Notes: This was written only because it was a school assignment- my muses take no blame for this whatsoever.

Pity Party
By Dana Quell

 Loud music blasted over the stereo’s speakers as the famous and the not-so-famous mingled and chatted and danced.  Smoke from cigarettes and other, more illegal drugs hung in the air, creating a fog that lent a more murky and dark attitude to the giant room.  It was this attitude that directed the conversation of those attending this particular bash; it was this attitude that allowed all assembled to become more contemplative, more introspective about recent encounters of the media kind.

“Hey, Fiona,” a dead-eyed girl called to the well-known singer.  “I just wanted to tell you, I admire you for what you came out and told everyone about.  It took a lot of guts, you know?”

 “Excuse me?” Fiona Apple replied, knitting her brows together in confusion.

 “You know,” the girl continued, making scratching movements on her arm with her opposite hand in demonstration.  “That thing you do where you scratch up your arms and bite your lip until it bleeds.  When I heard about it, I was like, ‘Man, and I thought I had problems.’”

 “Well, I just thought, ‘Why should I hide it?’  It’s just something I do; something that a lot of people do.”

 “Why?  There’s got to be better ways to make yourself feel better.”

 “It doesn’t make me feel better.  It just makes me feel.”

“Yeah, well.  I hope you can get better.  I’m tired of hearing about it already.  I mean, enough of this little pity party!  Just stop doing it!”  The girl stumbled over to the punch bowl (which was most likely spiked and which the girl had obviously drank from already).

Fiona glowered at the girl and started to walk over to the girl to give her a piece of her mind.  Before she could get more than two meters, however, an arm shot out of the crowd and caught her own.  Panicking for a moment at the skin-on-skin contact, she quickly yanked her arm away.

“Hey, chill, girl.  I just wanted to talk,” Courtney Love shouted over the music.

 “What about?”

 Courtney gestured to the girl by the punchbowl.  “Whatever it was that just happened.”

 Fiona nodded.  “All right.”  They walked over to the wall and Courtney leaned against it.

 “I hate people like that.  You know, the ones that don’t really understand what it is that self-injury is,” Courtney began.  “I overheard your conversation with her.  A lot of people don’t understand that you can’t just stop.”

 “Or that it’s not something that you can just get better from.  God, it’s annoying to hear people say I’m trying to make everyone have a ‘pity party’ for me.  It’s just something I do; why should I hide it?”

 “You shouldn’t have to.  I don’t.  Hey, wanna see my marks?”

 Johnny Depp came over to them.  “Courtney, everybody in town’s already seen your marks.  I think you showed Fiona here at the last party, anyway.”

 “You did,” Fiona replied.

Courtney conceded.  “At least I’m not trying to hide anything.”

“Hey, can I ask you two something?” the younger woman asked.  “Why do you guys do it?”

With no hesitation, Johnny answered.  “I’ve always done it to commemorate special occasions- sort of like what the sailors used to do with tattoos.  What does it matter that I do it myself with a knife instead of going to a tattoo parlor and paying for it?”

“Don’t you have tattoos though?”

“Well, yeah.  But that’s different,” he said.

Fiona turned her attention to Courtney Love.  “Why do you do it?”

“I guess I’ve really done it to work through some emotional trauma.  I’ve always been self-destructive; it goes hand in hand with it.  To me, self-destruction isn’t really all that bad.  It could mean contemplation of yourself, or feeling, or sensualism, or lack of discretion.”  She paused.  “Why do you do it, Fiona?”

She hesitated.  “Well… you know I was raped when I was twelve, right?  Because of that rape, I’ve had a lot of enduring problems.  I developed an eating disorder.  It was never about being thin.  It was just that I thought if there was flesh there that could be grabbed, it would be and I wanted to get rid of all of that.  Self-injury was another way for me to make myself undesirable.  It also let me know that everything that was happening to me was real, you know?”

 “Hey, girl.  We know.  Our reasons for doing it might’ve been different, but we’ve been there too.  We know,” Courtney replied, wrapping an arm around Fiona and pulling her into a hug.

 Fiona pulled away from the contact.  “Thanks, guys.  I’ve got something I’ve got to do now.”

 She walked away from the wall where Courtney and Johnny still remained, discussing more of their self-injurious tendencies.  Heading towards the punch bowl, Fiona spotted the girl that had previously come up to her.

 “Hey, you!” she called.  “I want to talk to you.  First of all, self-injury isn’t something you can just get over.  It’s a problem that people have to really work hard to conquer.  I wasn’t trying to make people throw me a pity party; I was letting them know that this is something that does happen and for the record, once you start you can’t just stop!”

 Fiona picked up the punch bowl and dumped it over the astounded girl’s head.  Johnny and Courtney, along with the rest of the attending crowd, began laughing hysterically.  Fiona smiled, then left the party.