" by Sandra Cisnero
Roswell: Goddess (ff,f-dom)
I've always been aware of Isabel. You can't help but notice her; she draws
gazes from your eyes, all eyes. They come to her as naturally as breathing.
All the aliens are good-looking (What better way to insure alien survival
than by encasing them in attractive packaging? Yes, that cynical thought has
crossed my mind more than once) but her looks border on insanity.
Some people--most people--stumble into adolescence with pimples and bad
posture. It's a crappy time and I don't know why most everyone is so eager
to remember it once they've passed it. I spent a futile summer between
eighth and ninth grade asking all the gods my mother has believed in over
the years to grant me breasts and a round ass and then a boy (no, make that
a man) who'd appreciate them. The gods turned their ears and eyes away from
me that summer and poured all their love into Isabel Evans. I gave up
religion after I saw what she'd been given and just drifted, believing in
Isabel came back to school on the first day of ninth grade with breasts and
hips and clear skin and nice clothes to match her cool stare and bored drawl.
In the days before I could articulate desire, I would watch her change for
gym class with a burning stomach that I attributed to anger and fear. We all
watched her change for gym class that year, row upon row of jealous and
anxious girls. We watched boys pant after her with mingled amusement and
envy. We accepted their lot and ours as fate. I wondered what it would feel
like to have that power, her power.
I devoted my time to chasing boys who never noticed me and imagined that if
only I could get outside Roswell that I would magically be made taller and
brighter and prettier. I dreamed that outside of Roswell was a world that
made sense and held things I could believe in.
And then the year I turned sixteen I discovered someone who was as messy and
as complicated as all the nightmare men my mother had warned me about over
the years and finally I had something I wanted to believe in. I decided I
wanted drama; I wanted the orchestra and movements of a relationship full of
twists and complications. I wanted to believe in painful, bruising love; I
wanted to believe that an intensity of emotion could fill all the need that
rested inside me.
And with Michael I had my wish. I had difficulties and lust and someone who
had problems that made my own seem insignificant. I could only believe in
someday, but it was finally something for me to believe in. I could barely
keep my head above water with Michael and I liked it. I liked the rush of
anger and bitterness he made me feel; I liked the hot tides of our
reconciliations, carried out on the floor of the Crashdown or against the
wall of a classroom. I liked pushing him and demanding that he give me
I was a woman on the edge and I liked teetering on it. Would Michael love me
more if I called him constantly? Would Michael love me more if I let him
leave me and opened my arms when he came back? My prayer book--my statement
of belief--was a notebook in which I wrote bad love poetry about waiting and
sex that ended just short of completion.
Liz played at hanging off the cliff with me but Max was always waiting for
her. She would haul herself up and he'd pull her in close. Her beliefs were
rational and kind and I sometimes envied the serenity that radiated outward
I played at wanting Michael back when he left me yet again and found out that
I meant it. I needed the comfort of our pattern of fights and tenderness; I
needed the pattern of delight followed by misery. I needed that cycle of
happiness and sorrow and I was lost when he showed no interest in continuing
I sweated through a summer without him, worked on my tan in between fantasies
of cracking Michael open like an egg to expose all the love that I imagined
rested inside him. Liz wasn't around to stop me when I consulted magazines
and books and other girls about ways to make myself irresistible, to find
some alluring musky enchantment that would force him to his knees. None of it
worked, nothing worked, and I felt hollow and empty. It occurred to me that
maybe I was the one who was cracking.
And then one night I found myself alone inside the Crashdown. Michael had
taken off as soon as his shift was over, disappearing into the night without
a backward glance at me. Perversely, I was sure that was a sign: ignoring me
meant he cared. I suppose I would have believed down was up if Michael had
said so in his sweaty and earnest way.
Isabel knocked on the door as I was stacking chairs and I let her in with an
outward sigh and an inward grimace. I had moved past my fear of her and had
coasted into an area of mingled annoyance and worry. She was still gliding
through high school as the gorgeous princess and tagging "from outer space"
onto her title only increased her allure.
Alex spent his time gooey-eyed and on his knees around her. Max watched out
for her and treated her like she needed protection from the world. Michael
would send her oblique glances that reminded me that he'd put me in the
category of stupidity when it looked like she might need him. If she could
make human and alien boys crazy, where did that leave the rest of us?
I watched her warily as she came inside. She chatted easily about going back
to school, about whatever alien discovery she and Max had made that week,
about a pair of shoes she'd found for fourteen dollars at the mall. She
watched me with bright and empty eyes and I wondered if she viewed everyone
in Roswell as a series of interchangeable nodding heads capped with adoring
eyes. I felt a surge of what my mother refers to as righteous anger as she
began to talk softly about Michael and how he was very excited about
discovering what being an alien meant. He was ready to leave Roswell behind.
There was a little pity in her gaze, but not much. She thought I'd brought
my life upon myself. She was right.
I shoved her. I walked up to her, put my hands against her shoulder and
pushed. She stumbled back, the chair she was standing next to clattering to
the floor. That small release of anger felt good and I shoved her again. She
dropped to her knees, and I stood over her, breathing hard from exhilaration,
from finally taking a stand.
The boring mythology book my Uncle Todd gave me for my birthday last year
says that Athena, goddess of wisdom, sprung fully-grown from her father's
head. The book tells of Aphrodite, goddess of love, who emerged one day
from the sea, naked and gleaming and expecting adoration. Their births were
unexplained and unexpected. I can relate to that.
I realized I wanted to kiss Isabel as I stood over her, wondering why she
could move me to blows when Michael only ever moved me to tears. I watched
myself form into someone strong and new as I touched her instead.
I knelt down next to her and unbuttoned her shirt and unhooked her bra and
she let me, watched me with eyes that were cool and skeptical. She didn't
believe in me yet. But she didn't stop me.
I am much better at unfastening women's clothes than Alex will ever be and
I do not care that it gives me an unfair advantage over him. Goddesses have
powers that make men cower.
Her eyes were cool but her skin was hot and feverish. Her nipples were stiff
and rosy and I licked one slowly, liking the idea of the pink of my flesh
against hers. I pulled one of her nipples into my mouth and she made a noise,
a hum of satisfaction.
I let my fingers shape her other breast, my thumb and forefinger learning the
outlines of her skin, tugging at her nipple. The air around us smelled like a
sacrifice. I pressed my mouth over hers and kissed her.
I have no doubt that she whispers promises to others - at school, with Alex,
maybe even promises of care and safekeeping to Max and Michael. I have no
doubt that she means some of these promises. I thrust my tongue inside her
mouth and stopped her from making promises to me. I don't need any more false
words; I already have a million inside me.
I let myself burn signs into her flesh with my fingers, forming desire with
my hands. When she pulled away to stare at me with hot and bewildered eyes I
urged her back down and let myself be the goddess I've always wanted to be.
I finally forgot all about Roswell with her head between my thighs, my clit
rubbing against her lips and my fingers resting on the bones of her face.
I like my status in the universe just fine now. Michael plays at wanting me
and I let him. I deserve it. It's due me. And when Isabel comes to me, her
jaw clenched, her face worried with the strain of being in thrall to another,
I feel a little pity for her. But every goddess needs her supplicants, and
love and cruelty are second nature to gods.
Even mortal ones.