Oh God

I’m not sure which shocked me more. The fact that I had slept with an Evangelical Christian woman, or that one of her favorite bands was Pierce The Veil. In the past year, I’ve bounced around from guy after guy and when Dana came onto me, I just couldn’t help but accept the challenge. Dana had made it clear to me she was straight, especially when she screamed “I LIKE MEN!” then licked Nutella off my boobs.  I figured she was just using me- the crazy bisexual chick next door- to tie her up and dominate her before she played Jump Rope with her 2nd grade Vacation Bible school class. We were just fooling around, I didn’t expect the woman to bring me roses. And yet- over the course of hanging out with her for a week, I realized she really liked me.

 I was walking down a crowded hallway when Dana spotted my manic panic red hair and tackled me into a hug. I looked like a total badass. Or Satan. She was wearing a grey blouse and a cross around her neck as she cupped my face and kissed me—surprisingly unashamed.

“I missed you so much! I think one of the kids from bible study gave me pink eye. I had a dream about you and I wrote you poem. Can I read it to you?”

“Really?” I said. “You wrote me a poem?”

She grabbed my hand and ran with me into the handicap stall of the Women’s Bathroom. I was drinking a large coffee and the ice sloshed as she yanked me onto her lap on the floor. We laughed then kissed passionately, Dana biting my bottom lip. I nuzzled her nose against mine.

“Were not in the closet, were in the stall” Dana smiled. I cackled loudly as the toilet flushed. It occurred to me I once got drunk and gave a guy I met in a bar head in a bathroom- but this was so romantic! 

“Shh!” Dana giggled.

She handed me her notebook covered in short stories and flipped to my page, twirling my red hair around her finger. “I wrote you another note too. Read it when you get home.” Dana got up, and I clung to her like a Koala, giggling, as she lifted us both.  

Recently, I found out I have bipolar disorder. I’m seeing a therapist again because my life is out of control. During the past six months, I have had days were I didn’t sleep, and migraines three times a week. I have a bad habit of drinking heavily alone, or going to bars, getting drunk, and having sex with random guys when I’m manic. I once had sex with three guys in one night, and then went home and cut myself. Somenights, I wake up at 4’oclock in the morning rithing in pain and have to sleep with a pack of Veggie Burgers on my stomach, and corn beneath my arms. One bartender saw my cuts and asked me if I was a surfer. When Dana saw my body and asked me why, I said I wanted to die. I told her how I had almost gone through with it a few weeks ago with a bottle of pills. After I cut myself one night, I took a pill and downed it with a glass of vodka. I knew if I stayed in my apartment one more second, I would swallow the whole bottle. I got in my car and drove. Dana cradled me like a baby. We wound up driving aimlessly and holding hands listening to Korn, then went to starbucks. I chainsmoked while she read me her writing- which is actually very good. I took her to the beach where I parked a mile and a half away to save $5 on parking. She told me if I ever wanted to hurt myself again to call her.

When I got home, I took out Dana’s note. Bellow a peirce the viel playlist, was another kind of list

Dear Ashley- or maybe everything isn’t such bullshit

Yes, you are my kitty kat, and I love you.

Holding icecubes, eating spicy foods, breaking things, writing angsty poems or trashing a canvas, are all ways to take out anger and pain. Razors are for shaving honey. No one has the right to your body. I don’t care how many drinks you have or how nice to you they are. You are not crazy. You simply need more help than others. You also are not fat. Please don’t hurt yourself. Want to drink? Stop going to bars. Say no. Stay home. Watch Family Guy. Eat icecream. Brush your princess hair. Somewhere, there is a golden retriever waiting to be adopted and Helena Bonham Carter could be pooping right now.

Believe it or not, I am always thinking about you and these thoughts may not be safe for web- but know that you are important to me.

A few days later, I told Dana I needed to pray. Dana came with me. I grabbed rocks and stuffed them into my Little Mermaid bag and we went on a walk. Dana carried my bag. The noon July South West Florida sun trickled down our necks and Dana filled the silence. “I love long arduous walks in the sun. Gosh this bag is heavy. If we do end up dating, I am going to be so fit!” She raised the green totebag like a dumbbell. “Everyone is going to be jealous of my abs, man.” I started running into the trees. Dana screamed after me, “Wait up! I could carry you like the princess you are” I threw my shoes into a bush, then laid down with my face flat on the ground and cried. Dana dropped my bag, spilling the stack of papers, cigarettes, reciets, redlipstick and a day to remember CD on the ground. She sat down on her knees patting my back and asked if she could hold me.

“I lost my voice.”  My face was covered in dirt.

“Does your throat hurt?”

“No, I mean I lost my voice.” I sat on her lap once more and cried on her shoulder.  

“God is watching you. The fact that you are still alive after car accidents, and anorexia and bulimia, and shit that doesn’t even have words means something!” Dana said.

My hands were flat on her back while I shook.

“Why doesn’t he just let me die?”  

“Ashley, you have a purpose. You have survived so much! We are all searching for a place to call home to fill the emptiness inside us. For some people it’s sex, food, drugs-we all are broken. There is a reason why you are still here. You need to write, and draw! You need to break the silence! You need to stay alive! You need to use your anger and your pain creatively! Every day is another chance! Every god damn day!”

“I’m sorry you had to carry my bag” I wept.

“I carried it because I knew your arms hurt and I wanted to!” Dana said.  

“It’s really heavy”

“Well, yes.” Sweat had matted Dana’s black hair, and I swept it back and kissed her neck. “Do you know how much it hurts when I am not around you? God has to love you. You are so beautiful. I know you don’t believe that because you are too close to your pain, but you are.”

I started crying in her black hair. I was wearing a t-shirt and my arms were covered in dried bloody scars, and damp bandages from the heat.  

“Why?”

“Why do I think you’re beautiful?” Dana said. “Well, I always had a thing for artists and writers- and your funny. You’re obcessed with cinnamon in your coffee. Your writing is amazing. You have an adorable laugh. You sing in the car. You eat icecream for breakfast. You dance. You have over 10 shades of orange nailpolish. I think survivors are beautiful. You have scars and you bare them. You know you’re broken but you don’t care what people think because you want to help people overcome their pain. It’s honest and humbling, and raw and really kinda hot. You also like to walk more than any human being should. ”

I laughed and kissed her.

 “I love being with you and want to hold you at the end of every day and fall asleep in your arms each night.” Dana hugged me close.  I grabbed my green highlighter lying next to my A day to remember cd and drew hearts on each rock then threw them still on Dana’s lap, screaming. One rock hit a tree, bounced off and cracked open in half. Dana placed her hand on a stone and asked her to put all of her anger and rage inside of it. We threw it and screamed.  I grabbed my orange marker and I drew a heart on the last stone with a small crease in the center, but didn’t throw it. Instead, I got up.  Dana began shoving my things back into Ariel.

 “Help me find your shoes.” Dana said, looking through sawgrass.  I saw a cypress tree in the clearing and ran towards it. “Kitten! Where are you going?!”

She followed me to the tree. I had placed my hands on the bark.

“See that?” Dana said. “ That tree has been burned. It’s wet from a storm, there’s moss and shit growing on it, but it is still here!”

I took Dana’s hand and placed them on the last stone over top of mine.

“I will plant my rage and grow like the tree. Dana, you have carried my weight for me. I want you to have my heart.”

“Oh my god, the rock is symbolic!” Dana kissed me as the sun shined through the empty spaces between tree branches. Then she grabbed my hand, leaned in, and whispered into my ear.

Dip me In Nutella and throw me to the lesbians!

All I wanted was some Nutella, but I wound up role playing with Nancy Drew.

My new friend Dana from my Math class had come over to study synthetic division and let me draw her, when we began talking about relationships. Dana was sitting across from me in the hallway when I walked in with a blue Tool T-shirt and a big gulp larger than my hand. Her head was pointed down feverishly scribbling Sweeny Todd fan fiction in blue ink mixed along with algebraic equations. Dana had a haircut you’d see on a six year old girl- thick bangs and all even shoulder length blonde hair. She reminded me of Bettie Paige- the kind of classic 50’s beauty you no longer see in today’s society. Her lopsided bangs flopped to the side like a golden retriever as she beamed when I offered her half of my Nutella and M and M sandwich. Dana had transferred from an Evangelical college and was saving herself for marriage. She told me the bible says sex is a beautiful act that bounds a man and a woman in love. I giggled I loved to tie up guys with ropes and leather. Some men call me intense. Others call me insane.  In the past year, I have had four boyfriends, and so many one night stands with guys that they no longer had names but titles- “The Guitarist On top of my Volvo guy” “The cocaine dealer guy” “The Publix Deli guy”, “The Therapy guy,” “The wiccan with six wives in another realm guy”. Partially, because men are assholes, but partially because I can never trust them with my heart and commit. The drive back to my house had been spent blasting Korn and chainsmoking out the window. Dana loved my Manic Panic Fire Engine Red hair and listening to my interesting love life. I handed Dana a wine glass of grape juice-because she didn’t drink-while she looked at my paintings of naked women. Then, Dana asked me if I had ever been with a woman before.

“Actually, I’m bisexual,” I said.

“Really? I’ve always wanted to try it- but I would never know how to go about it. I thought about placing an ad on craigs list.” For a moment, I thought about telling Dana I had a pink vibrating strap on dildo in my closet- but quickly decided against it and took a swig of my wine instead. I was sitting on my living room floor ranting to Dana about how sick I was of men, and meaningless casual sex, when Dana said: 

“Kiss me”

 I hadn’t been with a woman in a long time, and smiled.

“Come here, girl”  I said. Dana got onto the floor on her knees timidly with her crazy bangs. I cupped her face, and kissed her, slowly at first, and then harder. I could taste her grape juice as I bit her bottom lip and my hands had wandered playfully behind her back, when I finally pulled away and Dana was bright pink.

“Oh Wow.”

“You’re blushing” I smirked.

 “That was nice.” She seemed in a far off place. Then: “Did you undue my bra?”

“Yes” I laughed.

Dana took off her purple bra beaneath her shirt and threw it on my living room floor.

“I wore this bra the day we met. It’s a push up. I wanted to look good for you. ”

I’m always surprised when anyone is attracted to me, but this was just so bizzare! Not only did the woman play World of Warcraft, she sang in a god damn choir!

 “I’m straight but could I bite your neck?” Dana said.

“Okay!”  Our little straight girl was taking to this like a duck to water. Dana leaned over. Her fingers were cool as she swept my red hair to the side ate my neck like a peach. I sucked in air.  

“Did I just make you moan?!” Dana said. She seemed so excited. As if she had just been casted in her Vacation Bible School play as the chipmunk who talked to jesus. She rubbed her hand on my thigh grinning. “What would happen if I touched your boobs?”

I laughed again removing my shirt while her mouth gaped open.

 To be honest, I liked watching her reaction to touching me more than the touching itself. Watching her face light up when she squeezed my breasts- I felt like I was watching a child learn to read. Her lips would move, as if struggling to pronounce something, and then they would part in a smile. It was so innocent and adorable, I couldn’t help but laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Dana said.

“Nothing.”

“Could you.. um.. get naked, maybe? I’m straight. ”

“TOTALLY straight, Darling!” I snickered. “Let’s slow it down a little. What else do you want?” 

 “Could you dominate me like one of your guys?”

 I straddled her lap and kissed her hard. Then, grabbing her hands and holding them up in the air, I listened to her breath quicken until she was panting inside my mouth and I slammed them up against a wall with a thud. Dana moaned.

“Did you like that, Baby?” I breathed in her ear and bit the lobe. She pulled me closer into a tight hug, while I sucked her neck.

“I don’t think I’m going to talk about this in therapy.” Dana said. Dana was a binge eater who wanted me to come to a meeting her therapist had told her about for support. I told her I had been seeing a therapist when she noticed a bottle of red and orange lithium on my counter for Bipolar disorder. She seemed so understanding listening to me talk about my moodswings, selfharm and my promiscuity in the car, and she shared with me she hated her weight and how she looked. I asked her if It was okay we ate dinner- knowing how hard eating can be and asked her to pick out what she wanted. She told me to pick, and we wound up eating Nutella and M and Ms on pumpernickel bread on my floor.  I cupped Dana’s face and kissed her again.

“There is no way a number could ever tell you how beautiful you are.”

Dana’s periwinkle eyes began to sparkle, wet with tears. “Are you just saying that?”

 “You’re gorgeous Darling” I kissed her on the nose. “Would you let me dye your hair?”

“What color?”

“Blue Black” I smiled.

“Well, I have church in the morning” Dana said hesitantly.

“I’ll let you see me naked.”

“Okay!” Dana said. 

   I got up off her and giggled. I dyed Dana’s hair seated naked Indian style on my bathroom floor. Dana rinsed her hair, then stood up to look in the mirror, squealing and clapping her hands with delight.

 “You gave me a hickey!” I wrapped my arms around her from behind. “It’s like I’m a new me. A me that gets hickies from girls..” Dana began rambling about how great of a kisser I was while I went into my room. When I returned, I tied her wrists so tight with rope she winced.  “You really went to town on my neck. Gosh this knot is tight.”

“I dated an eagle scout.” I giggled. “Get on my bed.”

“Yes sir! Do you want me to call you sir?”

“Get on my bed now!”

 I guided her to my bed where Dana layed down laughing while I straddled her.

“If I go too far, let me know kay?” I said. I dove my underneath my floral comforter.

“Okaayy—What the fuck is that?! OH MY GOD! That tickles! Oh GOD! ”

 I had placed ice on her nipple, and Dana was screaming. I popped my little red head up like a carnation, and untied her laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

Dana sat up and pulled me tight on her lap once more, my face pressed against her cheek. “I love holding you like this. I just want to protect you. I love you. ”

And then, all of a sudden, I began to cry. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was just the intimacy of the situation. It was nice to be able to talk to someone about my feelings, my mental illness and be validated. I had kept a secret for so long. Most of my friends are guys, which makes talking about certain things difficult- and no- I don’t mean tampons. Or Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t taken my meds in a week. Dana touched my face.

“Ashley, this is weird, but can I kiss your scars? I’ve wanted to all day.” 

I nodded. The next morning, Dana was sitting on my couch mashing a sugarfree Klondike bar with marshmellows, rainbow sprinkles and more icecream. I walked straight passed her to the bathroom where I locked the door and cut myself until I started to cry.  Dana began to knock madly.

Ashley, open the door right now.

I couldn’t stop.

Ashley sweetie

I continued to cut myself.

Dana knocked harder screaming

Ashley open the fucking door!

I forced myself to stop by throwing the blades crying and opened the door. Blood covered my arm and dribbled from my elbow down to the base of my wrist.

Dana hugged me.

“It’s okay! You were just too strong this week. You’re safe with me. ”

There was a pool of blood dripping onto the bathroom floor. As I stood there, Dana dabbed a piece of toilet paper on a cut. A trail of blood marked the pathway from the bathroom to the couch where Dana layed me down. I grabbed a pair of scissors off the coffee table and Dana took them away from me. I was weeping and covering my eyes. Dana ran to the kitchen and grabbed a pink and green dishtowel off the stove then wrapped it around one of my arms like a tourniquet. I was crying and told her I hadn’t been taking my meds for a week. Dana applied pressure to the cloth, and began to cry too. Blood was staining the green brown. Dana removed the cloth, then patted the arm. There was blood on her shirt.

“It looks okay. I think you’re going to be okay. I was scared for a minute, but it looks better now. ” She moved the cloth and applied pressure to the next. I told her she didn’t need to do anything. I was fine.  

“Shut up! I want to! I’m going to take your lithium and give you what you need for the weekend okay?”  

She grabbed my box of bandaids and began to apply them. Sixty strips inside the box were placed on my arm. Dana kissed me on the mouth, quick, then cleaned the bathroom. She told me to remain lying down and watch tv. I figured after that, Dana had gotten her jollies and would never want to see my crazy ass again when she texted me hours later she wanted to lick Nutella off my boobs. The next Monday, I made her cookies and brought them to her in class. The professor noticed her hair and asked her about it. Dana looked over at me with hearts in her eyes.

“Ashley did it for me.”

Dana kissed me on the forehead and took the ziploch baggie.

“You make me melt. I’d say I’d give them to my roommates but I know I’m going to eat them all anyway.”

 Dana kissed me on the forehead and we held hands walking to the library. “How are you doing?”

“I’m better now. I just wanted to say sorry-“

“Hey no apologies with me, remember?”

“I know yesterday was kind of crazy.”

“It’s in the past. It doesn’t exist anymore.”She looked at our fingers intertwined. “I like being your Darling.”

I smiled.  

“You know, I think I may have some Nutella in my purse.”

Dana laughed. “Do you want to sit down for a little? You can sit on my lap again” She placed a strand of black hair behind her ear and her eyes shimmered like Amethyst beneath the fluorescent lighting.  

“Okay. Let’s go to the third floor. I always wanted to have sex in the library. The third floor is always empty.”

Dana laughed so hard she snorted. “You’d have to be so quiet.”

“Exactly! Even more exciting!”

Dana placed her things on a leather couch near the window and patted her thighs. I sat down in some guy’s longsleeve shirt I found laying on my floor- the only long sleeve shirt I could find. Dana squeezed me tight and I kissed her.

“I missed you” I said.

“I missed you too. This week I have to practice for my Vacation Bible school skit.”

She nuzzled my cheek with her face.

“This is so new for me.” Dana whispered. “Prehaps we should create a mating call or codewords of some kind.”

“Wanna go make out in the racks?” I winked.

Dana looked around checking if the coast was clear. “Make a noise and I’ll come find you.”

Me: TEHEHEHEHE

Dana laughed. I skipped through HQ-HI like a fairy, pretending to read about the cold war.

Me: TEHEHEHEHE

“Ca caw ca caw!”  Dana said from the Archetecture section and I burst into laughter. She appeared in my aisle where I grabbed her face and kissed her like Audrey Hepburn in a fifties movie.  My red lipstick was all over her mouth.

“Sorry, I got my lipstick on you.”

 “Being kind of gay is fun.” Dana said, wiping the smudge.

I keeled over laughing. “Isn’t it?”

“My hickey is still there you know.” She whispered, lifting a strand of hair and showing me the puffy red mark in the shape of west Virginia below her jaw. “I really like it. It’s like a stamp saying your mine.”

I opened a red book about soviet russia while a boy passed us.

“Do you like history?” I said.

“I do, I really like Victor-”

I kissed her once more, raising the book as a shield to cover our faces. Our wet mouths made a loud smack smack smack.

“I feel like batman, or a secret agent.” Dana whispered. I was getting a phone call and started walking towards the elevator. “Ashley, wait up! I’m coming!”  

“Would you like to do something this week?” I said. I ignored the call and put my phone back into my bag. The silver doors closed.

“Of course.”

I pushed the yellow button, as Dana swiped my hair to the side, and bit me on the neck.

Recycled Poetry (short story)

The moment I saw her scribbling pentagrams on Jesus Weekly in green highlighter, I knew she was necessary. Katie was sitting on the grey chair Indian style, showing the soles of her flip-flops that had holes in them from when she put out her cigarettes. I had just walked into my therapist’s waiting room wearing my chartreuse Chico’s mini gulf emporium uniform with Grass stains covering my crotch and I asked her what the stars meant. Her Blue eyes sparkled like sapphires beneath the fluorescent lighting.

“I am the queen of darkness,” Katie said.

I nodded, silently. I took a seat next to her on the metal chair waiting for our Toxic Relationship group to begin. My friends had pressured me into stupid therapy after my breakup with Julia. Julia and I had been dating online for 8 months after we met in a World of Warcraft chat room, when I had finally saved enough money to fly to Seattle to meet her in person. We decided that we would meet on The Space Needle on Christmas Eve, and I waited 8 hours in the view room staring down at the city lights, like jingle bells. It was 11:30 when Julia finally arrived. She whispered she was sorry, but she had met someone else. Her kiss tasted like Rum and eggnog, and before I could stop myself, I was crying.  

 From the corner of my eye, I watched Katie’s chest rise and fall. She was close enough that I could see the chippings of dried clay in her hair like snowflakes. Katie was wearing her green military jacket with her cigarettes and motorcycle keys in the front chest pocket. I watched her straddle her bike after group every Tuesday, and wished I was her jacket- ever so gently keeping her warm beneath red lights and protecting her beautiful olive skin like a coat of armor. I wondered what would happen if I asked her out for coffee. Katie and I would sip chi lattes and talk about how crazy love is, then I would begin to feel congested because I would forget my inhaler, because really, asthma is so uncool, and Katie would bring me back to her place for some Benadryl— except Katie’s front porch would be a trap door covered with leaves and as I leaned in to kiss her goodnight, I would fall through to her pit of Torture. Then she’d shackle me in chains and make me put on cherry jasmine rain lotion. God, I would love that.

Perhaps this therapy thing was a good idea. I looked down at my brown stained converses and sighed. There was no way a classy evil babe like Katie would go out with some wannabe asthmatic poet like me with poop on his shoes. My therapist always tells me to “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Some therapists don’t know shit. This morning at work, I found a pair of dirty underwear on the green. Apparently, there was just something about miniature golf that made people shit themselves. I had little time to write anything with my hours.

“Welcome back, Andrew.” The leader of the group, Ricky, said. Ricky was a small round man that reminded me of a weeble wobble. He had long grey hair that he frequently wore in a ponytail. “Would you like to do some sharing this week?”

“Um. I think I’m good” I smiled. “Nobody wants to hear some internet sob story.”

The rest of the group’s papers shuffled. A woman with permed red hair raised her hand eager to take my place to talk about her husband who refused to have sex with her unless she put on a clown mask and shoved a banana cream pie in his face—when Katie touched my knee.

“I’d like to hear it.”

Her nails were painted orange with black tips, and I smiled.

“Well, She dumped me on Christmas eve after I had spent $800 on a plane ticket.”

“And…how does that feel? What is that like?” Ricky said. The rest of the group looked at me like I was a kid in one of those Unicef commercials eating porridge. My love life was cream of wheat.

“It feels pretty messed up. I was in love with her.”

“Elaborate.” Katie said. “You never met her before.”

“So? We still talked. We still skyped. We still sent emocons!”

“I don’t think it’s possible to love someone you’ve never met. Love happens in an instant as soon as your first kiss. You just know from the moment you lock lips with someone and every kiss after only proves more and more that you were meant to be.” Katie said.

“Valid point, Katie-” Rickey said.

“I wrote her a poem. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written.”

 “Well, I haven’t read this poem,” Katie smirked.

I went through my fanny pack, dumping the contents- inhaler, bubble yum and all on the floor, til I found the folded piece of loose-leaf and handed it to Katie, a bit harder than I would have liked. “How can you say I never loved her?”

As Rickey started talking about boundaries, I grabbed my inhaler and walked to the bathroom. I looked at my red eyes in the mirror and punched the paper towels, angry at how emotional I was even after all this time. When I opened the bathroom door, Katie was leaning up against the bulletin board, her lips as rare and sweet as a black tulip, in a smile.

“Let’s go out somewhere.” Katie said. “My treat.”

I followed her outside the brick building. Her flip flops made a shipa shipa sound across the freshly wet lawn. There was a DO NOT WALK sign across from us in big letters. 

“Is it really appropriate to go on a date with someone in your toxic relationships group?” I said.

Katie handed me her white helmet as the sprinkler went off. I stood there watching her straddle the bike, knowing that I should walk back into the meeting, but Katie’s green eye shadow had paralyzed me like a moth in a streetlight. Man oh man, I had it bad for this girl. 

“Is it really appropriate for a 28 year old man to play World of Warcraft in his parents basement?” Katie smirked.

“I don’t play WOW in my parents basement.” I put my helmet on and got on the pretty ladies bike. “I have my own room.” 

As I wrapped my arms around her waist, her hair blew in my face. I could practically taste her blueberry smile. We drove through a red light, nearly hitting a green Honda civic and Katie laughed- manically.

“Don’t you feel so alive?” She screamed. Her dream catcher earrings were flapping in the wind and I wondered what other things had been trapped in their webs.

I looked at the cars passing us, my heart buzzing in my throat like a coffee grinder. When we finally turned into a restaurant on the beach, I kissed the gravel parking lot.

“You’re so funny, Andrew.”  Katie said. She twirled a tangled strand of hair around her finger and smiled. I could see lake waves behind the restaurant as the sky turned a shade of orange. “This place is great.”

I looked up at the crooked sign La Fiji. The restaurant had a dirty white wood deck missing several pieces of wood. The windows were pitch black. 

“Perhaps.. we could try someplace less.. sketchy.”

“Oh come on!” Katie said. She grabbed my hand and guided me, each step producing a creak. A woman with an eye patch seated us outside by the lake and gave us a couple menus. 

“I think I might just have a diet coke,” I said.

“Get whatever you want, doll.” Katie neatly folded her menu. “I think that you’d like the guacamole.”

“I only have a 1.27.”

“I told you it’s my treat!”

“Gosh, I’m really sorry -”

“Don’t say sorry. Get the guacamole! Get the tacos! Get everything! I’ve got a gig with my Christian band tomorrow at a baptism party.”

“I thought you were a wiccan,” I said.

“Hey, they need a bass player and I need money.”

“That’s amazing. I’d love to hear you play.”

“You should come, but I’m not sure they allow people in lime suits.”

“Its my uniform. I work at a minigolf place by day, writer by night.”

“And how is that working for you?” Katie said.

“About as well as dating. Except my poems never shatter me in a million pieces on major holidays. I just cant seem to get anything down.” 

“Do you plot when you write?”

“Well, yes-“

“Don’t. Just let it flow. Writing is like life. The beauty is in the discovery.”

 The waitress came back and Katie ordered us drinks, a huge fishbowl of alcohol in the color orange.

“What is it?” I smiled.

“Don’t ask questions. Just drink.”

I took a swig and immediately began coughing violently. The drink sloshed all over the wooden table.

“So tell me about your love life” Katie said.

“What more do you need to know?” I sputtered.

“I don’t know. If you could be with anyone in the world, who would you be with?”

“I just want to be with someone I can give everything to. Someone I can read each night before I go to sleep like my favorite poem. Someone I can talk about the deep things with like who is the coolest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-” 

“The coolest Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle is deep?” Katie said.

“Not only that, but you know, what is the meaning of everything? What is the purpose of our universe?” The orange tank had gone to my head and I was dizzy.

“Personally, I prefer the Power Rangers,” Katie smirked.

“I am shocked and appalled.” I beamed.

The sky had faded to darkness, and Katie and I decided to go for a walk by the lake.

“It’s such a beautiful night,” Katie said. “You can never see stars though.”

“So what about you and your love life?” I tried to smooth out my chartreuse uniform and act cool.

“Oh, I was with this guy that used to throw stuff at me.”

“You mean he used to hit you?” I stopped walking. For the first time I noticed a small half-moon on Katie’s cheek.

“We all go through things at different times. I left before he could go through me.”

“You deserve a guy who will treat you like a queen.”

“I’ve never been that to anyone.” Katie laughed, and through her arms back as if gesturing at the darkness around us . “Just to the night.”

“You have a smile like the moon.” I said.

“Oh really? Is it cheesy? “

“On the darkest nights, it still manages to fill the sky with light.”

Katie smiled, faintly. Maybe it was just the cold weather, but It looked as if she were about to cry.   Instead she started whistling a Christmas song by Billie Holiday. I placed my arm around her and she melted into me. I thought about Loraine and our first and last kiss.

“Do you think everything happens for a reason?” I said. I could see my breath in the night air.  

“No.” Katie said. “I think sometimes the universe throws the absolute randomest shit at us.”  She moved her feet indian style. “But sometimes, the most random things in life, are the greatest you’ll ever know.”

I nodded and looked out at the lake, trying to whistle too. Then Katie did the most amazing thing then: She leaned herself inches away from my face

“You need to put your lips like this.” Katie said.

“Like this?” I mimicked. My lips were perched but no sound came out.

“Like this” Katie whistled. Our mouths inched closer, like smoke until we were breathing the same air.

“This?”

“You almost got it.” I could feel her breathe in my mouth, my lips finally making a sound when her lips met mine.

COME SEE MY ART IN DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS TONIGHT!

My first Art show AT A GALLERY is tonight yall!!

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

My angry artwork about Rape and violence against women is finally going to be put out for the world to see!! Today will also mark the anniversary (freaky/morbidly) of my trauma when I was 14.

My supportive friends and I are going to bust open champagne and watch fireworks!  

I’ve been thinking a lot about rape and who I have become in the past seven years.Seven years ago, I was a 170 pound straight C student in Weight Watchers who watched Family Guy every afternoon after school with a bag of chips and a pack of hohos (Weight watchers 10 points!)
I wore crosses, wanted to work for Disney and played a red bass guitar in a Christian band called Indoor Yard Sale. I was the only girl in my sunday school class, a tomboy, who listened to Green Day with the guys and prayed every night for highlights and Travis Barker.I was very religious: an acolyte, a bell player, a member of the church choir, and a vacation Bible school teacher.

Today, I am wearing a pentagram, smoking a cigarette. There is charcoal on the black metal table, and I am drawing a woman with stringy pink hair at a coffee shop. There are bandages all over my arm from when I decided to break beer bottles for an art piece. I weigh less than 100 pounds, and tend to get drunk very easily and make out with strangers- including one drummer I met when I was dancing topless at a wiccan ritual.  Eat your heart out Travis!

 My Dad told me he would come to my show Sunday. I was surprised he wanted to come. Dad told me years ago when he found naked drawings in my closet from a class I was taking they were great. But when I told him I no longer wanted to work for a magazine and wanted to write and make social commentary cartoons about Women’s issues like Family Guy for a living, he rolled his eyes and said it was the stupidest thing he had ever heard. My dad is a lot better than my mom when it comes to talking about it, but he has been angry - which I can understand- and tells me I need to stop sleeping with random guys all the time.  This too, is understandable, but also kind of mean. I can tell when he see’s the gallery, he’s either just going to walk right back out, or stare blankly. My godsmack cd would be played in the silent car several times. Then, at the restaurant he will say something and I will cry in the bathroom, or just down five drinks and pretend it didn’t bother me.

I told him I was going to start selling Art, but really, I have decided I am going to start stripping.  

 I was going to become a naked model for Art students because

  1. I need money desperately to buy canvases and paint and could possibley network with local artists and receive supplies for free.
  2. I’ve always wanted to toss my top in a studio since the first time I was allowed to watch Titanic. And
  3. With all my body issues, anxiety, and shame, getting naked was strangely empowering when I’ve done it at wiccan drum circles.

I’ve decided my life starts again today- without guilt or shame-and doing what I have always wanted to do since I was a little girl:

Take off my clothes and show the world what it needs to see.

Mee!

Mee!

God damn

God damn