I wanted desperately to be a Goth. Not just any old Goth; I would be the Gothiest Goth girl in all Seattle. I lived in Little Rock, though, so I had to pack all my things into my Camaro and drive north by northwestward. I wound up in a small port town about twenty miles south. It rained there, so that was good enough for me. I shunned sunlight, but still my skin retained some residual tan from my pre-Gothy days. A bathtub full of bleach cured this. When my flesh was blanched of all pigment, I blackened my hair, nails, lips, and eyes to accentuate my milky whiteness. I wore twelve layers of black clothes, no matter the heat index. I carried with me at all times a bucket of black Sherwin Williams flat wall paint. I painted all my possessions black. I painted squirrels and pigeons and stray cats black as well. I practiced my pouty face in the mirror for hours at a time. I gloomed. I doomed. I cried for days. I listened to the Cure’s live set, “Show,” for six weeks straight on repeat. I’d walk the streets at night, crying, crying, crying. I’d go to the diner to eat an open-faced turkey sandwich, crying, crying. I’d go to work at the pet store, crying, crying. I’d clean up after the puppies, change the kitty litter, scoop up the dead goldfish by the dozen, the whole time moping, sulking, brooding, pouting, in varying degrees and combinations. I’d cry until my inky-black mascara ran down my pasty-white cheeks, down my ghastly neck, down my alabaster body, down my chalky legs, leaving teary black streaks of sadness, pooling in pitch-black puddles on the floor. My black boots would pick up the inky puddles and leave sad tracks wherever I walked. People could follow me by the black footprints of melancholy. O, the black footprints of melancholy! I wrote terrible, terrible poetry about angst and angels and corpses and the angst of angels’ corpses. The whole of me was midnight black or chalky white except for my left hand, which was bloody crimson owing to an accident while slicing open an everything bagel. I cried some more, especially when I cut my hand because that really hurt. My crying turned to weeping. I lamented, I languished, I ate some vanilla ice cream in a bowl I painted black with a spoon also black. Black, black, black. Black like the night. Black like my soul. Black like Jack Black. Black like Frank Black. Black like a panther taking photographs of ebony in a coalmine, but forgetting to take off the lens cap. I changed my name to Ophelia. Then to Lady Desdemona. Then to Mistress Drusilla Blacksoul, Demon Princess of the Eternal Night. My friends called me Blackie for short. I painted my TV screen black. I wept for the images I could not see behind three layers of black paint. I painted my food black. My apples, my oranges, my bananas. Black. Still, the Cure’s Show played on and on. I wrote more poetry, and incorporated words like “taint” and “misery” and “bleeding ventricles.” I found no rhymes for them. I prayed to Morpheus, keeper of dreams. I sang “Friday, I’m in Love.” I wept. I wept. Eventually, the black started to wear away, because I did not use primer before painting everything black. O, the black wore off, and I saw colors, yellow and blue and glorious orange, and I realized I was not a true Goth. I was, at heart, a girl who liked colors.