(A write from last night’s workshop — it’s not edited, it’s still raw and heart-beaty. And, too, here’s a general warning that this piece contains some difficult and graphic material. Be easy with yourselves if you read on.)
This is what my story contains: this wreckage that is all of our wreckage, the fragmentary remembering that is never more than anyone else’s remembering but feels like less, necessarily, because of the shroud trauma and loss cast over every indecent obelisk of that reckoning: an ornate crimson tinting, veiling the sharp delineated carve and curvature of breath
the way trauma is constantly whispering in my inside ear, asking Really? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? like static, that haze freezing the smooth flow of my pen as soon as I drop my hand to the page and begin to write — static, the way a radio tuning goes cloudy sometimes once you remove the antenna your body provides when you pull your hand away and expect the music to keep on flowing smoothly on its own
this metaphor could extend indefinitely, remix with others, entwine, commingle, shadow, stave off — but what’s there is this girl holding a stepfather’s balls in her one hand while his tiny, ostensibly purposefully foreshortened cock (he told her and the rest of them that he had learned an ancient Taoist technique of pulling the base of one’s penis into the body so as to — what? — keep it warm? avoid hurting someone?) shoves rocks pushes in and out of her mouth. The clouds shroud my shoulders as I write the way her mouth clouded, too, eventually, filmy and white, and this was the livingroom couch and she was as worried as he was of getting caught — getting caught — by their (did I say their?) — her mother, his wife, the innkeeper, who was in the kitchen in the bathroom in the office who was keeping to herself after a day of his constant monitoring at the private practice office they shared
the one with the Him on the couch, she’s 16 or 17 or 18 or 19 or 20, this could have been any of those ages, I won’t risk the static return by venturing to guess which one it was exactly. her limbs might have looked long and coltish and adult and her mouth would taste clotted and congealed and congenitaled and corpulent and contained and this moment lives in nobody’s memory of her except his and her own because who can contain this kind of history? The parents and lovers who have heard the stories are longing to be rid of them, to shed their ears of the words as soon as they’re spoken, as soon as the breath around each component syllable has cooled and I write because I don’t want him to be the one still who knows me best in the world, most intimately, who knows all of my most fragmentary and unspeakable secrets.
Vomit up what I’ve told you, if you like. I’d like to. I think it’s the only reason I used to drink to such excess — heaving isn’t something my body does on command. If you can do it, then we can all bear witness to the marshalled splatters, the detailed reserves, our history finally visible for all to see.