Something Ugly, But Not Really

Published May 10, 2013 by April Fox

This is one of the rare things that gets a disclaimer from me. I ran it by beloved to see if he thought it went too far and maybe shouldn’t be published here, and after he smirked about a line or two (this is a good thing) his response was, “Um… my dad reads your blog.” He has a good point. This is not my most offensive piece, hardly the most vulgar (and just to be perfectly clear right up front, it does NOT have anything to do with me and beloved… it’s not THAT kind of post) but it’s not pleasant. It’s a little graphic, uses words that aren’t acceptable in polite company, but we’re not among polite company in this context, and the ugliness and harshness seem to be necessary. If you look past that, this ended up being (because I had no idea where this was going when I started writing it, and like everything else, it just kind of fell out of my head in about two minutes) about how we’re all, underneath our images and facades, the same. It’s a feel-good, hippie-dippie thing, really… just written, you know, by me. It has bad words. It mentions uncomfortable things. It would almost certainly, if my little blog had ten times as many readers, offend someone. That offense is not intentional, but inevitable, and my words are directed toward stereotypes, not human beings. So there, consider yourselves disclaimed… carry on, then.

we’re in this together now,
you know-
just the two of us
-whether you like it or not.

this is not the kind of love-hate relationship you dreamt about
young and foolish in your faded jeans and
edgy haircut, too much black eyeliner and
a journal full of
deep and
meaningful
thoughts
“what’s love without a little pain?”
you wrote;
“if it doesn’t hurt a little
it’s not real.”

perhaps you traced a map of scars
along your arms
covering them up in the most obvious way
striped sleeves coming down over your hands
mid-july, and you were baking
one paw curved fake-coy over your carefully pursed mouth
in every single
not-posed
meticulously orchestrated
photograph
taken by the Only Person in the World Who Understood You
at the bus stop
or mcdonald’s
or the mall.

you thought nobody noticed
the perfectly carved trails-
not too deep, you don’t really want to die
not too shallow, or the lack of blood will deem you
inauthentic
and a fraud.

the truth is
no one cared.

grown up, now
so to speak
you find yourself here
with me

perhaps instead you were
the prom queen, cheerleader
seething inside
ever so misunderstood
nobody could ever know
that all that you wanted
was fucked by your gym teacher
-disappointed afterward,
breathless and wiping his sweat and disgust
from your cheek
you realized then
you’re a dyke
junior league, fundraisers
bright whitewashed kitchen
you’ve grown bloated and sick
with suburban disease
and puking up french fries doesn’t clean out
your closet of sins
anymore

and here you are, now
dough faced and cursing the piles of stretchy
elastic-waist pants on your shelf
wishing that you were anywhere else
but here
-with me.

we’re in this together, now
the two of us
hiding out behind painted-on
plaster fake smiles
and the teeth in your vein are as crooked as mine
and your skin is as pale stretched and paper-burnt
brittle
as mine
and the punk you were
sweet hippie, flowing skirts, flower-hair, blessings and light to all,
you once said;
the football star
zipping his dick up
behind the desk
cheap suit unbuttoned, hands strategically placed
nervous cough, chin points toward the door
as you mumble what you think
might sound reassuring

you’re nowhere near
as alone
as you fancy
your poor self to be.

you are
in no way
unique on this planet
something else came before
who you are now
something else
will come out
when you’re bored
with yourself.

we are ghosts, pictures of things that we’ve done
played on a big screen
that no one is watching.

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