Archive for March, 2008


Dear you,

I wish I could meet you in real life.  I would beat the goddamned shit out of you.  And as vile, arrogant, violent, whatever that sentiment is, it’s preferable to the way you work, because it’s fucking honest.  You, on the other hand, are a remarkably twisted person who has been dealt a number of craptastic cards by the universe, but also a number of gilt-edged cards marked “Get out of Jail Free” and “Unearned Privilege.”  Yet your modus operandi still consists of belittling other people, manipulating them, and doing your best to make sure the unfavored live in a cloud of fear with your name and your willingness to go to great lengths to spread poison, bile, and gossip stretched across it.  You are showing yourself to be exactly what you fear, and what you fight against: you are small, weak, pathetic, vicious, and miserable, and you bring a lot of this onto yourself. I, on the other hand, recommend beating the dog crap out of somebody and then walking away and letting it go.  You know, that was the difference between “boy socialization” and “girl socialization” on the playground when I was a kid — the boys would walk up to you, kick you in the shins, and you would know right where you stood.  There would be a fistfight, and thirty minutes later you’d be friends again. The girls, though, tended to be one way to your face and another behind your back.  The hidden damage they could do was immeasurable.  I’m a fighter, not a liar.  I don’t give a great green goddamn about you, but I would kick your ass for your former friend’s sake if I could, because you are a fucked up bitch and it would make me feel better, even though it would probably mortify your friend  You have no right to play emotional terrorist.  You are twisted, and you have created your own hell, and you are living in it, but let’s see you keeping it to yourself, ok?

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Her name was Laurielle.

She was nineteen to my fifteen, an art student living on her own to my compulsory psychiatric residential treatment, in possession of her own money to buy her own books to my sneaking the meager offerings of my Alabama public library home behind my father’s back.  She was blonde to my black, tall and leggy to my short and squat, eloquent to my painfully shy and awkward.  She was witty, astoundingly well-read, clever, and what’s more, she thought I was interesting. She sympathized. She encouraged me to read, to hang in there, to escape and get my own life one day.  She told me stories of sneaking around, stories about wild sex with older men on condo terraces, stories about drinks I’d never heard of, stories about sex toys I could barely imagine, stories of doing clean, sharp lines of coke from the glass of a dislodged Nagel print.  She sent me photos of her, photos of her lovers (all tall and leggy like her), notes written on stationery filched from hotels all over the world.

I envied her.  She had a little money, could buy her own books.  She was defiant (like I wanted to be), deviant (like I already knew I was, with medical and legal records to show for it), articulate (like I dreamed of being), well-read (like I was determined to be).  Most importantly, she was free.  She wasn’t locked up, she didn’t have two psychiatrists and four psychologists and a night shift of nurses cataloging her every gesture. She didn’t have anyone inspecting her backpack, taking her door off the hinges, reading her mail, telling her she was crazy, pounding her in the face and throwing her through the thin walls of a trailer in the godforsaken backwoods of Alabama.  She gave me a glimpse of a life that could be mine if I played by the rules long enough to get out of the hospital and graduate or get a GED.  She gave me a glimpse of what it might be like to be calling my own shots, making my own life, making my own reading list, writing in my own name, reading books and not hiding them anymore.

I wanted her.  I wanted to be her.  I didn’t know what I wanted.  But I knew she had it, knew about it, lived it.

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