Two little girls experience a night of sheer terror when they venture out on a Halloween night in 1984 Detroit.
Billie’s mother moonlighted as a lounge singer who lip-synced to famous
songs in fancy restaurants in front of strangers and not fans for their supper. That’s where she met Billie’s father. Billie was so lucky that she came out looking like her mother. I think that the little girls that look like their mothers are the luckiest. I looked like no one but myself; I wasn’t lucky at all.
We went inside the apartment—everything was pink. Everything in our apartment was not. I asked her, “Are you celebrating the holiday early?” She nodded her head. There were candies on the table, an old shag carpet, a coffee
table with a missing leg, two bean bag chairs, one with a hole in the middle, beads that separate the bedrooms from the rest of the apartment, lava lamps, a broken candle and one portrait of Billie’s mother on the wall.
She looked at me and said, “I hate pink. It’s my least favorite color.” I agreed.
Billie’s mother would rather have fancy costumes and paint all over her face than decent furniture. Billie turned on the static, blank-screen television then and then turned it off. She walked over to the refrigerator and opened the door. There was nothing inside except an expired can of tuna. Her face tried to hide an empty look but I saw it. Where was the food?
She said that her mother didn’t like to go grocery shopping. Billie’s mother felt that make them officially a part of the neighborhood, and they didn’t really
want to be here. Every week, her mother claimed that next week they were
moving to California to become movie stars and movie stars didn’t go to grocery stores. They ate leftovers from nightclubs, went on dates with strange men to
Coney Islands and talked about buying abandoned buildings to help the homeless.
There was a brown radio on a table against the wall. A pink, oval-colored mirror hung above it. Billie brushed her long flaxen-colored hair and turned the radio on. A sports announcer was talking about the Tigers winning the World Series and Larry Herndon’s two-run home run in the first game; Billie said that he must have been invoking the spirit of Denny McLain. At least she would learn something better than what she was already doing: getting free Faygos by letting
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