Monday, August 15, 2011


The trouble is

admitting that you're a survivor of sexual abuse went out of style in the mid nineties

grownups admitting that they have feelings has been never in style

survivors of sexual abuse and assault still make up ten percent of the population or more

if you're willing to talk about your emotions publicly, most people will assume this is a sign of weakness rather than a measured choice.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

real world

something I wrote a month ago

I think I have a new rule; correlated to "don't seek comfort or recreation in commerce," there is "go out into the real world." To the places where things are made and people survive. And live, maybe.

Yesterday I pulled over at some cherry orchards outside a small town and took a slow half-mile walk while I watched the sunset. I let the wind make a mess of my hair, and I felt it against my body, and I thought about how the life I have right now doesn't quite provide access to either people or nature in a way that would be good enough. I thought about how people choose to make a life for themselves instead of a revolution, and I thought about what walking down this road would be like if I were thin (not very different, it turns out) and I felt the knots in my body just begin to uncoil themselves. I realized that I was very sad--heartbroken--and I didn't know why. I needed to watch the sun leave the orchards, and get a sense of myself.

Lately I often find myself overcome with sadness. It's hard to explain this because I am also the happiest ever. Odd things will set me off; a mother's story of playing with her children, the last few sentences of a chapter in one of my paperback urban-fantasies--"he died as he had lived, a hero and a survivor, protecting the things he cared about the most." I am mourning everything that was lost or stolen or broken that can not be replaced; all the moments when I pulled away from a lover and reminded myself to breathe, the years of hard-earned numbness, the mangled school records, the people I'm still afraid of and frighten away in return, the ugly gifts of my past that catch me unaware long after I've given up running.

For the first time in my life I'm building something very different. I cry sober the kind of tears that carry something away with them. I walk, and breathe, feel the wind at my back. Slowly, I begin to let go.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

short story

In his body he was always not good enough. Maybe it started with perverse infantile sexuality; maybe it was Alexis' delicacy next to his muscle that made him feel blunt and squat and rectangular. Maybe the shrill homophobic taunts on the playground convinced him that he was asexual, or maybe life had simply taught him he was safer that way.

He took this out of himself in cold, salty sweat, sticky on his arms for years on end. He used the aching of his back and the searing pain through his legs to punish what was wrong; it never worked.