Composed and performed by Risa Peris
All in all, it was a white rabbit that got me in trouble. I was riding my bike around the neighborhood and I saw this rabbit on a green lawn. There was an older man sitting in a chair on the lawn. He waved and smiled. I stopped my bike.
“Your rabbit?” I asked.
“Indeed. Follow the rabbit.” I parked my bike in the driveway. The rabbit nibbled some grass and then hopped toward the awning covering the driveway.
“Want some sweets?” asked the man. He was standing behind. Imposing, muscular, and of an age I couldn’t quite determine. He looked older than my dad who died recently. “You can come here any time.”
He had lots of sweets and beef jerky, Coca Cola, Red Vines. “Each as much as you want.” He stroked my hair. I chatted with him. I was so lonely after my dad died. Mother was always knocked out with tranquilizers. My much older brothers and sisters just yelled at me. It would be nice to have a friend. The kids in the neighborhood stayed away from me after dad died. As if death was contagious.
I went back many times. Petted his rabbit. Ate his treats. And then one day this large woman, with crazy hair, in a nightgown emerged from the back bedroom. She stomped into the living room.
“I guess you’re the new one,” she sneered.
“Bonnie get ck to your room or no supper for you.” The man, Roger, was very stern.
I was scared of Bonnie and I was scared of Roger. He liked to put his hands on me.
“Let’s go to the special room.” He took my hand and led down the short hallway to a bedroom full of stuffed animals, a single bed, and straps on the four bed posts. “It’s time.”
I stood frozen and, without meaning to, peed myself. The puddle spread on the carpet. “Well, let’s get you in a bubble bath.” Roger sounded pleased with that.
I was a popsicle on a cold day. Cold but still melting. Somehow. I had entered Wonderland and knew I would never leave. It would be inside me until death. This was my life now. Harm, pain, and never feeling safe. Nothing would ever make sense. Topsy turvy. How do you make Wonderland your home? How do you evade the Mad Queen in the back bedroom? No escape. Get comfortable. This is your life.