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Story Telling

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Natalie Fern Bell

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Mustard [18 Aug 2004|08:30pm]
[ mood | good ]

-Natalie Fern Bell
“Where the fuck have you been?” I asked, frustrated and tired, it was 4 AM and I’d just done this the previous night. “What are you talking about?” she asked me, setting her purse down on the floor by the door, sifting through the mail like she had just gotten home from work, rummaging through the fridge. She asked me, “Do we have any mustard?” I stared at her in disbelief, “Mustard? What the fuck are you talking about? Mustard?” She stared at me impatiently, “Yeah, mustard, do we have any?” I looked at her and walked over to her, took the fridge door from her and opened it farther, reached in and pulled some mustard out of behind the milk. “Great,” she said grabbing a bowl and pouring almost the entire container in, taking a spoon out of the drawer, walking into the living room and setting on the couch staring at me. I looked at her in disbelief and quite honestly, I was confused. She took in a spoonful of yellow and then set the bowl on the coffee table next to us and whispered toward me as if it was a big secret she was hiding from the mustard because she didn‘t want to hurt it‘s feelings, “It’s stale.” I looked at her oddly and nodded that ‘ooookkkkaayyyyy,’ nod. I wondered, how does one know when mustard is stale? She began to pet my hair and run her thumb along my eyebrow, “You were always such a beautiful girl, but I guess now you’re a beautiful woman, aren’t you?” She smiled and put her hands on my face and kissed my lips then looked at my facial structure, “18 years old, you grew up so fast, didn’t you?” I instinctively began to reach up and grab her wrists, but I then loosened my grip and let go, closed my eyes and fell into her embrace. She put her hands on the back of my neck, then on my shoulders, then around my waist pulling me to her, holding me. I, lying there with my head rested on her tits, my body strewn out across her, curled up like a cat, like a little girl, my teeth coming in to meet my knees; rendezvous. “There there, my beautiful girl, why are you so angry with me?” she asked as she stroked my hair lovingly. I began to sit up, I stared into her eyes, mine growing blank from all the anger of this past year, “Because I saw you fucking that boy.” She looked at me in shock, “What boy?” I started up with my hand gestures going on another wild tangent again, “That fucking boy, with the long hair, I saw you in the back of the club. Did you think I wouldn’t?” A look of relief spread across her face as she began to smile and nod knowingly, “That boy, well that’s exactly what he is sweet heart, a boy. He’s not a man, and you’re a woman, so he’s no competition for you. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it, competition?” I looked at her, anger showing through my flared nostrils, I stood up from the couch and tripped over the coffee table, falling ass flat against the maple. “This is a load of shit, you lost your fucking mind somewhere back in Montana.” I got up off the table and walked into the bedroom, gathered my things from the closet, stuffed them into my messenger back; faithful even after all these years. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a full bottle of vodka out of the liquor cabinet. I then stormed through the living room and grabbed my keys off the inn table and put my hand against the door handle. She just stared at me with superior eyes, the way an adult would look at a child, or the way an owner would look at her pet, I could feel myself crying as I shook the bottle and screamed at her, “And don’t bother looking for me, when I leave here, I’m gone!” I stood there for what seemed like hours but was probably only 2 or 3 seconds, waiting for her to say as little as, “Wait…” She didn’t, so I left.

(2 weeks later)

She stood over my open casket and kissed my cold dead lips and whispered against my ear, “It’s too bad it had to be this way my dear, didn’t you know you were always my favorite out of them all?” I was screaming from the pews, the back row, “I didn’t know, why couldn’t you just hold me, just me… why couldn’t you….” I slipped down and fell onto my knees, curled up in the fetal position between rows, but you know, she couldn’t hear me.

16 Years Long [15 Aug 2004|09:48pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

16 Years Long
-Natalie Fern Bell

I was sitting on the bleachers against the far wall of the auditorium, eating my daily lunch; pop tarts. I was listening to Ani DiFranco writing in my journal about the women I’d loved over the years. He walked up and sat next to me, read over my shoulder until I eventually noticed he was there. I took my head phones off, startled. He asked, “What are you doing?” I said, “Writing, what does it look like I’m doing?” He looked at his hand, picked at a scab on his thumb, “I don’t know, writing, I guess.” I put my pen down and closed my journal, rested my forearms on it, I slumped over, “I guess?” He laughed slightly and picked at his scab furiously, “Yeah, it looks like you’re avoiding somebody.” I turned off my personal CD player and shoved it into my messenger bag, “I’m not avoiding anybody, I just like sitting here.” His thumb began to bleed and he sucked on the blood, “You like sitting here?” He said in-between blood gulps. I looked at him, feeling almost irritated, slightly curious, “Yeah, I do, is there something wrong with that?” “No,” he said, “No, nothing wrong with that, just weird.” He wiped the remaining blood on his faded blue jeans. “Well, I guess I’m weird.” He sucked on his blood again, then began to bite his nail, “Why are you avoiding people?” I looked at him, I figured he couldn’t understand a damn thing I said anyway, “I just don’t like to put myself into situations where I can get hurt.” He bite into his nail, spit it out onto the bleachers in front of us, “So you don’t like to put yourself into situations where you can feel good?” I laughed and began to stand up, gather my things, my hair fell in my face, I pushed it behind my ear, “I feel fine.” He looked at me with puppy dog eyes, “You don’t look fine.” I looked at him and I picked my books up off the bleacher, “What is that supposed to mean?” He reached out and touched the scars on my arms. I pulled my arm from him and put on my coat, “I’m just fine.” I began to walk away from him, heading toward the exit at the end of the gym floor. He stood up and followed me. I was walking fast and he quickened his pace to walk with me, he put his hand out to stop me, but also reaching for a shake, “I’m Rick.” I looked at him with my slight sneer, “I’m leaving.” He laughed, with his persistence, “Well, Miss. Leaving would you like to go out with me?” I stopped, tapped my foot against the floor, looked at the door urgently then back at him, “Fuck off.” The way I said it, it almost sounded like a question. He grabbed my hand, took his black gel pen, wrote on the backside his number. “Call me sometime.” My angered eyebrows released, “I’m Natalie.” He smiled, “Natalie, can I buy you something other than strawberry pop tarts?” I laughed and put on my hand warmers, “No, I really have to go.” He put his hand on my arm, “Where are you going?” I laughed, he really was like a needy puppy, “To see my girlfriend.” He laughed, “Yeah, I heard about that.” My arm tensed up as I tightened my fist, and pulled myself away from him, “Is that why you’re talking to me?” I looked around the gym, then back at him, “Yeah, you can tell your friends I’m a dyke.” I walked away, out the exit, he followed me with a slow trot. “No, I’m talking to you because I’d like to get to know you.” I looked at him, frustrated, “I don’t fuck guys, so if you’re trying to get to know my cunt then you need to just fuck off.” He looked at me, I saw his face shift into a hurt look, “No, I didn’t want to get to know your cunt, sorry.” He started to walk away. I began to follow after him, what was I doing? I stopped him, “No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, my guard’s just up today. Shitty week, you know?” He looked at me hesitantly, “What happened?” I looked around the hall, ran my hand through my hair again, a nervous habit. “Um, I’ve just been fighting with my parents a lot, trying to figure out who I am, growing up, hormones, teenage angst, the normal shit.” He laughed, “Yeah, me too.” (2 months later)

I was standing in the middle of Rick’s house. I was surrounded by what were supposedly “cool” kids. There was one guy in the living room karaoke growling to Taking Back Sunday, when did they become so mainstream? I was drinking beer, Budweiser, the shit that America was built on. People are always so proud of America, little do they know it was built on slaves, and lies, and blood; you know they‘ll never be able to scrub this country clean. “Hey, you wanna do a line?” She was hot, punk, hardcore, whatever, I didn’t know the difference between these labels. She had black finger nails and black eye liner and black Mohawk… she was fine. “Yeah…” I was afraid I sounded over eager, I was scared shitless really, but… whatever. She took the rolled up dollar bill and placed it inside my nostril, I placed my left index finger against the other side of my nose and snorted. It burned and it felt like it was tearing my sinuses apart, a head ache that blurred my entire life into a dollar bill, and then I felt okay. I felt beautiful, I felt desirable, I felt like, “Suck on this New York.” I ran my hands through my hair, I felt every piece of my life rush back into my mind, all that shit that had just moments ago been blurred down to a dollar bill came rushing back and it hit me hard like that god damn hurricane hit Florida, and it wiped out every brain cell. And I was so god damn happy and then I was so god damn pissed off at every person who’d ever jumped right in to take a stab at me, and then I was so fucking angry at myself for letting them, and I was so angry for letting myself down. I felt my body lie down onto a futon mattress, it had a stench of ammonia and sex. I felt his hand slide up my stomach. His hand. I wanted my brain to stop spinning for just two seconds, stop spinning, just give me two fucking seconds, just… And I couldn’t grasp my thoughts and I was scared, my leg convulsing, his fingers, those hands that had once bled on the bleachers, tearing at my jeans like a wild animal. “Stop,” I couldn’t even hear myself, “STOP!” I screamed and he laughed, tugged off my jeans. He cupped my ass in his hands and dug his nails in. And that girl, that beautiful girl was smiling as she kissed me. “don’t kiss her back,” I felt myself think but my body doesn’t care what’s right or wrong it only cares what feels good. I placed my hands on her face trying to pull her on top of me, but she pulled away. “oh god…” I felt myself think, pubic hair brushing against my thighs, thick, not like mine which is absent most of the time. Those aren’t hands. Those aren’t my hands. I gripped the futon with my nails, I tried to pull away, but my body didn’t seem to care. He pushed his cock into my cunt and I felt my intestines scream for mercy, my internal organs wanting to get this shit out of me. I felt my stomach turn as he pumped his dick inside my body, like I had a space that he needed to fill. My throat tightened, I couldn’t breathe, my head pounded, my body attempted to purge this foreign object out of me; vomit seeping down my neck onto my shirt that my mom bought me earlier that day, she thought I was going to some chicks birthday party, she wanted me to look nice. “mommy…” I heard myself whisper another hard thrust inside me. A man’s body is a tool, this man’s body is a weapon, anything is a weapon if you hold it right. He grabbed me by my hair and tugged my head back, shoved my face into my vomit and I purged again. “mommy…” I cried, I was so scared. I was so tough just moments before all this, invincible, beautiful, strong, a woman. A woman, resilient and strong, the most beautiful creature of them all. He pounded into me harder, shoving his head inside my cervix slicing through what little virginity I had left with his dick that felt like a sword. “do you like that you fucking dyke?” he whispered with a slight smile then grabbed my face with his fist, “do you like dick? Huh?” he thrusted inside me harder. I closed my eyes and grit my teeth and screamed against my breath. He shoved his cock farther inside me…. There are things worse than death. His hand now wrapped around my throat his thumb pushing in on my air ways, his dick pumping faster inside me. “now how does it feel you fucking bitch?” He grip tightened, “do you wanna suck it you fucking slut?” I closed my eyes real tight, if I can’t see it, it can’t be there, right? His dick was hard and pulsing against my teeth, it was red, meaty. His taste clinging to my tongue. He pushed his head against my throat causing me to gag again but there was nothing there. His grip on my throat tightened as he shoved my head against his cock and I felt him cum inside my throat, seeping into my sinuses and down into my stomach, leaking down to infect my insides. I threw up all over his dick, he laughed, released my throat and threw me down, I missed the futon and hit the cement floor of his living room tucked quietly in his parents basement. He took the sheet off the mattress and wiped hands, scrubbed his dick clean of cum and vomit, zipped up his pants. I saw the black haired girl scoop me up off the floor, she grabbed my shoulders, he grabbed my ankles and they dragged me out to his car. They drove me out to a site ready to be built on; a new life, new dreams, a fresh start, but not for me. He pulled me out of the back seat by my ankles and dropped me onto the ground, my head hitting the side of the car on the way down. He laughed and slapped me across the face with the back of his hand. The black haired girl lit a cigarette and stared, smiling through her black lipstick. He picked me up, put my head between the car door and the car itself, the lower half of my bottom still stretched out across the ground like a limp doll. He kissed my bloodied lips and slammed the door against my head crushing my skull. Your life goes by pretty fast when it’s only 16 years long and on rewind. When it was over there was static and then nothing but black.

The Repercussion of That Night are as Follows: [15 Aug 2004|07:27pm]
[ mood | rushed ]

The Repercussions of That Night are as Follows:
-Natalie Fern Bell

I pounded my fists against her chest, “Get this shit away from me!” She grabbed my wrists and slammed me up against the wall, lowered her eyes to meet mine, “Natalie, I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt you, I’m sorry…” I thrusted my force against her and screamed, kneeled down on the bed that we once called our own, the letters scattered across those ruffled sheets that once held our convulsing bodies. I grabbed one letter and began to read it out loud, “Dear Laura, I love you. I’m looking forward to when I can see you again. You’re everything I ever wanted in a woman, but I wanna take this slow, I don’t know if I’m ready to leave her yet. We’ve been together so long, I don’t want to make any hasty decisions…” She grabbed me and held me to her chest, “Shh, shh, calm down, I’m sorry baby, I’m sorry….” I put my hands on her shoulders and pushed her off me, she fell back against the mattress, sat up. I screamed through my tears, “Don’t you fucking tell me you’re sorry…” She stood up, calmly collected the letters scattered across the fabric of our life, thread count, 3 years. She picked up her coat off the floor, the one I’d worn this past winter so I could keep her scent on my clothes. She picked up her back, the one I’d carried while desperately chasing her down the street, “Your cigarettes aren’t in your pocket… I love you, have a nice time.” She put her hand on the door. “Where are you going?” I screamed, crying harder now, scared now, “I’m sorry,” she whispered under her breath, hiding behind her hair. I stood up off the bed, fell to my knees, grabbed at her jacket, hid my face inside her shirt, muffled shouts, “Please don’t leave me, please, I’m begging you, please…” She closed her eyes tighter, put her hands in my hair, pulled my face away from her, wiped my tears with her thumbs, “I’m sorry.” She seemed to whisper. She opened our apartment door and I’ll never forget the slam. Slam shut the door to our future, it’s now become the cellar door, everything we try so hard to hide, keep it out of our sight. Slam shut the door to my heart, give me back my keys, if you wanna leave, don’t ever come back. I laid there on that floor, dirty carpet, once warm, now cold and infested with lies. I laid there until morning came, I cried until I thought I was going to die. I called her cell phone that next night, she was staying with her friend who used to be our friend, but friends in break ups get lost like kids in divorces. She won custody. I left a message on her machine, “hey, it’s me, um… call me back, or something.” She called me back and I cried, I cried at my receiver, my tears seeping into her ear. It was over. Over. Over. That was 6 years ago today. A few months after the break up I regained my footing. My self identity. She wanted to be together again that year, said we could try again in the cold season, she needed the fall to rediscover herself. The hardest thing I ever did was to say no. No thank you, I’ll pass. So calm and collected, like she was water. She was water, and I was oil, and we couldn’t blend. But oh how I wanted to. I wanted those years back, those past lives that only existed with her, without her I didn’t care what happened after I died. I wanted my virginity back, the one she took from me, so carefully, delicately, securely. I wanted those arms back, those ones that held me until I fell asleep. I wanted my innocence back, the one that unquestionably believed that she was my one and I was hers. There are a thousand ones our there for each of us, it just takes some breaking in to understand that. But despite all of that, the little girl who cowers in the back of my mind is still waiting for her to walk back into my life. Sorry sweet heart, I changed the lock.

Jessie's Girl [13 Aug 2004|10:19pm]
[ mood | cold ]

Jessie’s Girl
-Natalie Fern Bell

I was standing in the middle of one of those divey clubs, you know the kind that gives out cigarettes and booze to minors and doesn’t give a flying fuck if you do drugs or not. So anyway, I was leaned against the bar sipping on some cheap beer; it was all I could afford and when I left the house I had no idea I would end up here. I’d never drank before, and it wasn’t like I was drinking much, I didn’t even get a buzz. But I was 15 so I pretended I did; no, I have on idea what being 15 has to do with it, but it does. So I saw her, smoking camels; the kind in the green pack, I have no idea what they’re actually called. I hadn’t had a cigarette for a week or so because obviously, I was 15. And I hadn’t brought enough money to buy a pack myself. And she was hot, you know, hot. The kind of girl I would never approach under regular circumstance because she would be assumingly out of my league. But I approached her, at least I had a reason. It’s easier to ask to bum a cigarette off someone and then create conversation than to just create conversation. You know? I doubt you do. But anyway, so I walked over to her with my piss colored beer that didn’t taste or smell much better and I was shaky but not so much, and I was nervous; I’m always nervous. “Can I bum a smoke off ya?” She looked at me, smiling. Apparently she was talking to someone funny and I hadn’t really caught the joke but for some reason I pretended I did. “Hah, yeah…” Me, smiling that half smile, that ‘goes with everything’ smile. She stopped laughing slightly and I saw her lips part as she looked at me, then down at her pack, “Yeah, sure.” She pulled out a camel and I placed it between my lips. “Thanks, you got a light?” I felt a little uneasy asking for both a cigarette and a light, but she said, “Yeah.” And she lifted the lighter to the tip and cupped her hands around the flame. I inhaled, blew a puff of smoke up into the air. We started talking, I don’t really remember about what exactly. I was really busy watching her lips part as she spoke. She was wearing lipstick so between every word they kind of stuck together then parted slowly. I believe we were talking about how we ended up in this shithole, sharing stories, comparing and contrasting. I think I got her to believe I was a struggling writer who’d actually been published, it wasn’t a complete lie; I had once won a poetry contest and been published in one of those international poetry association books that they put out every month or so. She was impressed, that I’d been published, and I felt bad, because I hadn’t actually really been published. She talked about her writing, and how she was a painter. She said it wasn’t anything near a profession, yet. So far it was just a part time hobby. She said she was into theater, that she was good at what she did. I believed her. Something about her was so convincing, not that she lied, but still; she could tell me she was an elephant and I would believe her. She actually is, but that’s an inside joke that came to be a couple weeks after our meeting at the shithole in the dead end part of town. I’m getting ahead of myself. So there was music playing, some underground shit which was actually really good, but I referred to everything as shit back then, and I still do, sometimes. So asked her to dance, she told me she

couldn’t dance, I told her I couldn’t either. We flirtatiously argued through a couple fast songs and eventually a slow song came on and she agreed to dance with me. I led her out onto the dance floor, when did I become such a man? Anyway, it doesn’t matter, she liked it. I think the song was by The Smiths, she said she liked them. She said their album “16, Clumsy, and Shy” was the album of her life. She was 16, she was clumsy, and she defiantly was shy; I don’t know why I felt the need to say that, but I did. I liked the way she danced, almost vulnerable, like dancing with a 13 year old girl in 7th grade. Not that I like 13 year old girls, but her heart was on her sleeve and I liked stroking it gently, like reassuring that I wouldn’t break it. So the song ended, and it was 1 AM. Yes, the night was young but so was I and I had to find my friend and go back home with her before she left me there, because if she’d left me there my parents would have found out where I was and that’s not even fun to think about. So I took my 16 year old shy girl and dragged her around this tiny and overcrowded bar searching for my friend. And it occurred to me that I didn’t know shy girl’s name. So in our crossing of the floor in the middle of the busy traffic of drugged and drunk lusty kids I asked her, “What’s your name?” Thinking she probably already told me and I couldn’t remember, and I knew that when she said the first syllable it would all come back to me, the introduction I over looked because I was too busy scoping out her tits, “Jessica.” She smiled, my sexy shy girl. I hadn’t overlooked that name, I would have remembered that name. “And yours?” She asked, with an innocent smile. I smiled back, “Natalie.” Some heavier song by Otep or Kittie or someone then came on and it was defiantly time to get out of the main floor. I tugged her off to the side where I saw my friend leaned up against the brown panel wall covered in posters, business cards, band flyers all of which were falling down. She was being bruised and bitten on her neck, felt up buy a man with not so small hands. His hair was in his eyes, black. I imagine that if I could have seen his eyes they would have looked, mean. Like my ex boyfriends eyes, he was mean. Anyway, my friend, Cyndi; once she had been pried from this sexy but mean boy, agreed that she would cover for me tonight if I could get a ride back to her place by 3 PM the next day. I looked at Jessica, she said that would be fine, she could do that. Jessica was there with a friend as well, Erica. I didn’t know these people, but I felt like I did. Jessica and Erica agreed it was time to leave so we all piled into Erica’s car. She was punk, I guess. Bisexual, I’d heard. Either way, she was nice, she was okay. Jessica was punk, but not really, but she really was. Confusing, I know. So I smoked Jessica’s “only when I drink” cigarettes on the 45 minute ride home. Home, I was already referring to her house as “home.” I stared out the window at the street lights lining the interstate. I rambled to the silence in the car about my feelings on “the nighttime smell” and how I also felt that daylight was far too gory for my taste. Jessica rolled down the window and we smelled the air. It was raining, and this whole situation was one of those, “it’s summertime and everything’s so god damned happy” moments. At least it was, while it was still summertime. The days went by so fast when I was with her and it wasn’t long before the leaves were turning yellow and falling off the trees and we were play fighting

with each other in the leaf piles in the overly wealthy people’s yards. We liked to walk around in the rich parts of town and pretend like we had more money than we knew what to do with, and we’d buy mansions and ridiculously priced dresses. We’d buy 1000 dollar trees that people steal out of the yards of the wealthy. We’d buy tiny and costly dogs with names we couldn’t pronounce because apparently they were famous, and famous dogs must have famous names, or something. Anyway, I’m getting way ahead of myself. So Erica dropped us off at Jessica’s house whom I’d by now probably renamed Jessie in my head. And I think somewhere later that evening while she was pissing with the door open she secretly became my jess jess inside my head. But anyway, Erica drove off with one of those feminine and teenage waves good bye. She had to go home and turn her car off about 30 feet from her driveway and put it in neutral and push it into the garage. She had to climb in through her bedroom window and fall onto the floor and make a loud thud sound which would wake up her mother. But she had to be in bed before her mother made it to the room so she could pretend to be asleep and have no idea what happened. Anyway, so Jessie and I crept into her house. Me tip toeing attempting to be silent and failing. So I got down on all fours which made Jessie laugh so hard that she collapsed onto the floor making a loud thud sound which didn’t help matters much. I grabbed her, giggling, and we scurried into her room. She turned on the light and stood there nervously and pretended to do something like take off her bracelets or something. She was paranoid, scared that someone would know she’d left and heard her come in. So she stood there, pacing the floor anxiously for a few moments. I was smiling at her, almost smirking maybe. I was leaning against her door and when she got close enough I put my hands behind her knees making them buckle in which ultimately made her collapse on top of me. She smiled slightly and awkwardly pushed her hair out of her face and behind her ear. I leaned toward her and gave her a quick but serious glance then kissed her urgently. I kissed her like it was 1987 and we were gonna die from AIDS at any moment. She was my shy girl, and I put my hands on her hips and pulled her closer to me. She slowly, but surely put her hands on my face holding my sticky from shit beer lips against her lips once perfectly painted with a deep maroon but now smudged. We sat there like that for a few minutes, you’d swear by the way we kissed it was like we’d been swimming in the ocean and we were coming up for air after nearly suffocating. Like sudden relief leaving you utterly shocked since you had prepared to die. I was such a boy, and sex was the point to everything I did, at least that was what I would lead one to believe. But she caught me so off guard with that scathed but still hanging in there innocence that all I wanted to do was be her girlfriend. And I don’t know if she knew or not but I at the time I hoped she didn’t; I fell in love with her so deeply at that moment. I don’t really know why, but I wanted to be hers forever and always. And it kept rushing through my mind, “Natalie you gotta watch what you think because once you make up your mind you know there’s no going back.” And there wasn’t. There certainly wasn’t any going back. I had just recently gotten out of a long and tremendously shitty relationship. One which left me damaged

permanently and the dust hadn’t really settled yet and I still had that bitterness in my tone when I talked about my ex and I’m sure it wasn’t very healthy for me to just jump right in this heart first and love this girl but I couldn’t help it. And it didn’t help much that at the time I fell in love with my shy girl I was still fucking my best friend, Cyndi. That very soon after stopped but it still wasn’t good for anything. But I loved her, Jessie, I loved her. My Jess Jess, My shy girl, and a couple days after I decided to love her she became my fluffy pokadot. Our first few days together were very confusing because I had to work around her mother’s schedule and her mother was very erratic. I crept into Jessie’s house not so approximately 53 minutes after her mother went to bed every night. And Jessie got home from work every night at 10:30. So at 10:45 every night I would sit on the dark side of her house leaning out to look at her mother’s window every 15 minutes. Usually about an hour after I’d arrived at Jessie’s house her mother’s light would go off. And I would wait 53 minutes after that moment so her mother was most defiantly asleep. At which point Jessie would come quietly and unlock the door, I would hear the click and wait 34 seconds for her to get back to her room. I would then enter, lock the door behind me, creep into her room which was dark accept for the TV turned up distractingly loud but with good cause. I would tug off my shoes and pull off my pants, unbutton my shirt and lay all of these things on the floor under her bed. I would then crawl under her covers and she would put her hands on my face and kiss me through her smile. It was always the same thing, she would be in her t-shirt and underwear and I would be nude. We would whisper silently until one of us became brave enough to touch the other. The first week we were together I would touch her first. Smile and slide my hand down her stomach and she would close her eyes and her kissing lips would slow as she felt my fingers brush against her clit. She would then move her body against my hand and put her hands on my face and kiss me with those open mouth kisses. I would smile as I felt her thighs tighten against my hand. And a few minutes after this started I would always push two fingers inside her and feel suddenly secure as I felt her smooth walls and warmth devour my hand. Like I said, a week after this all started she became brave and started making the first move. It wasn’t just about the sex though, although it does sound that way, doesn’t it? No, it wasn’t about the sex. It was about the fact that she was allergic to everything and she would sometimes sneeze while we were kissing and she would always be embarrassed and I would always never care. It was about the fact that she pissed with the door open and she loved to watch nick at nite. It was about the fact that she slept with a stuffed elephant and nothing about her matched, not her clothes, not her sheets, not her furniture, not her personality and appearance. It was about the fact that even though we’d only been together a couple weeks we had our own series of games. The “I like” game, the “I don’t like” game, the “guessing” game, the “pick a word” game. It was about the fact that we would discuss our hi’s and low’s of the day every night. It was about the fact that she would lye her head on my chest and listen to me read all night. It was about the fact that she was so aware yet so naive. It was about the fact that I wanted nothing more than to protect her

and make her feel beautiful and loved. And I did, I loved her. Her and everything about her. I loved the way she sneezed like a girl and she blew her nose like a man. She loved me too. She did, and I believed her when she said it. We would lye in bed after sex and discuss our future, our plans; where we would live, how we’d live, who we’d be when we grew up, who we’d know, which one of us would be famous first and for what. We’d talk about thrift store furniture and we had this imaginary loft in our heads. Kind of like a love shack, sort of like Gia’s apartment but not. It had wood floors and white walls and a mattress lying on the floor. Kind of like a futon mattress. It had soiled sheets and a lamp sitting on the floor next to it, like the lamp in Gia. We both really liked Gia. We both really liked Ani too. And I was breaking her into Michelle tea’s writing; at that point in time I modeled my life after her poem, “the beautiful.” A couple weeks after we’d rushed into our lusty and lovely lesbian relationship her mom got a new job with different hours. The kind of job at a nursing home where you’d take whatever hours they gave you, and you didn’t argue about it. This job made it hard for Jessie and I to exactly calculate when we would meet. But we managed; I’m a fairly patient girl who can do temporary shitty situations. I spent a lot of time on the backside of her house under the bathroom window crouched in a flower bed infested with the most irritating bugs I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. I became very acquainted to this flower bed. Sitting there in the muddy ground singing to myself as I watch the clouds shift in the sky. Taking deep drags of my awkwardly cheap and sometimes homemade cigarettes. I spent a lot of time thinking out there in that flower bed. You know, this state gets pretty fucking cold on August nights. You’d think it would stay fairly hot, but no, not really. The scars on my arms were fading, just as well. But they were still visible, and I still remembered spending hours picking at the scabs. Isn’t that like me to do that type of thing. Anyway, at that time sitting there in the mud and flowers and weeds and bugs I didn’t know that, that was my life. Don’t you ever have those moments? You’re living your life, and you’re going day to day, and you’re going through a lot of shit, and you’re going through a lot of big things that will shape who you are forever and everything’s going so fucking fast that you don’t even have a moment to stop and realize that this is your life. I had a lot of spare moments, thanks to Jessie, I really do thank her for that. She was like, um, pure reality. …in the purest form? Yeah, that’s how to put it. So sitting there listening to the train go by her house, feeling the ground kind of shake and the cold creep up my spin like some kind of skin cancer eating me alive I thought… this is my life. You know when you lose your virginity to a man or a woman, it doesn’t really matter and typically one is supposed to be ecstatically happy and brag about it all summer? Well, I didn’t do that. When I realized I was a real lesbian, the real thing, really gay I didn’t sleep around. I didn’t have the opportunity, living in a small town in a long distance relationship with a VERY jealous woman. No, I’m not saying I didn’t like her and I’m not saying I didn’t benefit from the whole situation in the end, I’m just saying that’s how it was. And I’m not talking about Jessie, I’m talking about years before her; reflecting. Quiet time, sitting in Jessie’s flower bed listening to the crickets

and the train and watching the air move. I had a lot of sexual frustration throughout my teen years, most teens did. Looking back to before I met Jess… before that night in that divey bar… before that bumming of the cigarette and that ride in her best friend’s car I think I was to the point of not feeling. I’d always not been much of an open feeler, I’d always been very reserved and numb most of the time, pleasantly furious ¾ of the time. I think I would have sold my body for money before the night, and if I hadn’t met her after that night as well. I’d sold my body once or twice for friends before that night; one of those lonely kids who will never really admit just how lonely they get. Anyway, it was 1 AM and I just heard the lock click. I waited 34 seconds, Walked in. As I was walking toward her room I brushed my fingers along the wall and felt the dust collect on my skin. The texture of that house. I miss that. At the time I didn’t know that when we become adults we’re suddenly not allowed to act stupid anymore. I walked into her room. I felt like taking advantage of a very delicate woman that night. I shut the door, I turned off the light. I said, “Hey baby.” I placed my hands on her hips, pushed her down onto the bed. I felt my pants and her underwear get pulled off somewhere in an argument between our hands and our skin. That was the first day of the rest of our lives. At the time I didn’t know to enjoy it while I still could. Weeks passed and her and I were sitting under some bridge on the rundown end of town, we were sharing a 40 oz. Of some cheap liquor, I don’t remember what kind now. She was sitting between my legs and one of my arms was wrapped around her shoulder, my hand dangling in front of her tits. We were getting increasingly drunk as the time passed and the sun was setting. We’d been sitting there since 3 when school let out. Thanksgiving was in a couple days and I wanted to ask her to come to one of my family dinners but I wasn’t sure if that would be weird or not. And thanksgiving family dinners are such a tricky thing. Because in order to ask her I’d have to ask her when hers was and it would become such a verbal hassle but I did it anyway. It turned out her dinner collided with mine and I sort of invited myself to hers through a requested ask. She said yes, of course. So I went. It was 2 in the afternoon and for some reason thanksgiving dinners always start in the afternoon so they’re like late lunch/early dinner. But anyway, I was standing in the bathroom of someone’s house, a relative of hers, I’m sure. I was staring into the mirror scratching at my face, applying cover up make up attempting to hide my self loathing. I stood in that bathroom for what must have been 20 minutes. I don’t think anybody really noticed I was gone except her. I always get really nervous of being in the bathroom for extended periods of time because people always wonder what you’re doing in there. Usually when I’m in there I’m reading labels and ingredients to things like shampoo, fucking with my hair, applying make up; lipstick, cover up, eye shadow. She did the same things in the bathroom as me, so it was a comfort knowing that she knew what I was doing. She knocked on the door, I opened it and hid behind it in hopes she would get scared thinking a ghost opened it, but she didn’t. She could see my shoelace and that just fucked everything up; when we were a brand new item she used to pretend to like my shoe laces as an attempt to get into my pants. Anyway, back to the subject, I

was tired and irritated and horny and I wanted to ask her to marry me at that point but I didn’t. She was sitting on the toilet pissing, she was talking to me about someone and how they did something that she didn’t like and I was laughing in my head thinking “you’re really horrible at being mean cause you’re just so sweet.” And I was reflecting on all those hours we’d spent fucking then talking about random and sometimes frivolous things. And I thought that I’d never meet another person like her in my life because I’m so full of shit and such an asshole most of the time so no one else would put up with my bull shit. But anyway… all that came out was a slight stutter and I closed my eyes, “Jess, can I have you?” I think she was a little confused, she gave me a strange look but then a comforted look because either way it must be good. She wiped her cunt, pulled up her pants as she stood up, turned around, flushed, washed her hands, and looked in the mirror. I think she wanted to borrow my make up so she could cover up some of her self loathing as well, but she didn’t ask. She turned around, smiled at me, put her back to the mirror, her hands on the counter then jumped up and sat down. She put her hand out coaxing me to come closer and I did. She put her hand on my shirt and tugged at it. Pulled me closer. I smiled and then leaned in to kiss her, kissing her through my grin. I put my hands on her tits and kissed her neck. She was really getting into it, I was surprised. “But um… it’s… we’re um…” I sounded like a 12 year old girl losing her virginity… I was referring to being in her families house; in case you were wondering. “I don’t care,” she said, I loved that, “I don’t care.” Love and sex and all the shit in between made her not care and it made me feel good. She was one of the few people in the world I actually believed would live by the rule that love IS enough. But so many years of changing circumstance, and changing schools, and changing locations, and changing minds, and changing positions, and changing identities made me wonder… is it? I was 15 years old and far too jaded for my own good; jaded, I think that would be a good way to put it. But it is enough, love, I mean. Love can change the world, love can make you or break you, love can open your eyes, love can heal you or kill you, love can mold you into who you will be for the rest of your life, love made me considerate, love made me beautiful, love made me care, love made me selfless, love made me want to take care of her, love made me understand more things than I ever could, or better yet, love made me comprehend, love made me not only smart, but brilliant, love made me need her, and I swore I’d never let myself need someone again, but it was okay to need her. I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life, and I did, I did. “Hello dear, let me hold you.” It was 3 AM, It was after sex time. She would still shaking, her lips would be moving against my mouth in a rhythmic sort of way. We called this open mouth kisses. My cum covered finger tips brushed gently against her face, against her lips, my tongue rubbing against hers. Those open mouth pants soon turned into a lovers kiss, deep, and thorough. With that thoroughness our bodies moved closer together in that cuddling type way. The blankets pulled over our heads, the scent of sex was thick; aw, to be young and restless again. Our bodies stuck to sheets as we moved against each other, occasionally having to come up for air, it was like swimming in the ocean and you

finally got to the top, we’d gasp, grin at each other, then go back under for more. I could have done that for hours with her; our lips, our bodies, and our hands moving together and one rhythmic clicking, on and off. Our pulse like the pulse of the American machine, as Ani would say. We would change the settings, change the background, change the font type “adolescence.” Change the html code: center, stretch, !important!, Fixed center. She was center stage in my auditorium, I would dim the lights, put the spot light on her. But she didn’t need to worry, I’d be her co-host for the evening in our own pornographic play. I believe she’s the only person who would understand half of the things I just talked about, although she doesn’t understand the “computer lingo,” that’s okay. We’d come up from those covers and gasp for air. I’d tug her back under the sheets and whisper, “Don’t you know I love you, girl?” I’d kiss her deeply, pet her hair. I’d speak softly, “Let me hold you, let’s go to sleep.” She’d lay her head on my chest, I wonder if she noticed my heart beat was erratic. Erotic, that’s what she was. But you know, back in those days morning would fade like red before blue; morning before afternoon. I would wake up to her back against my chest, her arm dangling from the bed. I looked around her room and I thought, “I want to stay here long enough to collect dust.” As I thought that I wondered, “Does that make enough sense to think out loud?” I suppose it did because I said it; I ran my hands along her back, kissed her cheek, licked her lips, “ Jessie, wake up.” She opened her eyes slowly, then startled. It must have been a big surprise that I was me and not a toilet/desk. “Hey,“ she said as she started to sit up. I imagine her tits must have been swollen and sore from lying on them. Peculiar, she hardly ever sleeps directly on her chest. It must have been that side of the bed, she usually sleeps against the wall. I thought to myself, “I so stole her spot.” I kissed her, “Can I collect dust with you?” She smiled and kissed me with morning breath; how I love it when she does that. There was a movie at some point where it was said that morning breath smells like cat piss. I’d have to agree, just, minus the ammonia. That makes it not so bad, it’s the ammonia that’s a killer. She kissed me deeper and then released, laid her head back down on the pillow and murmured, “Of course you can.” I heard somewhere that Ani’s lyrics are like the soft murmur of a lover that knows all your secrets and still decides to stay. A lover, I like that word, perhaps better than all the others. The new year was coming up and I needed to same resolutions but I couldn’t think of any and even if I could I highly doubted I could keep them. I’ve made so many resolutions and I’ve only kept -102% of them. Last year I wasn’t going to cheat on my first girlfriend anymore, pft, that didn’t work out. But I had a plan B, I was going to quit smoking, that didn’t work out either. Okay, it was okay, because I had a plan C, I was going to re-discover my self identity. Okay… so… I’m fucked. But this new year’s resolutions will be different, I thought so. I only made one resolution, and it was one I promised myself I would keep; I was going to learn from my past mistakes in my past relationship and in what felt like my past life. Did I keep this one? Yeah, I did. I thought so at least. It’s a tricky resolution, because not only would I have to learn from my mistakes but I would to have to keep history from repeating itself. It’s like a natural law that history repeats

itself, just like red fades before blue and you cannot record silence because it has no matter, no consistency, it’s like air; you can’t hear it but you know it’s there. It was snowing, it was 1 AM on a January morning and I was wearing my best dress coat I bought at the salvation army the year before when I made the decision to become emo, but not the straight edge type. In fact, I made that decision just weeks after Jessie and I got together. I was standing outside, content watching my breath turn into my own tiny little tuft of fog. Jessie stepped out from the New Years eve party, she looked beautiful, she always looked beautiful although she never thought so. I looked at her and smiled. She was 5’2, I was 5’6, I loved how much shorter than me she was, I could just rest my chin the top of her head. I did, as she put her hands inside my coat and wrapped her arms around my waist. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and whispered, “I love you.” I closed my eyes and kissed her forehead, held her tighter to me. I loved the way she smelled; like dirty clothes and panel walls, like axe and ice-cream, like conditioner and perfume, like men’s deodorant and my brute after shave. You know, the air on the east coast isn’t as pure as it is in Idaho. Everything is so polluted with smog and exhaust fumes. Everyone is so worried about smoking, it’s like a crisis, but no matter how much you protect yourself and your children the world will always win. I don’t know why I thought about that. They say that children who were put through a lot of therapy only like even numbers because they were called odd their entire lives, whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. So many people have commitment issues because they’re so consumed by finding that perfect person, little do they know… there isn’t one. But Jessie was as close to perfect for me as it got. Is she forever? I don’t know, but she’s for a long time. Is she my soul mate? I think it’s pointless to spend your entire life worrying about what’s on the other side, but she is my partner. I whispered in her ear, “Jessie…” She whispered against my neck, “Yeah…?” …”question mark ?” She smirked and pulled away and looked at me, “God, I always know exactly when you‘re gonna say that…”

The End
(I’m okay with being odd)

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