Ann Likes Red

By Juliana Irene Smith

When you live life on the road, the nomadic pleasures of only needing a passport, a plane ticket and 2 dollars are what make you holla. I get paid to do the wild thing. Wild thang. (You know the beat.) Live it up cliché and smack me down, hard and fast. Turn me over and put it in, fast bitch deeper.  

I need nothing. Not you or you and especially not you. Possessions and people and need or needy shit are so 1990s. Independence in me is only a glimpse of what I will allow you to possess. I am going to take you for a ride, like the cowgirl Indian tornado of the dusty fields of my reality. No toys, no things, just skin and spit. Jack Kerouac you were a pussy. I could make your whiskey weep.

The object of my desire you ask? The space to tell you to get out of my cunt before the sun rises and the air to swim (because nothing is gonna make me drown). Fools all of you. Run.

Stop. Pause.

And then there is this book.

The old shed in the back of her grandparents’ house in the suburban valley of California. The old shed behind a beige house where her aunts and uncles smoked joints after her grandfather’s funeral. That old shed held her childhood photos and lacey dresses, school report cards and the musical scores from the community music center’s choir, which was her favorite activity.

The old pseudo plastic wood shed… the animals, the animals… they came in… they came into her… they came in one by one and then in the masses… in the nights and they began to feast… little white animals… the worms of the underworld… they devoured her, her innocence, the traces of goodness in a time before before before.

Before she knew.

Before she knew.

Before she knew.

They crunched and ate and sucked as if they knew.

Nothing left… but holes and the saliva the animals burped up.

She felt nothing.

It was time to go. Jack Kerouac is a pussy.

A glimmer, the one, that damn snag. Would it catch her, would it see her, would she see it? The red, that red, thing; the book that was a mantra in her head to protect her from before she knew. Before she knew.

Anne Likes Red.

About the writer: 

Juliana Irene Smith has a BFA in photography from Parsons School of Design in New York and a Masters in Public Art from the HSLU, Switzerland.  She has participated in three Triangle Art Workshops in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine and then stayed in Palestine for almost three years. Residencies include Art Omi, New York, and Reloading Images, India. She likes to host art parties, mostly political in nature or questioning the island of self versus or in relation to community. In 2014 she co-founded the artists run non-profit ALMA MARTHA in Cape Town, which hosted 8 exhibitions in 2015 and 4 public art actions planned in 2016, 2 fairs abroad and more to come. In 2016 she trained to be a Rape Crisis Counselor in Observatory, Cape Town.

Image: Juliana Irene Smith