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  • Writer's pictureCaren

deliver us from everything


trying to warn lawrie of the dangers of the internet, but i can't quite figure out how to tell it. "there are... bad things... and i know you're a good girl, and you're not looking for the bad things, but there are bad things that the world will tell you, and i don't want those things to fill your head." she looks at me like i'm speaking swahili. i can't tell if it's a look of innocence or of guilt. i know that she goes on the computer to play her fairy RPG game, but she also goes on YouTube to listen to miley cyrus and as i think about it now i'm deciding that tomorrow will be the day that we ban all of YouTube, hannah montana included, just because i'm afraid of what else it may lead her to.

today i found a novel called "Kiss of a Killer" on the living room table. it's from the Sweet Valley series, which inexplicably transformed the Wakefield twins from Full House-type cuties to miniature Sharon Stones in the time it took for them to go from eighth grade to ninth. from turtlenecks and overalls to plunging v-neck minidresses. i asked lawrie where she got it from. she said she got it from her friend rachel. the same friend who, i suspect, introduced her to YouTube. lawrie has already read it, this trashy horror/romance novel, and i hope it doesn't lodge in her brain and spoil her like bad milk. of course i read the same thing when i was around her age, and i guess i'm ok now, but i could have done without it and i'd like her to do without it, even though i know eventually she's gonna come across sex and violence and how people use other people and then toss them out like kleenex. both on tv and in real life.

she's not there yet. she still regularly considers other people's feelings, but someday she might start speaking flippantly about others as if they were all born to be supporting cast to her superstardom. if that happens i may have to never speak to children again. crushed. don't show them to me until the damage is already done. i can't take it.

so i'm stuck here with this novel on my hands, fantasizing about returning it to this "rachel" character, possibly by tying it to a brick and chucking it at her head. but perhaps i should save that for her worldly fourteen-year-old sister, who i think is the real cause of all this. i have never met this sister, but i imagine her as immorally sexy for fourteen, possibly like those tight tanktopped eyeliner avril tinkerbells i see at the mall. i know that this sister is the one who downloads all the awful music onto her iPod, which rachel gets her hands on, which gets passed on to lawrie, which leads to her singing about waking up in vegas and shorties getting low low low low low low low low.

btw, it was in the middle of singing about shorty fire burning on the dance floor that she asked me what a shorty was, which, i'll give you, was kinda funny, but don't think for a second that it means forgiveness.

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