The Soundtrack of My Life – 19 – Good Mourning/What it is to Burn

In preparation for this blog I knew I wanted to do a Finch song. It was the one that seemed to fit the next entry the most. And for whatever reason I didn’t want to do one from Alkaline Trio. That seemed too easy. But as I re-listened to the Finch album “What it is to Burn” everything came rushing back to me with absolute detail. All of a sudden I was back in my station wagon, smoking a Turkish Gold cigarette with the windows down, listening to track 12 on repeat.

I was, once again, in the darkening hours of 17 and mourning my break-up with Travis.

I got over Jason way too easily. Before I knew it I was back in the AOL chat rooms, chatting with the gays, hoping someone new would pop in. That’s when and where I saw the username THINKAdio enter the room with the sound of a screeching door. For whatever reason he enjoyed my username, melancholychaos, so much that he messaged me.

Travis was 24, 5’10, on the chubby side, covered in tattoos and piercings, and a big time skater. I thought he was gorgeous. I can still see the first picture he ever sent me. He had this big goofy grin, black spikey hair, and wearing latex gloves. He was a piercer in those days, long before he became a tattoo artist. I was immediately attracted to him.

It also didn’t hurt that he was a huge nerd and liked Star Wars as much as me.

On our first date we met up to see the movie “The Order” with Heath Ledger. He liked horror movies and was a big fan of him, so it fit. My mom unknowingly dropped me off for this date and then drove off, only to circle back around to see who it was I was meeting. Later on she would ask me if “the guy with the tattoos” was my boyfriend.

After the movie we went back to his place, where his friends happened to drop by. I met them right out of the gate. They were all just like him and super goofy. His best gal pal, who’s name escapes me, was so super awesome. I loved her the most. She had the driest humor.

The reason I chose two albums for this entry is because it was this night when he handed me two burned CD’s. One was Alkaline Trio’s “Good Mourning” and Finch’s “What it is to Burn.” Neither of the discs had the titles, just the band names, which as someone with OCD drives me a little crazy.

Regardless, I couldn’t wait to get back to my place to listen to them.

He dropped me back at my parents’ house, in his white Toyota pick-up, and would call me later that night to talk on the phone until 2 in the morning.

When I first listened to the CD’s I fell instantly in love with Alkaline Trio. I could understand the lyrics, the tempo of the songs was energetic, and it was relatively campy. All of their songs are about death and dying but presented in this really obtuse way. I attempted to listen to Finch but on my first try I really didn’t like it. All of the songs were so depressing that I could barely make it through one without a grimace on my face. I slid it into my bulky CD case and forgot about it.

When I was younger I use to have this sixth sense about relationships. Like, I could tell you who was going to dump who, and about how long it was going to last. With Travis I saw the number two and I knew he was going to break my heart. But, I didn’t believe myself and really didn’t care.

I was super into him.

At the time I thought we had dated for two months but maybe we didn’t. My perception of time seems to be a corrupted. Because I vividly remember being dumped by Jason the night before school started and it was shortly after that, maybe a week, when he and I met for out first date.

Maybe it was two weeks? Fuck. Who knows at this point.

We talked on the phone every night, when he wasn’t drinking at the bars downtown. This dude appeared, to me at least, as a huge alcoholic. I was from a family of non-drinkers, my father being an ex-alcoholic himself, so dating someone who went every night was unsettling for me. It was one of these drunken nights when he called me up and asked us what we were.

“Sooooo… Like do I call you my boyfriend?”

“Yeah,” I said. “At least I thought we were.”

“Cool.” He replied. “I got a boyfriend. I’m gonna go back in.”

“Okay, have fun.”

Everything seemed to be going fine until one day, he was MIA. I went to school, texted him on the way and got no response at all. I tried calling in between classes, but it went right to voicemail. I was panicked. I could feel the energy shift and I knew what was coming. After school he finally messaged me and said to come over to his place.

When I got there, he was sitting in his room, with the lights off, listening to some mopey album. I sat on the end of the bed and waited.

The CD stopped and he mumbled to me, “I think we should see other people.”

My blood turned cold.

“Okay,” I said.

“I still want to be friends though.”

I did not want to be friends. I was so mad.

“I’m really sorry,” he said.

“It’s whatever.”

None of what I wanted mattered. I had zero choice in the situation. Clearly his mind had been made up and there was nothing I could say or do to change the outcome.

I said my goodbyes and left feeling hollow. It was absolutely out of nowhere. Everything was perfectly fine one minute and then not the next. To this day I have no idea what the fuck happened. I really wish I knew. I know I asked him once, but for whatever reason the answer didn’t stay with me. Maybe it was dumb. Or perhaps I didn’t want to hear it because it was so simple. All I have is my own conclusion and it was because of the age gap, which is stupid because when he dumped me I was a month away from turning 18. But, maybe he wanted a boyfriend he could go to the bars with. Have some cute thing hanging on his arm.

After that I spiraled out of control. Another fucking break-up so close to the other, I was beside myself. I started to smoke his kind of cigarettes, dress just like him, drink alcohol, and I became even more obsessed with Alkaline Trio. But I knew that wasn’t enough. I had to like that second CD. That was why he broke up with me, I chose the wrong one to like. I pulled the forgotten Finch album into the rotation, just to show how committed I was.

It reoccurred to me today that one CD represented the happier times of the relationship and the other got me through the break-up. All of the songs on “What it is to Burn” made sense. I could identify with them. And they truly spoke to me.

So much of who I am came out of that short-lived relationship. Isn’t that ridiculous? I crafted an entire identity from it, just so that I could, in the off-chance, make myself more attractive to him and he would take me back. He absolutely did not want me back and I was even more lost in the attempt.

In hindsight I shouldn’t have dated him. I should have taken some time between Jason and Travis, or better yet, from Travis to my husband. I think I had had too many break-ups in such a short amount of time that it was destroying my self-esteem and self-worth. I needed to heal from these events. What I chose instead was further self-destruction.

One of the weirdest things about that relationship was that sometime during Travis had given me a lighter. I cherished it after he dumped me, hoping I could use it as some totem to bring him back. One day I went to my car after school and the thing had exploded. It rested in tiny blue plastic fragments on the passenger seat. Since then I have tried so many times to recreate this event, but not once has it been done.

This last year, on November 3rd, Travis died of Stage 3 cancer. I still can’t believe it. It had been years since we had spoken. We would occasionally “like” each other’s posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Now, I leave you with the second album. Track 12 is my favorite. It was the one that spoke the most to me. Maybe because it’s good or because like, most things in my life, the number 12 follows me around as some kind of omen or lucky charm.

The Soundtrack of My Life – 18 – Cry Me a River

For the record, I genuinely am not a fan of Justin Timberlake. He has an okay voice, but after seeing how he treated Britney Spears and how he left Janet Jackson out in the cold for nipplegate, I’ve realized he might not be a good person. Someone’s actions tells you far more about them than their words. He may be a perfectly lovely person, but I will proceed with caution in regards to him.

The only reason I’ve included him now is because it fits the narrative I am trying to tell. The only song of his I have genuinely enjoyed and like is a duet he did with Chris Stapleton. (P.S. check that shit out. “Say Something.” Ugh, so good.) This particular song reminds me of a specific person and time in my life. One that lasted for two months but it felt like it was forever.

Have you ever heard that old saying “to get over someone, you just need to get under someone else?” Well, in an attempt to get over Sergio I tried to slut my way to emotional freedom. Thank Albus that Grindr didn’t exist at that time. If I had had untethered access to horny dudes I would have been a way bigger slut. All I had at my disposal was AOL chat rooms and that was a hit or miss situation. I didn’t even know gay.com chat rooms existed. Which is a blessing in disguise because it kept my selection limited. Being the pulsing sack of testosterone, I ended up meeting with this much, much, MUCH older dude who had promised a “fun time” with a third. I was hesitant, because I had met with this gentleman once before and he was a weirdo. Not the scary kind. He was just sad.

This guy was infamously known on AOL as Blur69. While not caring for his aging mother, he was fishing for dick online. The first time we met up he was stinking drunk. When this older woman came out to investigate the noises, he pushed me into his bedroom, shut the door, and turned to viciously yelled at her to get back in her room. Super cringe.

While in the middle of doing “stuff” he fell asleep. I showed myself out and swore I would never meet up with him again.

Well… Evidently my resolve is easily ruined with the offer of a three-way.

Please, keep in mind that at this time I am 17. I look back now and yeah, cool, they helped a sister out, but they 1,000% should not have. I was underage! Regardless… That did not stop me.

The night of the promised group action I snuck out my window, stole my parents car, and drove across town to meet with “Boozy” and mystery dude.

The third turned out to be this twenty-something man named “Mike.” He was a chubbier than described and had a nasty attitude. When I met him I wanted to turn around and leave. Did I? No. For three reasons: one, I am someone who feels obligated to follow through with an agreed upon event; two, I was freshly thin and knew what it felt like to be rejected for my weight; and three, I was blinded by my sex drive. Plus, I drove all that way on a suspended license…

Not even two minutes in Blur69 passed the fuck out. It was down to just “Mike” and I. We did our thing and snuck out, hoping not to wake Blur’s mother. On the way to our cars we started talking and he was very nice. Not my type in the slightest, but nice enough that I was willing to exchange numbers with him. That was the last time I ever just willy-nilly handed out my digits. To this day, if I do give it to you, it is the equivalent to a commoner being knighted. Okay? So feel honored. I don’t like random people messaging me. It bugs.

Before I had set this boundary for myself, “Mike” continued to text me randomly. We ended up becoming pretty good friends. Unfortunately he liked me way more than just an acquaintance. Those feelings were not reciprocated. But did that stop me from agreeing to meet with him when he dangled the opportunity of another three way? (Are you seeing a pattern? Because I am.)

Against my better youthful judgement I let my libido answer for me and agreed to meet up with “Mike” and another stranger.

(Side note, I don’t know how I’m still alive, with all of the risky shit I was willing to do. Truly.)

Once again, after my parents were soundly asleep, I snuck out and met the two men at a hotel around the corner from my house. There I was introduced to the married man who would become my second “boyfriend,” Jason.

Jason was 10 years older than me, with a little pooch, blonde hair in a buzz cut and tons of freckles. At the time he was married to a woman and had 3 little boys around the ages of 6 months to 4 years old. How they knew each other was that “Mike” lived with this growing little family and the two worked together at a telecommunications business.

That night, Jason and I ended up being the only ones to do anything. To this day I would describe our encounter as electric. He and I had this connection I could and cannot explain. I did not want it to end and we only got to third base.

The entire time, Mike sat in the corner of the room, sulking. I expected him to join us at some point but evidently he was waiting for an invite. Without any explanation, he got so offended that he grabbed his things and left the two of us in the room alone.

“Okay,” I said to Jason.

“Eh, don’t pay him any attention. He’s just butt hurt. He’ll get over it.”

I drove away from this episode thinking I would never see him/them again. But I was wrong.

As it was, Jason had also felt the same way about our tryst. In a roundabout way he got my contact information and from the moment he first instant messaged me on AIM, we began meeting nearly every day. I was on my summer break from high school and Jason was on medical leave for his gall bladder. His wife worked an office job so that meant we had full access at his place.

At first I was uncomfortable with the entire thing. Who was I to come in and ruin this man’s marriage? My friends told me to be careful. And even when we met up one time and I saw his son’s car seat in the back seat it made me cringe but did not deter me. I didn’t seem to care. It was then that I adopted my personal philosophy when it came to married men: I don’t care, I’m not the one cheating.

I genuinely don’t know how his wife never caught on. We texted constantly. He would find any excuse to come and pick me up at my parents house. We would drive somewhere and do our thing, and each time was awesome. I will not lie to you dear reader. I think the sin of infidelity made it all the more delicious. (Eesh I’m not a good person.)

One night he picked me up in this old, white Ford F-150, with Justin’s song playing on the radio. He said, “What do you think of my boyfriend?” Referring to Timberlake.

“Meh,” I said.

“Bitch!” He replied.

Again… I am truly dumbfounded that she did not know.

Jason broke it off with me the day before the start of my senior year, at the end of August. I was annoyed and pissed that I did the most immature, manipulative, thing I have ever done; I lied about killing myself. I know as a sane adult that you don’t do shit like that. Then… I knew I just didn’t care. I was burnt out that I was dumped AGAIN that I wanted someone else to feel uncomfortable.

It wasn’t long before I was absolutely over Jason. Yeah, it was fun while it lasted, but what was the end game? He wouldn’t have left his wife for me. I was still in high school. The best option was for us to go our separate ways. Whatever it had been had run it’s course. He had to deal with his shit, and I needed to grow up.

Years later we reconnected and I apologized for being so immature. He found the courage to come out to his wife. She took it really well and they’re still very good friends. They talk to the other about their boy problems. And it’s weird seeing photos of their sons… They’re literally the age now that I was when I met their father. While I haven’t, because I lack the courage to do it, I have wanted to ask how he would feel if one of his sons met up with someone ten years older than them for sexual encounters. It’s interesting to see the difference of opinion when one is on the outside.

The Soundtrack of My Life – 17 – (KR) Cube

One thing I have come to understand, at my very core, is that human beings are idiots. It takes us entirely too long, with far too many required lessons, for us to learn something. We have to be repeatedly told or shown a fact until it finally sinks in. And no one is more guilty of that fact than me. It doesn’t matter how self-aware I am, how much self reflection/analysis I do on a daily basis, or how clever I become, I am not. Without a doubt. Yesterday, in my inescapable whirlpool of rage, I screamed at the top of my lungs (while on the phone with my husband) that I have zero control over my life. And I fucking hate that. What’s ridiculous about that statement is that no one does. There is merely the illusion of it, but the cold hard fact about life is we don’t. Everything we have can be taken in an instant.

I chose this song because it comes from a time when I didn’t even have an “illusion.” My life was absolute chaos. The only goal being survival, because it was a “character building” path. What I gained from the experience was personal growth.

It’s eerie to me how even current events can align itself with even my own personal narrative. I had planned on doing “KR Cube” prior to the recent supreme court leak as it was the next logical step from the previous post about my first boyfriend. Yet, here I am once again having zero control over life.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Japanese. Even after the solid year I listened to Dir En Grey, I still couldn’t tell you what any of the songs were about. The lyrics come easy enough. I can spout off some without any accompaniment, but the meaning is lost entirely. I could have chosen their one English song from that time, but that’s too easy. (Although, “Child Prey” remains one of my most favorite.) What spoke to me through these songs was the music. It was loud, high tempo, erratic, and unpredictable. Then the band itself is hardcore death metal, where blood and almost “occult” ritual showmanship was the “perfect balance” to my prior Christian life.

The gore that accompanied Dir En Grey genuinely scared me when I was first introduced to them, the same day of my “first date” with Sergio. This group of friends identified as “goth.” They dressed all in black, listened to “counter culture” tunes, and was obsessed with the “occult.” They were rebelling against their parents and most of all society. I was entranced.

Up until this day I was a “goody two shoes.” I only ever fought with my parents over bad grades and missed assignments. This also came on the heels of my obsession with anything associated with the 1950’s. My dress and demeanor accompanied this self imagined “essence” of the time. So, when I watched the lead singer, Kyo, stick his index fingers as hooks into his mouth and “cut” himself, convulse, and spit out a mouthful of blood I was more than shocked.

Do I really want to go down this road? I thought to myself.

It turns out, I did. I was chasing a boy. And one does stupid things for “love.”

From these “goth” friends I ventured forth into uncharted musical territory. In addition to Dir En Grey, I listened to Slipknot, Korn, Staind, Bad Religion, System of a Down… anything that appealed to the constant anger dwelling just below the surface. This genre of music only appeals to me in these specific circumstances. Otherwise I cannot tolerate it. It’s grating and irritating. I like a voice I can hear and understand.

The ability to not comprehend what Dir En Grey was singing drove me crazy. I wanted to know what I was listening to. I am an audiophile and while I loved the music, I needed the lyrics to match the mood it was painting. At least, I did until I didn’t. Becky insisted on putting them on whenever we got into the car. In particular I remember her listening to KR Cube, from the passenger seat, and doing the same choreography the lead singer did from the concert DVD she watched daily.

So, my only choice was to go with the flow.

I spent every non-school moment with these friends, primarily Becky and Jose. She was my best gal-pal and we hung out constantly and when I got there, she would immediately call him to join us. I would chauffer her over to his mom’s apartment to pick him up. She had the biggest crush on him and the two are still the best of friends, while I am just a casual acquaintance. It was Jose, nicknamed Amie-sama, who introduced J-rock and anime into Becky’s and my lives.

While she took off at a sprint enjoying one series after another I genuinely struggled. I so wanted to like anime but try as I might I really do not. I can appreciate the art style and the cohesive story structure, but that’s where it ends. At least in regards to animated series. Later, when these two weren’t as prominent, I became obsessed with manga. It just sucks that it wasn’t when I could have enjoyed it with them.

It didn’t occur to me until I was ruminating on what to write about in this blog the other day, that this period of my life was only about six months. At the time it felt so much longer, and prior to breaking it down I would have sworn it had been at least two years. I don’t know if that speaks to the ease of that time or the struggle.

As I previously mentioned, this was a journey for character building.

While Becky and I were very similar (both late in life babies, only children, who went to Christian school) where we were most alike was mental health. I had undiagnosed depression and she was (also undiagnosed) bipolar. She has made leaps and bounds with her mental health and honestly is not the same person. I wish I could say the same.

I don’t want you to get the impression that she was some kind of monster. Far from it. It’s just not ever having been around someone struggling with mental health can be a lot to handle. During this time her mood swings were wide but I learned to move with them. This is where I learned to love someone despite what they said and did. Being around her 95% of the time was an absolute blast. No one can make me laugh like she can, truly. But, there were some dark moments when he anger got the best of us. In turn I became angry too.

Dealing with my first true heartbreak, my own and others mood swings, and knowing my mother would be appalled to know I was a faguette, held me in this constant state of anger. Like the buzz of electricity through high voltage power lines. This was only exacerbated due to my inner struggle fighting against the current of my previously held religious beliefs. Nothing is harder to undo than the years of religious brainwashing. I’m still dealing with it and I haven’t believed since I was 17. But once I held Sergio’s hand for the first time, I ditched them without a second thought. I refused to associate with something that would keep me from feeling the love and acceptance I felt just being with who I wanted.

An awesome highlight from this time was that I got so many traffic tickets with my provisional license that I lost it for 6 months. One time I ran a red light, a couple blocks from where I work today, and nearly went head-on into a cop car. What made that traffic stop EXTRA FUN was the giant, bright orange construction cones I had in the back seat of my car, with “Property of Kern County” spray painted onto the sides. The cop joked with me about having a “fuzzy navel” or a “Sex on the beach” but didn’t make a peep about the cones.

The final traffic ticket that suspended my license was from doing 85 in a 65, on the way home with Becky and her then boyfriend. My car at the time was a station wagon and the speedometer maxed out at… 85. The cop claimed to have clocked me doing 90, but wrote 80 on the ticket. This had happened out of town and I was sure he wouldn’t show up to my court date. However, come the day of my trial, the judge sat and WAITED for him to get there. The judge and I had become quite familiar with each other.

Since then I have gotten maybe 2 tickets and I avoid traffic court at all costs because of the anxiety it brings me.

The Soundtrack of My Life – 16 – A Sorta Fairytale

Goodness… Music truly is magic for me. I had completely forgotten that this song (and artist honestly) existed. That is until someone posted one of Tori Amos’ the other day on twitter. My memory whirred to life and every detail of my first boyfriend came rushing to me from deep within the archives. I was back there and filled with so much to write about that, without a second thought, I knew what song to do next.

I have had internet friends since I was 12. I nagged my mother to get it until we signed up for AOL. I wanted to recreate my own version of “You’ve Got Mail.” The moment our computer was connected to the world wide web I was in search of people to talk to. In a very roundabout way, one in which I cannot recall how we met, I started exchanging lengthy digital letters with a girl named Mary. (I still have all of them printed and held in a manila folder somewhere.) She lived in Minnesota, older than me by a year or two, and completely obsessed with the Broadway musical Les Miserable. She had broken the rules messaging me and when her parents found out about our exchanges they forbade her from sending any further correspondence. (Anyone can be anyone on the internet.) But like most teenage girls, she found a work around that wouldn’t get her into trouble. Mary commissioned her friend Tessa to type out and send me her handwritten letters in secret. That lasted for about a month when, eventually, those messages ended all together and, instead, Tessa and I became friends. The two of us were close enough that for Christmas one year she sent me a CD with a bunch of her favorite songs. On that disc was this one by Tori Amos.

At first I had no interest in it. It wasn’t really my vibe. I had just turned 17 and was going into my punk rock/emo phase. The tone and lyrics of this did not match how I felt inside. At least, when I first got it. It would however become an obsession later.

I only ever came out to someone by accident. Not so much that, but unexpectedly. I had been invited to an old friend’s, Becky, birthday party at a bowling alley. I went with the intent on telling her that I was “bisexual” because I had this gut feeling that she would accept me. However, because I brought along my friend Jenny as a buffer, I did not end up doing that at first. Instead Jenny and I stayed in our own lane and bowled. I was too scared to talk to Becky and, as the star of the evening, getting her alone was impossible. The party wound down and then Jenny and I both decided to head out too. I left feeling “relieved” I hadn’t said anything. Saying it would have made it real and my deeply held Christian faith wouldn’t have allowed it.

When I had gotten into my parents’ aquamarine station wagon, I turned the key to discover a completely dead battery.

“That sucks,” Jenny laughed and left me to fend for myself.

My parents showed up to help and as we waited for triple-A to come and bring “the bitch mobile” back to life, I went back into the bowling alley. I had to get one more look at the guy I had been salivating over all night.

I thought he was so handsome. Dressed all in black, with dark brown eyes and a brooding expression. His face was pockmarked by bad acne, but his smile was captivating. He was one of the handful of Becky’s friends still bowling, as my friend sat by herself playing with her brand new phone.

“I thought you had left” Becky had said.

I gave her the run down as I stared at her friend. Then from somewhere deep in myself I built up the courage to lean forward and whisper my confession in her ear. For the first time ever I told someone that I was bisexual.

“And your friend Sergio is really cute.”

She laughed and told me that he too was a recent recruit to the “friends of Dorothy.”

“Oh, really?” I had said. “Do you think you could hook a brother up?”

“I think I can do that,” she had replied.

The following day, as my parents drove us down to our family’s early Christmas party, I berated myself for having said anything. I regretted it. I wanted nothing more than to call her up and say, “I don’t know what I was saying. I’m not bisexual.” Even now as I type this I can feel the same churning in my stomach. “If I just hadn’t gone back inside…” I kept telling myself.

Even though I felt that then, when Becky called me to meet up with her and Sergio at the mall I jumped at the chance. I had already made it past the first hurdle, might as well keep going. See where it goes. We walked the length of the enclosed shopping center, Sergio and I hit it off instantly. Well, for me at least. I can’t speak for his experience.

My dad came and picked me up and took me home where I immediately got back in the car and returned to the mall. I joined back up with them and then went and saw the Two Towers. There Sergio and I sat together and held hands. My heart could have burst.

Every chance after that I would get together with Becky and have her call Sergio to come over. I was truly smitten. He was all I thought about, who I wanted to be around. I loved the smell of him. He wore a particular cologne that even to this day if I catch a whiff of it I’m taken back to the day we made-out on Becky’s bed.

The problem with letting yourself love who you want for the first time is you run the risk of feeling too much all at once. For so long I had deprived myself of allowing my true homosexual feelings. So once the cork was popped, all the pressure that had been building behind it exploded. And not in a fun way. I gave too much of myself too quickly.

After we had been kissing, again, on Becky’s bed, I whispered in Sergio’s ear that I loved him. He hesitated for a second and said it back. I was elated. I had never felt so amazing in my entire little life. However… it was after that in which his response to me changed. He became distant and avoided me like a mask mandate. I knew something was amiss but I couldn’t place it. Finally, a few days before the winter formal, he dumped me over the phone. It was my own fault. I forced it out of him. He was told to hold out until after the dance, but I was too much for him. The “gay thing” was too much for him. He wasn’t even sure he was queer. (Turns out… he’s just not gay for me.)

I was absolutely gutted. I had never been dumped before. Prior to this I had dated two other people, girls, and I had been the one to end things. This time… The pain I felt was intense. Like I said, once you allow yourself to feel things, for real, you have to also face the other side as well. And the emotional swings are just as broad.

I obsessed over him and re-ran every moment, especially the night I forced him to break-up with me, for months. I picked apart and analyzed everything trying to figure out what I had done wrong. It only took me a few years to realize that it had just been too much for Sergio. I absolutely came on wildly too strong, too fast. Sergio wasn’t ready. And, honestly, neither was I.

The break-up threw me into a depression, where it was so noticeable that my mother asked me repeatedly what was bothering me. Somewhere around the sixth time she had inquired, I snapped a response.

“My boyfriend dumped me,” I had said.

The look of shock on my mother’s face was intense. The color drained from her cheeks and her eyes bulged from their sockets.

“What are you saying?” She had asked.

My response is lost to the wave of raw emotion. I just remember saying I wasn’t full gay, but “Bi-bi-bi.” (Aka a lie-lie-lie.) My mother scurried from the family room and went to bed, crying.

Overcome with guilt at my mother’s response and fear of my mother knowing I liked men, I shuffled into her dark bedroom and lied, “I was just joking.”

“Why would you do that to your mother,” my father’s methodical voice said out of the darkness.

For the next few months, I moped around trying to cope. I blogged about it whenever I felt the pangs of sadness, but I could hardly get past my emotions. It was such a foreign concept to my young heart. How something could be alive and real in one moment, but gone forever the next, left me befuddled.

The worst part was that since Sergio was a close friend to Becky, he still came around. So, I had to make nice with this son-of-a-bitch whenever I saw him. And my heart would go from one extreme to the next. In one moment I want to grab his pudgy cheeks and kiss him, while in the next I wanted to knock his lights out. The best part was that in this friend group they would play the “slug bug” game but with two additions: out of state license plates and mustangs. Mustangs were included just because the dude who had originated the revised game hated them. And they were fucking everywhere. So, I got to hit him hard and often.

In the wake of the break-up I was set adrift and I rediscovered the song above. It captured me by it’s poetic lyrics and this ending where it leaves you wanting more. It inspired a short story I wrote to it’s tune, with the intent for the reader to listen to the song as they read. I think the term most artists like to use is it was “experimental.” It’s written in broken up scenes, almost like a dream or snapshots. I will include it below for the more curious minds. Just know that it is truly terrible.

I also seem to have written with this weird British accent. Gosh, I’m adorable.

****************************

Him until the End

The news came like a wave and hit each shore of ears all at the same time. The whole idea of it crashed into their ears and flooded their minds with foam. With each collision, a different response was expelled out of the crevasses of their minds through the mouths of the people; and each response varied from the negative, to the neutral, and to the positive, but how anyone could have a positive to such is a surprise; but nevertheless how people took it was the bulk of the story.

*             *             *

Jonathan Abhor awoke to sun and birds every day since he had found happiness; he pulled himself from the mountains of blankets and pillows and dressed with speed, for he couldn’t wait to see the thing that had brought joy into his life. He could hardly contain the happiness that broiled within him; there was so much that he couldn’t help but smile and laugh at the idea of ‘him.’ ‘Him’ was the coming and reason for all, just remember that, for ‘him’ was a benchmark moment within the life of Jon. ‘Him’ was responsible for the change that had occurred in the boy, he was why Jon even dressed differently.

After making some adjustments to his appearance, he rushed to his car, hopped in, and immediately started the engine and backed away from the house. From that point he raced to ‘heavens rest,’ the meeting point of where it all collided.

Anna Kismet’s room was a haven for all who didn’t wish to be seen, who could only do things there and not be judged, and peace and love would be found. Anna was a great reason for all of this, if it hadn’t been for her none of the recent events would have happened, she was perfect to Jon, for she had given the boy ‘him.’

‘Heavens Rest’ was almost silent as some movie played in the background, but none of that mattered for now because right now all that existed was Jon and ‘him.’ Together they laid in each others arms, gazing into the others eyes trying to find who they truly were. Without thinking, lost in the exchange of gazes, Jon leaned forward and kissed the lips of ‘him.’ A feeling of electricity flowed through his lips and continued in a steady stream through each of his limbs, until the two finally broke and together again they looked into the others eyes. Both smiled slightly and then ‘him’ leaned in and again they kissed innocently, but before Jon could realize what was going about he found himself locked into a kiss he didn’t want to end. Beauty existed and grew and before long they broke, and swimming in the scent of ‘him’ he said softly, “I love you.”  Those words hung lightly in the air until a response was tossed up and it was no longer alone, “I love you, too.” They kissed lips softly and wrapped together they lay with the other.

*             *             *

It was evening and the whole of the small town world was moving about, carrying out their lives through the streets and stores, trying to make sense of things that normally were fuzzy. Jon was alike those who lay before him. His world had stopped spinning and the sky had shattered and crashed to the earth, and the shards had cut his skin leaving him behind a bloodied mess standing alone. It was a night before the school dance, and oblivious to what was to happen, he and his friends were all busy getting things prepared. It was all frustrating and consuming, but to make his life complicated even more it was also the night that him decided to rid his life of Jon. ‘Him’ had spilled everything against his will, so on the phone he told his plight to a broken hearted boy, saying that he still wanted to be friends. Though through his strained eyes he looked back at the month they had lived as a pair, and those words “let’s be friends” held no effect to the scarred human being who only wanted to scream “Why? What was all of that? Was it all lies?”  But using every fiber of himself he held back the words and just accepted the ruthless murder of his trust and love.

Anna was there that night, for Jon was at her house, and she watched his face as it reddened with pain and his eyes welled with tears. She had to look away for fear she would soon cry too, and she was meant to be the strong one at this point in time. So, where it all began it ended and that was where so much more happened. Sobbing so hard on her shoulder Jon lost a giant piece of himself, a piece he would never get back because it was too great and large to lift and replace.

*             *             *

“Why did you break up with me,” Jon uttered from his lips against his better judgment.

“Because,” he began, “I never really liked you, and while we were dating I was sort of liking someone else. Plus, I was scared people would find out about us. I mean we couldn’t have kept it a secret forever.”  ‘Him’ had spoken this without any human remorse or sorrow, he spoke it almost maliciously as if to destroy the rest that was left of Jon; and it was there that the last piece of the boy broke away and in the darkness of an abyss he fell hoping to reach the end soon, where he knew he’d hit the ground and die.

*             *             *

The window of Jon’s room lay open, allowing in the sound and sweet scent of the spring rain as the boy penned his life’s tale upon paper. The more he recalled and wrote about the past month the more he hated his existence, and in time his story turned into a letter of good-bye. It was at the moment he finished that he decided to end his duration; he couldn’t take the pain for there was far too much. So, the story now told and able to be heard he leaped with hope to his car and climbed in, taking flight immediately to the school, and there his ending would commence.

*             *             *

“I don’t believe he did it,” said one girl, after the letter Jon had penned had been read by the school. “He was dating a guy! Was he gay?” 

“No. Weren’t you listening? In his letter it said he made a mistake falling in love with a guy, but that it was nothing more,” said the guy she had been speaking with.

*             *             *

…I’m killing myself because I loved him more than I’ll ever be able to comprehend; my life got better with his existence but what’s a life without him? There is just too much hurt for me to carry on without Cameron.

THE END