To reflect or deflect

I don’t really dream much anymore. And I love it. I’d rather remain paralyzed behind my eyes in some absent of light than transcend into a dimension where my mind has more control than my conscience. I get nightmares, shit- more like night terrors and they are so fucking terrifying. Imagine being lost in the woods and you are trying to find your way back to where you came from and you hear this rustling and see this figure, never up close and never exactly, but you see it moving from the corners of your eyes. Your heart begins to race as every god damn tree becomes the same. You try to run but your legs are lava lamps that haven’t been on long enough to move. The wax still solid, anchors in your shoes. The thing never gets you. It never gets close. You try to scream but you’re in a library and you cant scream, you can only verbalize your fear through whispers. It’s the worst. Those are the nightmares that lie with me while I sleep. Waiting to press their long, twisted finger into my temple and have power over me. Tucking me in so tight, fucking straight-jacket burial. All mummified, I can’t sleep. Thankfully, I didn’t dream last night or much this week. I feel like the demon that runs with me, waiting until I rest, took some notes on how life is already shit-your-pants scary.

I have an interview today. Not for a job, but maybe it could blossom into something rad. It’s for some doc-series about “coming out”.  I wasn’t going to write anything today, but I needed some lubrication to sort through these keys to unlock all the rooms in my head that store trauma. You can’t really live if you’re always trying to find out “why”. FUCK WHY. I hate that question. “Why did it happen to me” “Why did you do this” Because it did. You were fucking there, you know. It puts needles underneath my fingernails. Catch that shit in the hallway and beat it down, tie it up and lock it away. The brain can do wonders, make you forget, and I am more willing to forget than to understand. Noone Can change yesterday and I do NOT have the time to sit in this Ferris wheel, hands made of tissues with memories pouring out of my eyes. Wiping them up and putting them back into my pocket only to later eat them so I can continue this ride. GET ME OFF THIS FUCKING RIDE.

 

I’m actually nervous to have this conversation with a stranger. More nervous for me than them. They get to leave with a “story” and I get left with a crowded sanitarium and no one wants to go back to their room. Some things turn my skin into stone, the computer shuts off. Does not compute. This is a medusa eye, I don’t want to look. Let go of my face, get your hands off me, stop screaming, turn that tv off. Life is unfair and I get it, now go back to your fucking rooms. I’m not even talking and I’m losing my breath. Some things are rope that always nooses itself like booby traps, do I deserve this? I’m leaving the room, you all can destroy yourselves. I have a life to live. A train goes by, entire building shakes into a glass of alcohol. Can’t drink tonight, get your finger off the trigger. I know I am going to uproot my tree to show someone the roots. “This side is poisoned and dying, but I just leave them alone.” “Look over here, so strong and resilient” STOP STARING AT ME. Nothing but a bunch of spit ends, anyways. All just trying to survive.

First question…

Smokey room, always a smoking room. Pulls the light string, asks if I want a smoke. WE ARE NOT FRIENDS. I want nothing from you. “When did you realize you were LGBTQ?” I’m staring at the floor so hard I can see through it. “Around the same time, um everyone’s body begins to seek flesh to procreate.” Dips cigarette into an ashtray. It becomes whole again. Can we just open a window here? Let out all this illusion. Rip off the wallpaper, fucking walls are alive. Veins pumping blood into this musty chair, the chair has a heart. WHY DOES THE CHAIR HAVE A HEART! I feel stuck. Cornered by myself, cornering myself. Fuck it, give me a smoke.

Second Question…

“Great progress here, I feel as if we are really getting somewhere.” Leather straps my feet in place. I am not going anywhere. “What do you identify as?” Room becomes magician’s box, clear glass and filling with water. A whole world waiting for my answer. Get this old hat off me, I will not be sorted! I reach into my pocket, hoping one of these god damn million keys will get me out of this. FUCKING HOLE. I’m so light, I’m floating to the top-gasping. Never did learn to swim. “Answer the question”. “I’M GAY”.  Audience cheers. Everyone leaves with what they wanted. Their curiosity cup filled with the same water that I was drowning in. Give me back my skin. I’m this featherless bird trapped in this glass cage, laying on a bed of keys. “Tsk, you could have just answered the question”

 

Third Question…Fourth Question…

I’m already exhausted. Can I go home now? “Not until the doctor signs the discharge papers.” When in the FUCK did everyone SOMEHOW BECOME DOCTORS? Why am I on display? JUST LEAVE ME ALONE. The chair is pulsing. Get your musty fingers out of my face. Why is this a thing? How did I get myself back in this room? “How old were you when you “came out”? I look down to the floor and it’s all mirrors. Can’t escape. Trying to hide my sight in my hands, my hands! What happened to my fucking hands? Peering into the mirror floor, I’m eleven.  My tiny, tender hands are on fire. Bruised, hungry, always punished. “I was eleven when I realized that I was different.” All of my teeth have fallen out. “Different”. How fucking dare I even cooperate. “Who was the first person you told?” “MYSELF!” “How did they react?” I take a hard blink and somehow,  I’m in my father’s kitchen. I’m fifteen and miserable. “So, you’re a cock sucker” “Should have told your mom to go through with the abortion” “I’m sending you back to live with your mother” “You are no longer my son.” GIVE ME A FUCKING SMOKE! I eat a pack of cigarettes and scream. My featherless, bird body still trapped in this wet, glass box in an empty auditorium is bleeding. I am in so much pain. Climbing deep into myself, trying to hide. Trying to DISAPPEAR. FUCK YOU!

 

Fifth Question… Sixth Question…

“How was life before you were out?” “Out of what? Spare FUCKING CHANGE?” Why doesn’t this movie have a plot or any other main character except me? How in this world does this chair have my shoes on? Still musty, still smoking, and still just as terrifying. Please, let me go. I’m tied down with my eyes held open by my own two fucking hands. CLIP YOUR FUCKING NAILS! “How was life before…” “I HEARD YOU ALREADY!” “Then, answer the question.” My brain forcing this projection on my dried up eyes and I can’t look away. It is inside me. This old VHS tape just waiting to be played. All these beautiful birds flocking around. Mother duck feeds all except a few. Quacking in comfort, the others have not a clue what to do. “How do we overthrow the duck Queen?” If you can’t fucking beat them, you JOIN THEM. Fucking ducks, might as well be crows. I hate birds. Some stay true to their flock and rarely quack questions. I hope their bills seal shut and they starve as I was starved. Losers. “My life was a sad story.” Mother always angry with no time to explain what is wrong or what went wrong. It was always the same state of “Wrong”. Violence wore many outfits and punishment was always accessorized and my mother was THE BEST DRESSED. It is not easy to build yourself up when every time you grow a feather, five are plucked. “How did it change?” “How did what change? My life after coming out? After presenting myself to the world? This information that they shouldn’t even be trained to think that knowing is a right, a privilege and they must witch hunt every homosexual until they are so full of their greed in this bullshit feast that they get to shit out anger and throw it back like boulders? You wanted to know, and I told you. Nothing changes when you come out of hiding. I fucking weep. Hiding. I was taught to hide. *CODE RED* CODE FUCK YOU– When your only parent, isn’t actually a parent, develops Stockholm syndrome to a religion that discludes you, it doesn’t go well. She already had a closet full of weapons to wear on a daily basis to hide from her own crumbling wishing well. I AM NOT SORRY THAT NONE OF YOUR WISHES CAME TRUE. You wasted all those pennies. But it was not and is not and will not EVER BE my fault. My pockets have holes in them, empty just like the well and I did not eat those pennies. “Who are you talking to” Where the fuck did the chair go? Who opened this window? WHY ARE THESE DOORS OPEN?! I’m looking around this room. So much bigger than before, as if each open door morphed itself into this room. Floors still reflecting. Only a few keys remaining. HOW MUCH MORE IS LEFT! My featherless body isn’t featherless anymore, shit. These aren’t even feathers. What the fuck is this? Armor. It’s armor. I am screaming. HOW DID I LEARN HOW TO DEFEND MYSELF?

 

Seventh Question…

“Were you having sex before you came out” Who asked this? Where did the chair go? I’m in the middle of this room and the window is open. The floor is breaking. Shattering, but I am wearing shoes and my skin is steel. Sharp and serrated. I will hurt you. The speaker above me clicking, waiting for a response. “I fucking heard you.” Door handles raddling. “Let me get my keys” I insert this key into this door and open it. I’m eleven. My heart is racing. “How is this here?” I yell… Static, fucking static. Why does everyone have all of these god damn questions and YET no one has any of the fucking answers. I pass the threshold and I am afraid. I know this fear. It is trauma. Walls begin to cave in. “User error” plays from the speaker. “Fuck this, I am out of here.” The door shut behind me. I did not give permission. Why does it feel like I am losing control? I go to bang on the door and right before my steel fist touches its sun-bleached wood, it vanishes. I’m trapped. I’m in some forest, like the many nightmares I have had. The same forest where every tree looks the same. I can hear the rustling. COME ON LEGS, RUN! A shadow passing back and forth between tree trunks. The same shadow that haunts me in my sleep. “Just answer the question.” “I collapse. I can’t run. *CODE RED* *USER ERROR* I can’t even fucking see at this point. Mind goes technicolor like an old tv that has nothing to connect to. Then, it hits me. A small memory collides with my defeat. “I didn’t have sex before I was out, but someone took advantage of me. Someone twice my age, someone who knew better.” Eyes sewn shut. Is this what it’s like to revisit lost loved ones? Miserable. GET ME OUT! I open my eyes to find myself back in that fucking room. Ever expanding. I try to remember, but I can’t. Thank you brain. I appreciate your lies. The room is different. The floor is just a floor and there still is no chair. WHERE IS THE CHAIR? UGH, why does it feel so lonely, so fucking lonely when you confront yourself. I am no longer made of steel, but of stone. My skin is every stone that was ever thrown at me. Fucking peasants. I hope you all live forever trapped inside the same the birdcage home I lived in. You built it, enjoy.

 

Last question…

Fuck these questions. Have I not shed enough flesh for you to see me naked? The room has become my safe haven. Funny how things come to an end. What used to be scary, is still scary but you are familiar with it now and it’s ok. Always just ok. It’s me and this room. I’m back in the center. It’s huge. Only one door left, but why do I HAVE TWO KEYS! My hands get sweaty, greasy almost. Like they are machines that have been working. Left-hand grabs key from the right. Can’t control it. That fucker slams that key into my chest. Disrespect. I CONTROL YOU! Not the other way around. Key turns, my rib cage cracks and it is painful. Like a balloon you filled up just to let go, I slam around the room. This empty room. Dust is flushing out of me as if I were a fire hose putting out a fire. How do they control them? My left hand is my own again and I hold on to my ribs. Fingers deep into the bars that keep my heart captive, contained. Holding on for safety as I slam into every wall. One hard slam later and I sink. Sliding down the wall unto the floor. IM FUCKING TIRED. Mouth begins to speak without me telling it to, “Do you live completely open or are you still closeted to someone?” Like a starfish walking, my stone flesh reaches out with tiny pegs and begins to move me. I JUST WANT TO DISAPPEAR! I have no choice. Something inside me is churning. Chest still open, a beam of light breaks through the room. Destroying everything. This stone body puts itself back together again. Forces me to stand. I blink. Anchors itself into the ground. This dirt. HOW DID I GET OUTSIDE? WHERE IS THE CHAIR? I take a deep breath. “I will never allow myself to be another shadow, another joke, another’s prey. Fuck you and fuck me too for even participating. I am out and open and loud. I am free”. And as I close my mouth, I explode into a million, tiny pieces glittering. One last key remains. Underneath all these pieces. But that key has no lock. That key is what unlocked every challenge that I was not set up to face. The key that got me this far, is me. I am the key.

 

**I find it really hard to open up about trauma and my past because I left it all behind. So, the only way I could actually start traveling back to this deserted planet was to formulate a story that would disguise itself from me, but also allow me to be able to process what I’m feeling without feeling overwhelmed or needing alcohol to put my mental prison guards to sleep. Life happens and that’s that. There isn’t a goddamn thing anyone can do about it now. But, in this, there is so much I am still able to do. This doesn’t have to make sense, the way it was typed out. You don’t need to follow along. I’m tired of following the rules on how you’re “supposed to deal with something”. I’m doing fan-fucking-tastic and I feel free. Or as free as I can feel in this moment.

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