Sunday, November 11, 2007

How Can You Believe that Shit?

"How can you believe that shit? Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people."

"But, if we lose everything we still have ourselves."

"But he belittled me when I was myself and threatened me so I did want to be myself anymore, I was so scared I told myself that I loved him, he beat my heart and took my soul. I don't know who I am anymore." I did not realize it at the time, but the room was absolutely quiet and focused on the vociferous discussion between myself and the speaker.

"Despite the changes, the pain, the unspeakable pain, we are, always and forever. Right now, as you recount a shadow of those awful experiences there is a part of you present at birth, and will continue long after. Therefore, I suggest you focus on that which endures, remember those who act in spontaneous violence, fear, and despair are weaker than you are. We shouldn't fear pain, for sensations of the flesh are temporary, all things shall pass."

"You don't know the half of it."

"I concede that there is a lot you could teach me, and would be glad if you would do so."

*                    *                    *

"You're going to Paris?" He just stared at me. I am sure it was my bruise, why can't I get my damn make-up right. How stupid would it look if I pulled out a mirror right now?

*                    *                    *

"I, uhm, well, I'm hungry and was thinking about getting something to eat. It would be nice to have some company. Would you like to go somewhere with me?" Now, let me just point out that he is cute. Not in a Vin Diesel sort of way, which would be nice, but in a Jake Gyllenhaal way. I can't say I was hungry, or particularly compelled, but I wanted to feel desirable and I didn't want to be alone. I thought about all the filthy, sweaty desires of men. How they stare and flirt to one end. I know I'm not big, I don't waddle, or weight a lot. I wear a size five dress, well, maybe six, at least it fits a little more comfortably. I knew I was fat because I felt bloated, and I knew I was bloated because I had a piece of cheesecake the night before, and cheesecake makes you fat. Maybe if I wasn't so fat I would wake up next to a guy, or two, who hadn't even taken the time to tell me their names. Then, at least, I would know that I was desirable, just like skinny Jamie.

We went to the Gray Mediterranean, fondly called the Med', a restaurant that also had a bar. Either he was going to need to drink, or I was. I told him I hadn't been there since they stopped having a smoking section and he couldn't remember when they did have one. Sure, it made me feel older, even old, but in a good way. That greasy spoon of a joint had such character. The cigarette smoke that used to fill the air so thick one couldn't see the customer-painted ceiling tiles. After the smoking ban went into place, I figured the Med' would have lost too much character to be worth the heartburn. Going back, I was pleased it was the same old same old.

A friend of mine, Brook, who had been adopted in utero, tried giving me advice. Her family, her adopted family, was really nice to her, though her brother, their biological product, was a bit weird. He was weird like a Star Trek convention is weird, fundamentally. After Brook found out she was adopted her view of him became a lot weirder. Think of how siblings play, even if they are of opposite sexes, as children they are naively intimate. Years pass and there are secrets and intrigue as they each vie for parental favor. Despite the rivalry, there is still intimacy, the wrestling, jell-o down the pants, et cetera. Once you realize that your brother isn't really your brother, there has to be a taint to those memories, even though it is unfounded.

Brook had recently gone to see her biological parents and expounded their wretchedness. Every little thing one could criticize she did. Poor, dirty, rude, uneducated, boring, and those are the highlights. It wasn't that I thought those who give their child to another are destined to such fate, nor did I even think that her biological parents were necessarily that way. It just seemed logical, however, that should one visit people whose biggest part in your life was rejecting you that fact must affect your judgment, profoundly. I think, in some strange way, I knew should a child come to term by Roger, kept or not, something bad would happen.

In the end, like every other decision I've made for the past nineteen years, I did what Roger wished. I was always either scared, or doubted myself; sometimes I just didn't want to disappoint him. As pitiful as that sounds, it became worse when I feared he would not love me otherwise, and, finally, that he would beat me. Those fears didn't come to play in the decision of the child, however. Roger felt that a tadpole is still a frog, and by extension, an unborn human is still a human. He wasn't a crusader or picketer. Nor did he have bumper stickers or give money to the Christians Concerned for Life Foundation. He even voted for Democrats half the time. It seemed like a noble thing to do, and I didn't want him to be disappointed. In addition, deep inside of me, I knew that this child had to live, and with someone else. I wish my instincts had also told me to run far, far away from Roger. Prescience is not my strong suit.

© Michael Mosher


Blogger Christina said...

This distubs's really bloody good. Perhaps that's why it disturbs me. You know, I sleep next to you every night, but whenever I read what you write, I am always blown away. Like there is a secret michael that lies within the Michael. This is so exciting. I feel like I'm married to more than one person. Please keep writing...I need to find out who else I'm in love with.....

1:26 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I read this again and I cried. I cried because I finally realize how fragile a woman's heart can one can make desperate decisions born out of fear...ok, yeah, this is silly, but I found your words prophetic today.

4:21 PM  

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