“Angelina, do you think he’d ever make you choose?” I ask my lover as we cuddle naked in her bed under a colorful quilt her great-grandmother made before she was born. I love the sense of history as much as I do its warmth.
I feel her body pull away from me a little as she turns her head away and sighs. “I think he is afraid.” Turning back to me she kisses me softly at first then hard stealing my breath preventing me from breathing she inhales all the breath in my lungs into hers.
“What is that about?” I gasp trying to catch my breath, coughing. “are you a succubus all of a sudden?”
“Raquelita, I’ve put off telling you, please don’t be upset, I’m pregnant.” She quickly rolls on top of me pinning me down I imagine I can feel a small hard roundness pushing into me our bellies pressed together.
“What will you say when he asks you to choose?” I whisper. My heart is beating wildly.
“Ahh, mi amor, what answer do you think? What could I say? Please don’t ask me this. I don’t want to hurt you let me love you instead.” she says regretfully as she bites and sucks my neck.
“Yes, no. Please.” I moan, heartsick and afraid how can my body betray me and become aroused?
“Just enjoy what you have when you have it, for however long it is.” She whispers as if reading my mind.
I’d just walked into my room, and all I wanted to do was change out of my school clothes. I wanted to lay down and take a nap. Pretending to be normal was exhausting. Always on alert censoring my thoughts and words. I shouldn’t complain after all Krissy did pick me to be her partner in Algebra class.
Thinking about her my heart fluttered, skipped and then beat faster. Arms behind my head eyes closed I smiled at the memory of her saying my name. It took great effort not to tremble when I sat next to her. It was impossible not to feel her body heat radiating along with the smell of her perfume. I wondered if she knew the reaction she was causing. I’d kept my face neutral with a practiced smile on my lips, so I was confident that she didn’t have a clue.
Broken out of my reverie my mother shouting for me to bring in the trash can. Groaning at not having a moment’s peace, I got up shuffled down the hall and went out the door to get the can from the curb.
The concrete was warm and rough underneath my bare feet. Maybe I’d wiggle my toes in the thick grass after I’d put the can up. I’d have to focus on not overdoing it and getting yelled at by my parents. They just didn’t understand how intense and enjoyable the sensation was. Although to be fair, I suppose rolling around was a tiny bit much.
The pain came before the sound of shattering glass, a bottle breaking against the carport wall. I was confused I couldn’t grasp what was happening. I saw the top of my right foot bleeding profusely from many cuts. I tried to walk forward, but my foot couldn’t support me. I’d stepped on a large piece, and it was embedded in the bottom of my heel. I hopped inside the house on one foot trying to avoid the glass.
I cried out for my mother I begged her to come quickly. My father came in from outside at the same time she rushed into the room. He told her to leave that he was already taking care of it. I’d been disobedient, I went outside without shoes on and so was suffering the consequences. She walked out without once having looked me in the eyes.
I feel an empty hole where my heart should be. One day I will cut myself open and see if it is missing.
I grew up with the knowledge that one day god will destroy everyone I love. When I surrendered to the fact that I was gay, I accepted that I would not live forever, not in paradise, not in heaven. I’m 26 in ‘worldly’ years if I count that my birth was from the point I was honest with myself and walked out the door. Were I to die tomorrow, it would be without regret. I’ve not held back even when the terror of rejection gripped my heart at having fallen in love. I loved, fucked and laughed as my spirit directed. A dark abyss or a state of bliss, at least I lived honestly.
Feeling anxious, negative self-talk, thinking the worst, hating myself, hating others for ‘making’ me feel uncertain and stupid. Memories looping thru my consciousness.
Back muscles tense, electrical jolts along my spine. I want to cut myself, pain to distract from the pain. Disrupt the signals by overwriting them with something more powerful. I freeze in my tracks as still as death.
Passion and agony, the combination forces the roar in my head to go silent. I feel the beauty of life, the wonder of being alive, every molecule in my being burns. Melting back into myself I am reborn.
Where I have no control, I let go. I am many pieces to this whole. Influenced only by those within my circle. Outside my sphere, I see those that would harm me. On guard against being vulnerable, I avoid dark spirits. Those let in are free to wander wherever they desire. I’ve no secrets inside my heart.
In the distance, I hear the groans of a society filling its loneliness with electromagnetic distractions. Anxiety inducing vibrations preventing the earth’s soothing hum from giving them peace.
I breathe. I fill my lungs deeply stretching them. Positive energy fills every cell of my body burning out the impurities of a day spent outside my cocoon. I break the connection. Silence. Again I exist in bliss.
The world does not see me beating my fist against my forehead trying to numb my mind, to silence my thoughts, a cracked record repeating, “stupiddumbstupiddumb.” A young child filled with fear of her creator, I died with the first bloody thrust of the maker’s tool. Emotions muted by thick black clouds of depression nothing can penetrate the shell around my heart. I remain as a shameful stain poisoning the soul of this broken and scarred body.
My anxiety feels like molten lava poured over an iceberg inside my skull. My brain boils and bubbles up flashes of painful memories before transforming my thoughts into a reddish-black sludge. Taking deep breaths and holding them as long as I can before my vision goes gray against the pressure building inside. I am defeated. I am not enough and never will be.
If I’d been an adult, I could have seen the pattern of escalation in the abuse. Understood that no matter how I tried I would never be able to prevent it or escape it. Trying to stay on alert from the moment he came home until the next morning when he went to work was exhausting. Weekends were hell. There were times that I could not escape being alone with him. Alone meant being the sole focus of his mercurial moods. In the end, nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome.
The rain will forever trigger the events of that humid evening. Standing at my bedroom window my eyes searching the horizon for my mother’s station wagon with my siblings in it returning from a shopping trip to the mall. Grounded as usual forced to stay home.
He burst into my room cursing at me for something I’d left outside in the sprinkling rain. I didn’t bother to turn around. I knew what was coming it was always the same. My body relaxed as stiffening up only made it hurt more. I heard the familiar whiz as the belt cut thru the air. The sharp sting of the leather across my shoulders, my legs and especially my rear. I stood there not making a sound leaving my mind and body behind while I floated above and waited.
He must have deviated from the script and expected a response. I returned to myself too late to prevent him from pushing my head into the window cracking it with my forehead. Dazed I fell back into him. Grabbing me by the shoulders, he spun me around and slapped me hard across the face. I must have missed something pretty big while I was in la-la land.
Words did not make sense I saw the spit fly from his mouth his face twisted up and purple with rage. He stepped forward and with both of his hands grabbed my breasts and squeezed. Suddenly my body and brain synched and I felt a pain I’d never experienced. I screamed. His eyes brightened up, and he laughed.
Heart pounding, disoriented I woke from my nightmare not knowing where I was. Frozen. Slowly the familiar feeling of my bedding, the sound of my wife breathing deeply in sleep and her warmth began to seep into me. Home I’m home.
Do you see what I see?
A spirit unbound from fear’s chains once I smashed the chemical bonds of shared DNA. No longer enticed by the crumbs of what they call love. My heart released from the burden of guilt begins the process of healing. Still, pain overwhelms my soul. I am aware of the damage my wounded heart inflicted on those who tried to love me over the years. My awakened conscience blisters and burns, ignorance not tolerated as an excuse. Waves of newly discovered emotions cause my brain to slap against the inside of my skull to the rhythm of the blood flowing thru me. Slap squish slap squish slap squish