Vincible

So, I had been feeling pretty invincible over the last few weeks. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound, comparing my power to locomotives and all of that. Then I went to go see my mother….

After that, I had about four or five days of supreme vincibilty which ended’ish just today.

Mostly, I’ve been walking around thinking “Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid” and am now trying to transition that into to “Stupid but understandable, stupid but understandable, stupid but understandable.”

My mother sometimes expresses incredulity over my recollections of events. To an extent that if I didn’t have a brother or other family who could back me up I’d feel like I was out of my mind. Even so, sometimes I do feel like I am nuts. Maybe it was all in my head.

She’d been lending me her car, which had made me feel pseudo-sick to my stomach. Because it’s hard to take something good from someone you don’t necessarily have a positive relationship with (especially when they tell you all the time about how positive your relationship is and you don’t feel that way) and not feel like a traitorous piece of shit. I started to think “Maybe it’s not fair, all these grudges I have. Maybe I made up a lot of that stuff.”

Then she says and does something that if it were in a movie you’d think: “Well, that was a bit much. I hate it when people over-broadcast that someone is supposed to be the bad guy.”

So, in a fit of blind fury I drove to a car dealership and did the worst thing I could do to myself as punishment. Did I do drugs? Did I sleep with a hooker? No, it was worse.

I bought a sensible car with good mileage and excellent safety features well within my price range.

And it was fucking tan.

I’m going to go watch more House now.

I’m going to get a tattoo next week after I get over the ear infection I have right now.

I am Invincible

For those wondering, I am still awesome and invincible.

I think I reached a point where I got sick of all the bullshit that was holding me back and obsessing over the bullshit that was holding me back and wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t holding me back anymore? So in a fit of desperate glory, I puked up all that bullshit. That I had swallowed in this analogy? I live in rural Idaho next to several farms. It makes sense.

Now, dealing with the bullshit is what has allowed me to drop it to the extent I have (at this moment) but I’m sure it will come back in the future. I’ll puke it out when that time comes. But for now, I am a leaf on the wind and I feel super confident and ready to take on the world.

I feel complete and whole and have been writing at least a couple of thousand words a day for the last few days even though I’ve had work. So sorry to those of you who normally hear from me on Facebook and various other places. I am winning at life right now.

The other day a twenty-year old girl I know (who is actually attractive) said “Any girl would be lucky to have you” and also accidentally called me “Angel” instead of Andrew. While I am way too old now to date a twenty year old girl, the only thing that could ruin that self-esteem boost would be to find out I look exactly like her father or something really weird like that.

I had a friend visit recently, which was super awesome as well. This was prior to finishing the book. It’s a person I’ve known for a very long time and I think it kind of helped me deal with a lot of what I’ve been thinking about for a while, which is: I’m really not a piece of shit.

It would actually be a relief if I was just an unrepentant piece of shit.

We had some whiskey during the visit (which is the greatest drink ever invented) and I felt all my walls fall down. Was I a murderer? A rapist? A thief? No, I just laughed a lot and wanted to exercise and lifted my couch up over my head while my guest tried to hang on for dear life.

Because I like to perform heroic deeds of strength. I may have also sword fought them, but I did stop when I was asked/realized you shouldn’t just randomly sword fight someone.

Anyway, my guest left and I thought “Wasn’t it nice to have fun?”

Because fun isn’t a thing I usually have. In fact, I was probably a shitty host for several reasons on several occasions. But I liked having fun. And that’s when I felt that being depressed is actually something you have to try at to some extent (although it never feels like it in the middle of it) and then you can actually even get tired of being depressed.

And it was a mere three days after my guest left that I woke up and thought “It is time” and wrote my first novel.

So, I’m still feeling pretty invincible. I feel like I could lift up the whole world on my shoulders. I still have that knowledge that I’m going to die pecking away at the back of my brain but now it just sort of gives me a sense of urgency.

My therapist told me last session that I should only come in every other week. I can now go to Weekly Sadness and not have a panic attack and actually relax and laugh. I’m going to go out tonight of my own volition and go do things and stuffs and see the world.

And tomorrow, I will go purchase a new car to replace my broken down truck.

I think I will get a jeep. A used one for a reasonable price. MacGyver had a jeep.

I think I may write another fuckload of stuff on Wednesday.

More About the Novel

So, I wrote a novel yesterday.

Kind of.

I actually finished the last third of a novel I’ve been pecking away at for the last several months. I thought it was a short story or a novella when I started but it’s not, it’s a novel. I knew that a couple of months ago and that’s probably why I had so much trouble finishing it. It’s like when the coyote runs out over the cliff and then looks down and gravity asserts itself again.

My biggest problem with finishing a novel was that I wasn’t ready to be a novelist.

You’ve read excerpts from it on here. The title I have now is “Rock Bottom.” It’s a smallish novel, a complete mess and it’s nowhere near ready to be put in front of people. I don’t even think it would be particularly popular. It’s about doomsday bunkers, video games and drug recovery. I love it.

When I was finished with it I walked around feeling invincible for the rest of the day.

“Finished” being a relative term meaning I got through a rough first draft. It will probably be months before you ever see this.

I thought I was going to finish another project I have in a similar condition today (two novels in two days would have been pretty great) because I’m sick and goddamn tired of being held back by my bullshit. I’ve got about five 2/3 completed novels in my Google Drive waiting for me to man up. But then I found out my truck is going to cost more to fix than my truck is worth and that pretty much killed all time and motivation I have for today.

I did manage to get out two sentences of new material though before I sighed and started working out a budget in my head.

I’m kind of kicking the shit out of myself for not pushing through, anyway. I guess the day is still young and as soon as I get my truck out of the shop I may just sit down and the let words fall out again. But I can’t help but feel I’ve fallen into some sort of subhuman criminal status by not constantly functioning at peak human condition.

The fire isn’t as strong today but I’m not letting that get me down for long. I tasted something yesterday that was my birthright. I tasted what my life should have always been. I felt a fire that was always mine and the fact that it left my hands even for a second is a travesty. But I’m reaching out, I felt it yesterday, and I will keep grabbing at it till I can hang on for good.

The greatest victory I’ve achieved in completing this is that I think I know what “kind” of novelist I am. I’m a guy who just has to “shit out something” and then go back and fix it later. I’ve got to put down the bones and then worry about the muscles and ligaments later. If I try to write finished copy all the way to the end I’d never get there. I can’t even write “passable” copy because then I’ll keep trying to go back and make it finished copy. I have to just shit out words and keep moving until the story is out.

Charge forward! Figure out what you’ve got behind you later.

I had no intention of writing a novel yesterday, by the way.

I woke up, felt pretty good, realized what was wrong in that story I’d been trying to write and then sat down and started to fix it. Fixing it turned into writing more of it. About four hours into the writing process I’d pumped out about five thousand words and thought “Holy crap, I’m going to be finishing this thing today.” I had a mild panic about this since I’ve wanted to write a novel since about eight or nine years of age but flipped a switch in my head marked “don’t freak out about it” and kept going.

I tried finding that switch again today, but when the repair shop called me and said “cracked head” and “$3700″ I decided to walk around and feel shitty instead. And that was a decision. We choose how we respond to things. It’s a decision with a lot of opportunities for growth, though.

I feel like a lot of this is possible because of all the work I’ve been doing on myself in therapy. I talked before about how everything I’ve been doing is like pulling boulders out of a door. The boulders of my dysfunction. This is a pretty shitty metaphor, but I’m running with it.

You’ve got to run into the house with your pick, you’ve got to smash the boulder apart, and there are rocks everywhere. You’ve got to let the bad shit hurt and the good shit feel good. And sometimes you don’t make a lot of progress at that, because you can’t figure out how to honestly feel about something. Feeling something “honestly” and not the way you’ve “supposed” to feel about it is goddamn hard especially when it’s something too big to feel at once. It’s one of the hardest goddamn things in the world. But if you do it enough then, all at once, because of all that work you did, something big crumbles that was holding you back and a lot of stuff slides out and off of your shoulders. That’s what happened yesterday with the novel.

This is a novel by the barest definition of the word. It’s going to weigh in at about 50k words by the time it’s all cleaned up, which is the lower limit of novel. It’s sloppy and crude and probably hitting people a bit too over the head with messages. I’ve got to go back and do a lot of research so I don’t upset the drug-recovery community. I have a lot of questions to answer that I left dangling in the story. I know there are a few pretty big scenes I have to add to make it transition and sing. And the themes are rough and uneven.

But I think I will be able to make it sing.

When a story sings, part of me sings too.

And I absolutely love it.

Just Finished Writing a Novel

Hey All,

I just finished writing the first draft of a novel.

Regards,

Andrew

PS I think I’m just going to publish stuff under my actual name going forward. I think this might be the best day of my life.

eBook$ for 2x normal co$t!!!

Remember when I wrote stories?

I mean, not hypothetically somewhere far off in the distance, but actually published and produced and plopped stories right down in front of your fabulous fucking faces?

Do you ever get lonesome for those days?

Well, have I got a deal for you!

In honor of my impending birthday on April 1st, each of my eBooks will be available for a limited time for $9.99 or over twice their normal price!!!

That’s less than half the eBook for the same value as one!

How could you turn your nose up at that?

Dunce Upon A Time: The Complete BC Woods Non-Fiction

Dunce Upon A Time: The Complete BC Woods Fiction

This is Not a Test

MUSIC

Yann Tiersen is obviously from some kind of alternate dimension where song is a substance and emotion is some kind of rock that you can bend over and pick up and collect in your pocket. Then he comes here at intervals to throw rocks of pure unalterable humanity at you before retreating back into the Fae. Just to fuck with us, probably. But goddamn does that man know how to twist a goddamn knife.

I’m starting to think the purpose of all art is to express externally something that’s inside. That way, by the law of voodoo dolls, you can change it around and fix what’s fucked up inside.

ALL THE POEMS

I’m embarrassed of all poetry that I write. It’s not a common pursuit for a really big dude who can rip a tree out of the ground with his bare hands (depending on the size of the tree) or punch a 4″x4″ in half (depending on the age of the 4″x4″). Maybe embarrassed isn’t the right word. I’m only embarrassed about sharing it and imagining someone else reading it aloud. I think exposed is the right word.

We all have these feelings and emotions and rich internal lives we mostly keep bottled up inside. A lot of people say that’s because of privacy, but I think that’s too simple an answer. I think the real answer is that because a lot of the stuff that’s inside is kind of silly and ridiculous and nowhere near as big or important as it seems like when it’s still inside. I think on some level we all know that and that’s why even combat veterans who have stared Death in his goddamn sockets will hesitate to write or share poetry.

Sometimes you poke a bit of you though and your whole body jolts. And then that’s when you know you found something important. It doesn’t happen often. It wouldn’t even be right for it to happen often, but it happens enough to remind you that whatever else the universe holds for us, right here and now we are alive and this isn’t a fucking test. I think that’s why “Run, Run Judy” resonated so much with people when I first wrote it. I was touching something in me that was foundational and important and it bled through.

So, poems.

They do seem to be doing the trick when I start to feel a bit overwhelmed. I’ve been memorizing lots, as well. Tennyson mostly. I don’t like sitting down and being useless. I like to make things. I like to know things. So, I write or read the way I feel. And then the feeling can move on and pass through me. I don’t think I’m as good at poems as I am at stories, but I am getting them out and maybe that’ll clear the wreckage. I’m painfully close to having something to be goddamn proud of on “Rock Bottom” but I’m stuck.

The making of things has always made me feel better. I don’t know why.

I’ve been refining these poems over time. The first one I just wrote today.

Composition is for what you feel. Editing is for what you “meant.”

The first one of these is really bad. I’m sharing it now because I don’t want to. And it makes me feel alive to do that. Feeling alive is important. Because this isn’t a test.

I LOVE YOU AND I’M SORRY

I cannot help but wish that Cupid
had stuck his arrow in one less stupid
than miserable, wretched, unworthy I
Never was there so obvious a lie
Nor so absurd a jest
Than that by loving me you serve you best

I dream a thousand selfish reasons
to stay with you through all the seasons
As long as I do not stop to ponder
And only let my whimsies wander
I forget I am a broken thing
A fallen angel, a crippled king

But as I love you, I must give thought
to this shattered soul and putrescent rot
And facing this find courage to know
that if I love you then I must go
How I wish it were not so!
God send I could un-pluck that bow!

Is it any easier to see?
That I wish it had never come to be
that you grew to mean more to me than me?

A CHOICE

In darkness I stood upon a shore
Before a sea as still as glass
And there I knew the dark for a door
Through which all light must eventually pass

Beneath that cold and distant moon,
as well I knew it for my fate
that whether it came slow or soon
to fade beyond that final gate

What impossible secret held the skies
to be greater than this gloom
as to give the soul a will to rise
without hope from certain doom

I wish the sky be wreathed in fire
With that beloved and youthful flame
When the world was young and did inspire
Me to stand in nothing’s name

Was that fire never more than lies
Or had age put more grit than wisdom in my voice
For I could remember when a day was the prize
And the night felt never like a choice

The sea became to me a mirror
And the moon gleamed twice like eyes
I felt my choice was all the clearer
For the witness of these two skies

I turned, at last, away from the black
Back to the world and all its lack
When gone’s the sun and fades the light
I choose that stars redeem the night

THE MOST INADEQUATE WORD

No fire thrives within a word
like that living brightness
Which has lately stirred
Toward every sense of rightness
Deep in the embers of my soul

Though I find that words are broken
Much worse it is to leave unspoken
My unspeakable confession
For which exists but one profession
Liken to the flame upon the coal

If it is a sound you’ve often heard
And smiling, dismissed as youthful lightness
Like a buzzing bee or a tweeting bird
I must insist without politeness:
That I love you.

Should it happen to be true
That I am only one of two
I ask you not to hesitate
And to know that I accept my fate
For whatever you may say or do

I will always, always love you

A HOPE

Perhaps it is a fatal error
That my soul alights in face of terror
Upon the dark paths my life has led
I confess my heart’s grown fond of dread

Older eyes glance men at peace
When troubles of the present cease
Never driven mad are they
When darkest night births glorious day

Perhaps there is another path
Away from fury, fist, fang and wrath
But always am I called to action
When troubles of the world gain traction

However hard I look for weakness
In those men who favor meekness
I must admit I am never full
When fury fades and horror dulls

Perhaps those men who value stillness
Are not crippled by some mortal illness
Rather that I, to fill a hollow
Chose a troubled path to follow

I have only to fled or battled
When lightning struck and thunder rattled
Never have I stopped and stood
When Reaper came to lower hood

Is there strength in knowing night
That ever ends the need to fight?
Does the Abyss for all its revels
Hide but the smallness of my devils?

That first one is just really goddamn rough. I’m going to need to rework it. I have some half-finished ones. One in which I try to rhyme “purpose of existence” and “chemical persistence.” Because courage?

I’m also working on one about horror, and how it’s hard to really describe it fully. Because it’s simultaneously more and less than people make it out to be. Or something. I haven’t worked out what I feel or mean about any of that.

Fimble Famble

“Save our souls,” said the parrot.

Sam clung to the wreckage of a mast as the sea churned about him. Blood dribbled from the swelling ruin of his left eye and the saltwater pain in the shredded remnants of his leg throbbed with every heartbeat. Somehow, none of it seemed to hurt.

Well, maybe the absence of pain wasn’t that mysterious.

He tipped back a bottle of rum held in his free hand. Most of it ran into his beard or the sea, but Sam didn’t mind. Enough went into his mouth for his purposes. You didn’t need a lot of rum to get drunk when you were bleeding to death.

“Swab the decks, ya lazy buggers!” said the parrot.

A wave crested, broke against the lingering wreckage and ocean spray hit the back of Sam’s throat as he opened his mouth for another swallow.

He coughed, belched in proper maritime form, then pursed his lips and blew the sea out of his beard.

The bottle of rum, which had found its way to him in the flotsam, rested in the crook of his arm. He held it close, taking the same comfort from it as a sleeping child might take from the heat of its mother’s bosom.

“Hoist anchor and raise sails!” said the parrot.

Sam tightened his fingers around his whistle. He’d taken a good dunking in the sea but the cord around his neck had carried the whistle through the waters with him. He’d had that whistle for near thirty years and it had barely left his neck in all that time. There were notes he could play to summon help. He seemed to recall having played some of them not too long ago. There were other ships. That damnable Sarpent couldn’t have killed everyone. There could be help out there. All he needed was a single powerful breath.

Too bad the whistle was broken.

“Come on boys, keep the wind at our backs!” said the parrot.

All things considered, Sam preferred this outcome. His crew was dead. The Sarpent had done for them. Every man of the sea knew once those godsdamned tentacles began wrapping themselves around your ship you were as good as dead. Even though Sam had killed the beast, it wouldn’t be right for him to live. A captain went down with his ship. That was a law as old as the world.

“Throw your backs into it, you lazy curs!” said the parrot.

If Sam had ever had a home, it was the sea. What more could a man ask for than to die at home? It would be selfish to ask for more. Let alone when he had the finest rum ever smuggled in Shen Anrath.

“I won’t have none of this laying about, there’s work to be done!” said the parrot.

Sam spared a glance for the parrot. It was perched on the apex of his belly. The parrot was a red, blue and green mishmash. It appeared either to have flown through an exploding paint manufactory or been vomited upon by a rainbow. The monstrosity had been the property of Sam’s cabin boy and hadn’t had the requisite loyalty to drown with its young master.

“Get up you lazy bugger! The day’s wasting!” said the parrot.

Unfortunately, it had the best memory of any parrot Sam had ever heard and had been lambasting him since shortly after he’d set his harpoon into the Sarpent’s eye.

“Piss off,” said Sam.

“Aye aye Captain!” said the parrot.

No matter what Sam said, that was how the parrot always responded. Sam would have swatted the thing if he wasn’t so focused on dying.

“Heave, boys! Heave!” said the parrot.

He stared into the cloud covered sky. The rains were letting up. Weather was unpredictable like that out this close to the Rim. The Storm Wall could get moody and you’d have snow, lightning, hail and sunshine inside of an hour.

“Watch your ass, or I’ll have it off the plank!” said the parrot.

Sam had maybe an hour before he bled to death. He’d made a tourniquet out of his belt and cinched it tightly around his leg, but he couldn’t stop all the bleeding. He wasn’t even sure he particularly wanted to. Bleeding to death would be preferable to drifting out here until he died of thirst or another Sarpent found him.

“A captain…” he began, but the parrot cut him off.

“Is a model to his crew!” said the parrot.

He glared at the bird. It turned away from him, as if embarrassed.

“A captain goes…”

“To the ends of the earth to do his duty!” said the parrot.

The infernal creature was quoting from Sam’s speeches to Benn, his cabin boy. He’d lectured the boy in private when he’d taken his dinners. It’s what Sam’s first captain had done for him. What right did the parrot have to say such words at a time like this? When a man was trying to say his last words and make his final peace?

“A captain goes down…”

“Into the belly of hell to do his duty!”

The wind picked up. Startled, the parrot took flight. Sam for a horrified moment forgot he wanted to die and with kitten-weak arms clung to the mast. By some miracle, he did not fall off and drown, although he lost hold of the rum. He almost swam after it but he had a duty to try and survive even if he did not particularly want to.

Finally, Sam managed to catch hold of some rope that had been tied around the mast and halted his slide.

It was one of the great curiosities of his life on the sea that Sam’s only true fear was drowning. Not because he couldn’t swim or because feared death but because it would be humiliating for a seaman of his caliber. Captain Sam Hyrd drowning? It’d be like a cow choking on grass or a bird falling off a cliff.

When the wind calmed, Sam found himself once more on his back, now sure that his hour of life had been reduced to minutes by the ordeal. The tourniquet had come loose and the blood was gushing. Yet there was again the sense that all was well. The sun had come out. It hit Sam’s face like a warming golden force. For the first time since he was a boy he felt at peace. Dying at home and with the sun in his face to boot. There even seemed to be a rainbow. A triplet rainbow no less, bright and vibrant, and those were damned rare even out here by the Rim.

“A captain goes down with his ship,” Sam said at last.

He smiled, a smile of quiet dignity and ancient grace that stretched his old weathered face and salt-and-pepper beard into something that was, if not truly beautiful, at least fascinatingly ugly.

There.

He was ready to die now.

He opened himself up to the bounty of the universe, to the untold adventure that waited-

“Eek! Eeeeee! Eeeeeek eeek eeeeeeee!” said the parrot.

Sam hollered.

“Mother of the Deep, can’t a man die with some dignity!”

He opened his eyes, searching for the evil thing. That cursed parrot had learned a few sounds wherever it went. He’d see how much it like being strangled to death.

Something touch the back of Sam’s legs.

The smile, already gone from his face, turned into a scowl. His heart stopped. The blood, whatever was left of it, ran from his face.

He’d killed it.

He’d killed the thing that killed his crew. He knew he had. He knew it!

“Eeeeeek! Eeeeeee eeeeeee eeeeeeeeee!”

Impossibly, Sam’s hand formed a fist. It shook, but it was a fist all the same. Sam was the first man in two-hundred years not sailing under a white flag to kill a Sarpent. Maybe the first man ever in history to do it with nothing but a harpoon. But if that thing was pulling some kind of resurrection from out of the Deep hell that Sam had sent it to, well then, Sam reckoned he’d go down in history as the first man to kill a Sarpent with his fist.

“Eeeee!”

It was close.

With every shred of his will, Sam turned his head. There was a face there, gray and smiling. Eyes like the rainbows he’d seen in the sky moments before. The terror vanished. His fingers relaxed. Flippers joyfully slapped the surface of the sea.

He must finally be dead! And it was true! When a man of the sea died, he got taken away by one of the Friendly Folk!

The Friendly was joined by four others of its kind. They pushed at the mast. When Sam began to slip, two others pushed at Sam himself. He barked a laugh. This was what he supposed he had always hoped. This was what he had wanted to come After. To swim the seas forever!

He glided through the water like a fish. Like he himself was a ship. If this was how they moved, no wonder the Friendly Folk had a smile worn right into their faces. As if in a dream, Sam’s thumb found the finger holder on the bottle of rum. They’d swam right past it.

The Friendly Folk turned Sam about. He could make something out on the horizon. White sails. White flags. Angardi flags.

Truth swallowed him like a vortex.

“Godsdamnit,” said Sam.

He was alive.

There was a very disturbing chance he was going to live through this.

Dropping a Link for a Friend

My friend “Crip” (who has a form of MS shared with only 100 other people) has started a tumblr. It’s a fascinating read and I asked if I could share it here with you. There aren’t many posts so far but I’m hoping that changes.

One thing I always appreciate about Crip is the economy of language. He has to type every single letter via mouse click.

http://crip89.tumblr.com/

Quiet Dignity

So…

About last week?

Well, that was kind of a big thing. I’ve been dealing with it for about five’ish months (although it doesn’t feel that long) so I feel appropriately crappy about the situation but am not dwelling too much on it. I also hope haven’t left you in a head-space where you’re huddled up in a closet eating yogurt with a blanket over your head because the world is an awful place.

I just thought I had been going a little bit crazy and making up a story to “too easily” explain why it is that I have all the weird quirks that I have. When I knew that wasn’t the case I felt vindicated and part of me felt the best way to handle it would be to talk about it.

There’s a question in my Self Help Book of Ultimate Sadness which is phrased as follows:

What is the difference between privacy and keeping secrets?

That was a question I didn’t like very much. Because I knew once I was completely one-hundred percent sure I wasn’t just crazy then not talking about it would be “Keeping a Secret” and not “Privacy.” And you can’t keep secrets like that. Keeping a secret like that will kill you.

You know how sometimes you feel sick to your stomach and you think you’re probably going to die but then you get this cold sweaty faced Zen sense of peace and accept your place in the universe? Except you feel kind of like shit and your total focus has to be on accepting that you feel like shit? Whatever you feel, you’re certain you hate throwing up. And then you finally throw up and you’re totally fine and okay and you again?

That’s how I feel.

COPING MECHANISMS

I did have some conversations with a couple of people in the family after it happened where I was all trembly and voice-quavering and PTSD’ed (I think at one point my brother asked me how I’d handled it and I kind of choked up while saying “I can see his goddamn eyes”) which then escalated to my rant about how it’s totally okay for me to make rape jokes now because “How can you honestly say I don’t deserve to?” as well as my rant about how I want to randomly bring it up in public during small talk just to make people feel really awkward.

Everyone kept sighing and mumbling “Jesus” and giggling awkwardly.

Example:

STRAW PERSON: “Oh my God! That cab driver was so rude to-”

ME: “That’s even worse than when I was raped at five!”

Example #2:

“Hey how’s it going?”

“Ah, you know, I was raped when I was five but other than that it’s okay.”

Example #3

“Did you see that new movie?”

“Oh, that one with that one guy? Yeah, it totally reminds me of how I was raped when I was five.”

It’s not really a sentence you can bring up in conjunction to any life event ever. I think when I asked my father I said “Hey Dad, I think I’m going to have to ask you something that’s probably going to bother you for the rest of your life.”

QUIET DIGNITY

I think I’m feeling all of those crazy impulses because there aren’t a lot of public rape survivors (see how I used survivor instead of victim? Man, I’m NAILING this lingo! In much the same way I was nailed, when I was raped at five years of age. *Cold Look: Yes, I just did that and I’ll explain why*) that people identify with. Apparently this happens to a fuck load of people but there aren’t a whole lot of individuals you can point to and think “Oh yeah, them” without it being the cornerstone of their identity.  In a lot of contexts when you get raped, your whole job is “to have been raped.”

I’m talking about this a lot right now because I’m still processing all of it but I probably won’t be talking that much about it after a while. I don’t want this to be the cornerstone of my life, either.

I have no real doubt that a lot of people I am aware of and talk to on a daily basis have been the target of some creepy fuckin’ dude (or in 10% of cases, some creepy fuckin’ lady, lest we forget) and just don’t ever talk about it because it’s awful. And it really is awful. I don’t want to sound like I’m being cavalier about it right now but… it’s also something I’d rather not be bottled up inside of me fueling every one of my future actions. I want to puke it out and get on with my goddamn life. For me, at least, (although I totally TOTALLY goddamn get it if you feel the EXACT opposite because even parts of me feel that way as I’m typing this) that’s keeping secrets and not privacy and it pisses me the fuck off.

Why the hell should anyone this has happened to have that burden?

I also understand it’s probably easier for me to say this than it is for the common survivor because: my memory of the event is highly fragmented so it’s not as painful as it could be, I can in no reasonable way even be illogically blamed for what happened (although I must admit when examining some old pictures and trying to reconstruct the timeline of this, I did look rather fetching in those Batman Underoos *Cold Look* Yes I did that too) and I just don’t give a fuck. Not a single one. I live all by myself, am not responsible to any other people on the planet and just don’t give a fuck.

In movies, when this happens to people, they’re always supposed to either get walked away with a blue wool blanket over their shoulders, or acquire some kind of quiet dignity. Whatever happens, in some way they are portrayed as being irreparably changed (check out the movie “American Mary” because that is the greatest possible movie you can ever watch when you’re dealing with the aftermath of being raped. It’s not the healthiest way to respond to sexual assault but it is the best most delicious cotton candy catharsis ever) and it’s almost like a raped human is a unit of measurement for how bad some guy is. He’s raped over nine thousand people! That’s guy’s really terrible!

But the rape survivor isn’t allowed to be just some guy.

That person’s whole job for the rest of the movie has to be “oh, there’s that one person who was raped earlier, I can’t wait to see what they do with that emotional energy!” I didn’t and don’t want to be that person in my life’s movie. One of the things I said to my shrink after this came out is “I want to deal with this until I can react to it in a way that isn’t me fighting and isn’t me running away, but just dealing with it as the person I would have been (and hopefully am) if this hadn’t happened to me.”

Again, I want to pause and reiterate that I realize this is easier for me in a lot of ways than it is for other people due to the above reasons.

I don’t want to say that my way is the best way you could ever possibly deal with something like this. God knows (although I am an atheist) sometimes I do get the pukey sense of horror I can’t quite explain to other people about that dark place in the mind’s of men where the soul withers away and all that is left is an angry ape that is pissed off about knowing it’s going to die. I’m sure this has happened to someone reading this who is horrified by me making light of it. And I get that. I really truly do.

But whatever you feel, you have to be true to yourself.

Being true to myself means throwing the darkest ugliest things inside of myself into the light and laughing at them. And not just laughing at them but trying to make other people laugh at them. It’s probably a coping mechanism but I also consider it to be Holy. Carry light into dark places. The light doesn’t have to fight. The light doesn’t have to run away. It just has to be.

Holy shit that was corny, but I like it.

Also, just so you all know: The guy who did this was some asshole named Roy. Roy was a loser who failed at everything he ever attempted in life and is now dead. Otherwise, I would be writing this on toilet paper from the inside of a prison cell (after having ripped Roy’s dick off and strangled him with it) on toilet paper like that awesome lesbian chick in V for Vendetta. He apparently did this to a couple of others and some of his last words were “I won’t be seeing my wife in heaven.”

Amen to that.

 

Another Poem

In darkness I stood upon a shore
Before a sea as still as glass
And there I knew the dark for a door
Through which all light must eventually pass

I recalled an oft forgot commune
And knew it for my fate
Whether it came slow or soon
To fade beyond that final gate

What answer held the skies
So much greater than the gloom
As to give the soul a will to rise
Or a flower cause to bloom

I wish the sky be wreathed in fire
With that beloved and youthful flame
When the world was young and did inspire
Me to stand in nothing’s name

Was that fire never more than lies
Or had age put more grit than wisdom in my voice
For I could remember when a day was the prize
And the night felt never like a choice

The sea became to me a mirror
And the moon gleamed twice like eyes
I felt my choice was all the clearer
For the witness of these two skies

I turned, at last, away from the black
Back to the world and all its lack
When gone’s the sun and fades the light
I choose that stars redeem the night

little things become big things