You want to know just what kind of person is able to cut off two of her own fingers? Hmmm? You want to know what it would take to go through with something so completely fucked-up like that? What it would entail, mentally…A momentary lapse of reason, I think most would say. But I can attest with utmost certainty that I was calm and in control that day eleven years ago, when I got out of my chair and walked with long, steady strides to the paper cutter in the far left corner of the classroom.
I moved deliberately—I raised the blade and gave in and let my body go limp, just like during sex.
(It’s not about whether you win or loose)
I watched as my blood shot up in twin jets and splattered the asbestos insulated drop ceiling
(It’s about whether you can stay lose)
I watched with the same muted interest that I have when I watch a nearly naked girl strap on a piece that’s meant for me
been a ‘her’…
Flashback to me with my fingertips pressed against my burning eyelids
The wave of a coke high has pulled back
and left me gasping in the puddles…
lost and alone without a thought in my head.
Or check back to the hundreds of parties where my smack high
turned people I couldn’t stand into fast friends.
Oh, I did what I had to do, back then.
I performed all my own stunts.
I thought it was the drugs that made me do all those fucked up things to other people, but it turns out they were just an excuse.
It’s the beastly joys that I can’t shake.
That’s what’s at the bottom of all this.
All of the lies and institutionalizations and chemicals.
It’s why my father used to cry when he hit me.
(He knew! he knew!)
Even when he used the pipe or the time he caught me in drag and punched me full on the face.
What I didn’t know then, when I was willing to die for this abstract notion called ‘love’ was that it’s true definition is ‘the state of never getting what you want’.
Love is dissatisfaction of the most extreme, unrelenting variety.
Love is a tearing asunder of the little life you scrounged together.
It doesn’t make anything better, on the contrary, it fucks everything up.
So there’s no sense in dying for it
cuz it’s going to kill you eventually.
I don’t say much.
I often feel bad.
And when I go out I don’t feel any particular need to pretend that I’m having a good time.
It wasn’t so much about figuring out that I was gay—
The girls came for me
Even in the church parking lot
Wednesday nights after Youth Group.
Everything I did was noticed and responded to.
Even when my chest was still flat
My sexuality was powerful but indescribable
like a full moon or a mass murder.
I’ve slept with lots of girls.
Black girls, white girls, Puerto Rican girls, Asian girls, married girls, guitar playing girls and lawyer girls.
Girls with bad breath and angel smiles.
Girls I played Bonnie and Clyde with
Girls I ate on top of hills with.
And while each girl was different
A spinning galaxy onto herself
My story with them always started the same way:
I was on the outside looking in
plucking them out of their little world with my eyes
challenging them ever so gently
with my stare
my rocket girl,
thousand yard stare.
beef being brung