thirteen and the ways to know me

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because. because. because.

because the momentum was there. and so was the alcohol. and so was the sense of complete despair and the conviction that nothing made a wrench of a difference, anyway.

i don’t remember those days much anymore. but when we first started hanging out again, it all came stampeding back to me and i lingered there for a while, in the dust, trying to make sense of the she who was and the me i am.

 the house on the corner. they were out of town.

i broke in through the basement window.

curtains drawn, the house shady, cool. 

i found the alcohol. called him. 

he showed up with two other boys.

one, a couple of years older, eyeballing me all afternoon.

and when i went to the bathroom, following.

i was sitting on the toilet. laughed when he walked in.

drunk. young. didn’t understand.

he locked the door behind him. turned out the lights.

utter darkness.

and a foreboding awareness.

i stood and tried to to make my way to the shower to hide. tripped on the tub, falling, pulling down the shower curtain.

the other found my body. pinned it.

he didn’t even think to kiss me first.

just went straight to trying to stick it to me.

stupefied. my thinking a fuzzy combination of “what the fuck?” and “is this love?”

 a knock on the door. “hey, are you okay in there?” 

the other put his hand over my mouth. didn’t need to. did he think i wanted to be caught like that any more than he did? 

but my heart went to hang out on the other side of the door. with him. calling my name. 

he was so soft back then, and i hate knowing that i spit in the face of our innocence. saying, “watch this. watch me while i fuck up and fuck us both over.”

and it was all forever ago. but he still has the same sweet look. all these years later and it still feels like his eyes know without my ever having to say.

and it breaks my heart.

it still.

breaks.

my heart.

 
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11 thoughts on “thirteen and the ways to know me

    1. thank you so much. the photo is the work of sally mann, and i will try to figure out how to create a caption for it, as i am sure others must wonder about it, too. isn’t it striking?

  1. gracias, mariposa. it’s fascinating how many kindred spirits one has. i didn’t foresee that writing would be such an avenue for meeting them.

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