Marionette by T.B. Markinson
Release Date: 11/07/13
Genre: YA - Contemporary > GLBT
At the age of seventeen, Paige Alexander had it all planned. She wrote a letter, sat in the bath, and slit her wrists. Her plan failed.
Her best friend, Alex, is dead.
Paige can't get over her twin sister blaming her for a tragic event in their past.
Colorado is in the midst of voting on lesbian and gay rights and Paige is terrified to come out of the closet, fearful for her life.
Many people in Paige's life are keeping secrets from her. Will she piece everything together before it's too late?
In this gripping first-person narrative, a young college student grapples with more than first loves or coming of age. In a world filled with homophobia, suicidal feelings, and a dysfunctional family, Paige cuts her wrists in an attempt to free herself from the crazy life that's all she's ever known.
Could there be new lessons in store for Paige? With the help of her girlfriend, friends, and a compassionate therapist, can Paige find the safe space she needs to heal, grow, and cut her strings?
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I know people say they have emotional baggage. Do they know what they’re talking about? I have baggage. I’m not bragging about it. I’m just stating the simple truth. I’m an effed-up individual who dwells on the past and tries to numb myself constantly. I don’t use drugs, although I’ll drink. I just numb myself by disappearing when I’m with people.
Jessica thinks I need to stop my destructive behavior. Sure, sure. I’ll just plant my feet firmly on the ground and stop. If only it were that easy. If it were, then I’d do it. At least I think I would do it.
I don’t mean to knock Jessica. I love her. God, I love her. But I don’t know how to explain to her … how to tell her that I’m broken. Beyond repair. There’s not enough glue to put me back together.
Maybe the issue is me. I know that seems obvious. I slit my wrists, after all. No one made me. I did it. But hear me out. Millions of people have difficult lives, yet they still function. Again, I swear this isn’t a Bell Jar moment. I’m not bonkers. Confused: yes. Scared: check. Angry: most definitely. I spend most of my time annoyed with people. Why do they have to be so fucking stupid?
I like to study history. The history of the little guy. Don’t get me wrong, kings, queens, explorers and shit, they’re all cool, but I like to see how the little guys make it. How do they survive hardship? Like Elie Wiesel—he survived the Holocaust for Christ’s sake, and then he wrote a book about it. I read that book a lot. If he could survive that, why can’t I survive my past? Why do I always go back? I didn’t live in Auschwitz. My home life sucked. Sucked big time. My parents are horrible people. They do not like me, not one bit. But my home isn’t Auschwitz, and my parents are not Nazis. Why can’t I be a survivor, be like Elie?
It isn’t like I always go back to a particular incident. I’m not a time traveler. (This isn’t a Slaughterhouse-Five scenario either. I’m not Billy Pilgrim.) I just check out. I don’t know where I go, but I’m gone. I’ll stop talking—that’s another way to become invisible. I might nod my head, act like I’m listening. I’m not. Most people, though, don’t really care whether anyone else is listening. Many people don’t even notice. They just want to talk. They just want to feel as if someone is listening. How many people really care what others think? Not many, from my experience. That’s one of the hardest things to live with, feeling alone. Even when I’m with others I feel alone. Even more so. I don’t think many people can relate to me. I know I can’t relate to them. I feel like I’m on the outside, looking in.
Disappearing all of the time has perpetuated this feeling of being alone. Logically, I should stop disappearing. But my brain doesn’t think logically. I’m not sure how it thinks, but I don’t feel logical.
I feel … well, I don’t know how I feel. Confused. Scared. Angry. Alone. But now that I think about it, I’m not sure that’s true. At times, I’m sure I feel all of those emotions. Other times, I don’t feel. Not at all. I don’t get it. I wish I could, but I don’t.
Explanations—that’s what I seek. I’ve always been one who wonders who, what, and why, which is just another reason I love to study history. Every history test has those “who am I?” questions, and I nail them every time. In fact, I’m a brilliant student. I don’t mean to brag. I’m just stating the facts. School and I get along. I have a photographic memory; some think that’s cheating, but I can’t change it. It’s nice if you want good grades.
But when it comes to asking those questions about myself. Who am I? What am I? I can’t really answer them. They seem fairly obvious, right? I’m me. I’m a girl. And I’m not one who wants to be a boy, even if I’m in love with a girl. I think people who think that are idiots. Usually, though, they don’t see that. I wish idiots would recognize that they’re idiots. Life would be so much easier if others said, “Don’t bother with me, I’m an idiot.”
Let’s start again, at the beginning. I slit my wrists. My girlfriend came home. She went ape-shit. I got stitches in both arms. I felt a little like Frankenstein—the monster I mean, even if that’s not really correct. Everyone thinks the monster’s name is Frankenstein, so I’m not about to correct them and tell them it was the doctor’s name. My point is that I was patched back together and told to be normal, to be human. Victor Frankenstein, the scientist, didn’t try to teach the monster, but at least Jess is trying to teach me how to be normal. How to be human.
T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn't writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. She has published two novels: A WOMAN LOST and MARIONETTE.
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