When I look in the mirror – which, contrary to what many of may believe, doesn’t happen all that often – I no longer see Lizzie Grant, daddy’s little girl. No, I see Lana Del Rey, a cross between Tupac Shakur and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The baddest bitch – but also a very sensitive soul. A delicate flower that is wilting under the unforgiving spotlight of unwanted attention. A scared newborn kitten drowning in the fame drain where it tumbled forth from its mother’s womb.
No one will ever know how hard my life was growing up in a trailer park. I long for the memories that haunt my pitiful existence to disappear like a swiftly retracted allowance. Back then, I used to wonder if it was God’s plan that I should feel so sad and alone for so much of my life. Sometimes I’d go out into the yard and climb in the cage with our dog, Felicity, just to see what life was like from a different perspective. Daddy would take out with his cane and rattle it against the metal bars to try to force me to come out. I’d bark and hiss at him and Felicity would cower in the corner. I could sometimes appear very menacing, even though I didn’t mean to. Eventually, I’d come to my senses and realise I was in the wrong and then do nice things for Daddy to say sorry. Sometimes me and Felicity would perform a tap dance routine on the linoleum kitchen floor to try to make Daddy smile. He never did. But I loved that man.
If home life seemed tough, let me tell you it was pure bliss compared to what I went through in the living hell that was school. The other girls used to single me out. They’d write bad words on my Hermes bag in Tippex. We were poor so Daddy couldn’t always afford to buy me a replacement the very next day, no matter how much I sobbed and made myself vomit. I just sucked it all up – the torment, the abuse – and let it out through the words I wrote. I used to leave messages in the lockers off my fiercest foes. “Everyone you know is going to die one day”, “Let me remind you, emotional pain hurts more than 15 bullets in each of your eye balls”, “Your nostrils are extremely wide”. It didn’t take long for my teachers to figure out I was responsible – I had a habit of changing my o’s to love hearts. They said I was weird and psychotic – but who could blame me after what I had been through?
One day, me and Jonny – a kindly truck driver I had met just hours before – took off in my pink Cadillac to go in search of a better life in the Bronx. It was ride or die time, and I wasn’t about to die (even though it was something I often dreamed about). When we arrived I still felt sad – but it was a sadness that was slightly more bearable. Jonny had some money but he wasn’t a millionaire. We struggled. We did what we had to just to get by. I sold stuff – poems, homemade cookies, family heirlooms, crack cocaine. These kinds of things happen when you’re on the road and you’re on the run. The Mob never did catch up with us. It was just a life. I don’t like to talk about it. Please don’t hurt me. I love you. Fuck all y’all haters.