It took me many years to get to this point in my life. A “I don’t give a fuck” point regarding people’s opinions of me, of the negative experiences I’ve had in my life. This Flash Fiction piece is something I’ve struggled with deciding to write or not. The following story is extremely detailed, vivid, and candid.
It is also true.
To all of you who have experienced rape, dominance, physical abuse and in general bad shit, I feel you. There is hope, there is more than just what’s in your head. See someone, please! You are not alone.
Because of this realization, because I wanted others to know this, I decided to write this story. This is a daily struggle, still after all these years. Kicking and clawing is how they’ll have to take me. Fuck them all. – Ramon
I’m supposed to be sleeping. I’m supposed to let all of it go, be the bigger man; the better man. I don’t know what pieces of me to do it with. Every night, every day, every hour…every second…where do I, end, and it begins? That particular rabbit hole overlaps my insanity. I can’t tell which one I prefer: the trick, or the treat?
Do I, me, myself, those parts that possibly haven’t been shaped, mistrust people? Places? Do I use people and situations because I was shaped that way? How much is me and how much are your fists? Or your tongue? Or their hands? Groping and squirming and slithering all over my body, all over my memories, all over my soul; It’s past morose, past melancholy.
I’m scared of the dark. I’ve only told one person that. Ever. It’s difficult for me to admit, when the space under my bed is full of it, making me jump towards the top of the mattress, towards the safety of the blanket as I pull myself underneath it. I’m afraid of the black spots in my memory where those things lie in wait; I don’t test them often.
I was being tickled. His blue eyes were crystalline and a happy smile on his lips. Then my foot reaches out and kicks his face. I keep laughing at his recoil, his hands flying up to his nose. How old was I, dad? Two? One? His hands are lightning quick, or maybe that’s part of the memory that’s losing its clarity. His arms end at the edge of my face, his hands on my neck where I can’t see them. I can’t breathe! His face is red with fury and hatred and viciousness as he throttles his infant son instead of changing his diaper. My vision goes fuzzy; starts to lose focus. Black creeps in at the edges, promising a respite; their mermaid’s call to rocks.
Or the times with my feet. Or the times you put me on your lap. When you whispered in my ear before licking it, kissing it; suckling on the lobe. “You’re my favorite”, He says in between each greedy breath. It pushes into my ass cheek; I know what’s coming next. His greedy hands are all over my back, all over my hips and legs and feet and places little boys 5 years old should never know about. His crystal blue eyes sparkle with fervor and impale my innocence.
I walk into my parent’s bedroom to momma sobbing and pleading/screaming at my brother to put the knife down. You looked awful scared then, dad. My brother pushes the knife just a little further into our dad. Me crying and pissing my onesy; frozen in panic and fear. The piss puddles in the feet of plastic. “I can do it, I’m gonna do it,” my brother says to him. He responds with a stare from those crystalline baby blues. Dad says, “You give me that knife RIGHT NOW.” It’s a big one you see in all the military movies, the one with the compass at the top that screws on; the one he got from Vietnam when he was a Ranger. My brother’s eyes pull away for a split second, dad’s reaction is a swift move of his body to the right, while his left hand wrenches away the knife at the hilt and his right arcs towards my brother, curling into a fist on the way towards my brother’s cheek. He’s flung against the wall. The memory ends with my dad screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU! YOU GODDAMN LITTLE FUCKING SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WI-“ It goes black.
Then push me down in anger at your repulsion. “What are you, some kind of fucking idiot?! What the fuck is wrong with you?! Donkey! Moron! Idiot! Stupid fucker!” Am I all those things as well, dad? If I try harder, will you maybe give me praise? Maybe not touch me for an hour? A day? -SMACK- “Get in the other room, you fucking idiot! Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about, you fucking pussy! You pansy ass little shit! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU CRYING ABOUT?!?! SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I love it when you say nice things to me, dad.
He puts the gun to my head. Momma is there, watching him. She’s crying, tears are everywhere; on her face, on her shirt, on her lap… The red mark on her face in the shape of his hand looks raised and puffy and swollen. She begs him, pleads with him. “Please, put the gun down. Don’t do this, he’s scared. He won’t say anything, I won’t say anything, please.” She says it with her entire body, her entire soul. I can see down the barrel of the gun. It’s dark in there, I notice. The bullets are shiny funny dome shaped chrome looking things. He responds with, “If you say anything, I’ll kill him first and make you watch, then I’ll kill you. They’ll never find your bodies. Try me.” Afterwards she took me to get a happy meal. Her face shows the slap prominently; everyone tries hard not to look. “It’s gonna be okay. Everything will be okay. Just keep all of it to yourself, okay? I love you, mi ijo.” Grimace, in all his purple glory, stands off to the left; the sun bounces off his glossy exterior.
I just wanna stand up for this dance, dad. I just want to show you who (you’ve made me?) I’ve become, dad. We can do it in a hall, invite all the friends and uncles and cousins you knew about. The ones you made me keep the secret for, dad. I can keep the secret, pinky swear. The man of the year! Father of the year! You’ve surpassed all of them, dad. A mug couldn’t say how true that statement is.
I would put him in a chair, bind him; render him immobile. Maybe start with the belt, buckle end out. Give him the scars I still hide with my shirts. Beat his shins and thighs. Make his knees bleed like mine from kneeling in the corner. Make him piss himself because the punishment isn’t over, is it you little fuck? Ya, you’re a stupid fuck, huh? Would he get hard, you think? I could just sit on his lap, whisper in his ear how I’m the favorite. “It’s just because you’re special,” I’d tell him. I could laugh it all away; tell him he’s crazy, that none of that ever happened and he should get mental health help. All with a smirk on my face. All while he stares into my eyes. A blatant truth, if I’ve ever heard one.
I just wanna sing this song for you. Tell you how repulsive I feel inside. How my guts squirm and my inner child cries when the slithering, snaking memories crawl all over me. They come almost every month; the darkness lifts over the void my brain placed on those periods of time. They come in horrifying dreams of helplessness, inadequacy, hopelessness; manifesting themselves so I can comprehend that these horrific things are really things that have been done to me.
I didn’t want it, dad. I didn’t enjoy it, like you did. How can I tell who, exactly, I am? These things, these terrifying and brutal acts of dominance have intertwined with me, with my being. And what about all the black spots I can’t remember, dad? What lies dormant there, I wonder? Fishing and camping trips? A hug and a kiss and you rubbing against me? How much is my personality? How much of me is that punching bag you always used me for?
I’ve said it so often, to so many doctors it’s become a grocery list now. I’m well beyond tears. I’m stuck under the bed in the darkness with all the unimaginable things with their tentacles and their slime and saliva oozing and dripping all over everything. No matter where my brain runs my body can’t keep up. Sleep is elusive and cruel and unforgiving; I find no solace there. The nightmares turned body sweats and punches and cries of “Stop! Please! No!” are propelled forward into the empty night as I wake from my half-asleep maze of torture.
I let my bike fall into the grass. He’s almost home from work and I’ve got at least 10 minutes before he comes home. I just need to pee real quick so I can put my bike away. Hurry, hurry! I hear the front door slam just as the urine stream stops. Not bothering to shake, I zip up my pants and run towards the front door, hoping he’d let me put my bike away. I slide to a stop as I see him there, slightly hunched with his hands balling to fists, his blue crystal eyes turning foul like a storm at sea, his thick forearms jutting out from the strands of tensing muscle. I turn quickly and try to run to my room to shut the door! He grabs me and turns me around just as I reach the threshold! His right hand grabs my neck as he lifts my 10 year old frame up to become even with his eyes. “You’re supposed to put your bike away when you’re done using it. WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR GODDAMN PROBLEM?!” He screams it at me as I’m simultaneously hurled towards the back of the room. I hit the wall with the back of my head and slump down on the floor; my vision pulsing and stars popping up and the feeling of wanting to throw up the hot dogs I ate for lunch.
I land right next to the glove and baseball and bat you just bought for me. The ones I got for being special last week. I wrap my slender hands around the bat and hold it up to my face, standing off against the heavily muscled monster that calls himself “father”. He laughs cruelly as he steps toward me. I swing with all my might, with every bit and piece of hatred I can muster. It connects squarely with his cheekbone. His face is all puzzlement and shock and disbelief. His face turns back to anger as he starts again to come towards me. Again I swing my bat at his head and I again connect squarely with it. He falls down to one knee and I unleash a flurry of swings at him. All the beatings, all the abuse, everything goes into it; I know I’m screaming but the only sounds I can hear are his grunting, puzzled groans pouring forth with each connection of my bat to his head. I stop when I’m breathing heavy and out of breath; my throat raw and hands trembling. He stands up and looks at me with…astonishment? Admiration? Fear? I couldn’t possibly say. “If you ever touch me again, I will fucking kill you,” I whisper to him. His dazed eyes find my face and then he snorts in response. “You have to sleep sometime. I’ll get your knife and slit your throat. I’ll stab your eyes and your guts and your dick. Fuck you. Try me again and you’re going to fucking die.” He tries to laugh it off as he turns and leaves.
I’ve pissed my pants, I notice. My trembling and shaking body lets the bat fall long after he’s left. I crumple with dizziness and exhaustion from the adrenaline having coursed through my body. I wretch and dry heave and never take my eyes off the door.
He never touched me again.
My pleas fall on deaf ears, dad. Your cruelty is carried on in me. The hatred of yourself is still berating and beating on me, towards the ground where you stomped on my chest and laughed, dad. When you would box my ears because the look of disorientation and pain on my face made you laugh. When you would wash me as I showered, dad. I hate everyone, just like you, dad.
I became a thing for others to use and I treat my body like the hole you made me, dad; empty and broken and a thing of disgust. And no matter how much I hate the dark, I’m constantly in it as my life goes on; light is smothered by it, dad. I see beautiful women who are so in love with me and I abuse them and berate them and make them treat me shitty, so I can feel shitty. Just like you did, dad.
I won’t go to your funeral, but I will piss on your grave. Will I feel righteous and triumphant? Or immoral and nefarious? Will you help me kill that little child that cries and whimpers at nightfall? Tell him to shut the fuck up if he knows what’s good for him? We could do all that together! We already have been doing all that together. I still can’t tell which one I prefer: the trick, or the treat?