a progression in slow movements: how 1 woman ruined 3 promising young men

The year I made captain of the cheer squad,
Bryan pointed a black handgun at his temple and pulled the trigger.
I shaved my head and
stood, next to a different boy, in a black and white dress at the senior prom.
He drove a borrowed yellow VW Bug.
It was only our second date, but
he already knew I’d never be able to leave. Held me
so hard that I could hear the bones crack in my back like old brittle china.

I added a star to my skirt. Became the star of the school play.
Learned quickly how to act,
because Paul had already overdosed on heroine. Scaled a clinic wall and didn’t stop
running until he crossed the Canadian border.
I refused to eat until
my body threatened to quit working. Tried to disappear, because
I was ugly and stupid. Useless. And no one would ever want me.
He said this with his hands, every chance I gave him.

I abandoned the squad, when the uniform no longer hid my injuries.
He stopped burying his face in my skirts and crying forgiveness afterwards,
and I waited for him to kill me.
Quit going to the E.R. when the nurses knew me by name. Even if it wasn’t my own.
Plotted an unrealistic escape.
And while I let another boy press against me at the senior prom in my pink taffeta dress,
he got high on methamphetamines and put his fist through a wall.
Later he used his good hand to break my nose, as I stood in a puddle of pink frills.

where i go when strange moments of joy occur

I was pushed from the slowly moving car at approximately 5:30 in the morning. He had been driving with my torn body in the passenger seat for what felt like hours. Slowly muttering to himself in a language that I could no longer understand. The trail of blood that ran down my chest - my legs - grew still as my nose occasionally dripped, and I dabbed at the ache with the sleeve of my jacket. The clothes underneath told another story, and I wound that coat around. For the warmth and for the comfort my own arms contained.

My throat was dry and parched from several hours of screaming at and for no one. Until I lost my voice, and there was just the desire to scream - the frustration that comes with unwanted silence. Leaving only the methodical - thump, thump, thump - of the table hitting the wall. Of my thighs hitting the table. Of the linoleum cracking under feet. The occasional fist into skin.

Caked with blood and barely able to see beneath my two black eyes, I hit the pavement. He only used one huge hand to set me free. It rained, and I remained in the street with an open mouth - felt the cuts on my lips split as each drop fell down. Kept my eyes open as long as I could. The world was suddenly covered in Vaseline.

It took another hour to figure out what to do. Wandering the semi-light downtown streets with the junkies, pushers, and whores. Without money or identification. Waited for a bus, but the driver took one look at me and wouldn't let me on without the fare. The air from the door stung when he closed it in my face. I did not yet know what I looked like. Commuters were already filing in. And I stood in front of Starbucks, humiliated, begging for change to make a phone call. One woman stopped, finally, to give me a dollar. She looked sad as she passed it into my palm. As if she knew something I didn't. Get off the streets, she muttered while turning to walk away. She didn't look back.

I called Jules then. Had to wake him up. Barely audible through the downtown traffic and straining to use my abused vocal chords. I'm fucking in trouble, I whispered. And that was enough. He arrived around 7:00 am. The immediate reaction was simple. Horrified. Things must be worse than I even imagined. He didn't take any measures to hide it, and the fifteen minutes it took to get back to his house were filled with questions that I would never completely answer -- What the fuck happened to you? -- What the hell is going on? He was hysterical and sobbing.

He spent the next few weeks clinging to my bruises. Holding me upright in the shower. Applying peroxides and creams. Bandages and medications. Holding me together. It was during those days that I forgot how to speak. When I began to rely on my hands. Realized the safety of silence.

Bringing it Back Together

I wonder, most times, if I’m the kind of woman you’d fuck without first taking off all your clothes. If you’d fuck me, even though you wouldn’t kiss me full on the mouth. If I’m that woman you’d call late at night – when you’re drunk or desperate or both. When there isn’t anyone else. Even if you don’t love me. Even after you’ve said as much.

And what makes me that way? The late night faceless conduit to satisfaction rather than the emotional or intellectual bridge to the same. There has to be someone out there who will not define me and my worth only by my sexuality.

and so i say

to love you feels like the remembered scent of lilacs. the sickening sweet aroma that burns the nose. the back of the throat. something that evokes a sneeze. like the sun after times of darkness. your voice – a vessel of madness. that flicks the tongue and curls the toes. words like magic spells that cut me down to size. hold me prisoner within the gap between your teeth. weaving imaginary realities about the way it might feel to love you. like the remembered taste of desire. caught like a cold. a mistaken temporary ache in the bones. to love you feels like a choice i couldn’t make. a failed attempt to obliterate a memory.

the elements

there is an element of frustration in feeling like i can no longer post here.
so i think that i'll return.
if only to post the writings i've done other places whilst i've been afraid to come back here.
because i've grown tired of worrying about being misinterpreted or mistaken.
and i am no longer concerned about the repercussions.