This Story is Probably Not Long Enough For You to Care
When we were five they told us, “Words Hurt.” And I guess we took that to heart. Because when I was five no one cared if I would rather play with the girls than the boys, if I preferred to put on a tutu and dance around instead of fight with wooden swords. No one noticed, or maybe no one cared.
When we were eight they thought we knew that words hurt. But now boys threw dirt in my face on the playground under the teacher’s less-than-watchful eyes. And scratched under my nails and mingled with the tears on my freckled cheeks as I scrubbed myself and practiced my brave face in the bathroom mirror. And I did it again and again with a prayer that someone would notice now.
When we were ten those boys thought I was a sin. And they kicked me in the stomach and on the arms where they thought it would hurt the most. And told me all about what God does to fags like me. And then I travelled to church with my turtleneck on the hottest days of July (“I was cold”) so no one would see the paintings of black and blue along the once-taunt muscles. Where the priest in his black clothes with the little square of pure white on the color told me all about what God does to fags like me. And I went home and sobbed into my pillow and clutched at my rosary that now burned hot like hell because I knew that I wouldn’t change.
When we were thirteen I learned how to cut. I learned that I could let a bit of my pain out day by day, until maybe it was all gone. Until I withered and shriveled away. The teachers pretended not to notice when the seniors pushed my scrawny body into lockers. “You know, maybe if you got yourself a girlfriend, things wouldn’t be this bad.” And locked in my closet that held my Ohio State hoodies, I laughed bitterly at the irony of it all as the razor sliced across my wrist and blood mingled with tears.
When we were fifteen I told my parents. And they screamed. And they told me all about what God does to fags like me. And then they began to drink. And then my Dad broke a bottle. And then he pushed me against a wall. And then he cut my face with the shard, and laughed. And laughed. And pushed me to the floor like the little faggot I was and chugged and chugged. “You’re no man. You’re no man, fairy.” And I just lay on the floor in the pool of my own blood because nothing would change. And now I couldn’t wear anything short of a bodysuit if I didn’t want to reveal the places where I released my pain.
When we were seventeen I had enough. And I went home late enough after calculus to avoid the jocks who lurked the parking lot and early enough to avoid my parents. And my phone buzzed and buzzed with the daily abuse. “Kill yourself.” “Faggot.” “Fairy.” “Sinner!” And I laughed and laughed as sweat and tears streamed the floors and were swept along with the sea of blood as the knife slammed my wrist again and again until I fell to the floor and didn’t feel.
So I guess my father was right.
I am no man.
But if I am truly to burn in hell, at least I know I am the man he never was.
So I wrote this story for my creative writing class. I need some help- I know many smart people are here on tumblr! Can you share this and message me feedback? Thank you so much!
(PS Im sorry for the mistagging- I want lots of people to see!)