Friday, July 03, 2009

Floating

1984 might be a better year because sometimes I smile in the pictures, although this one’s with my aunt and the other one’s with her boyfriend, people I didn’t know. 1986 doesn’t exist, it doesn’t exist in these pictures and that’s when I had my bar mitzvah, at the service someone said I should be a preacher and I didn’t think Jews had preachers. Sara Kaplan said: now that you’re a man, and I blushed. People I invited who weren’t really my friends drank at the party afterwards, but I didn’t really understand what was going on.

But wait -- here I am with Robyn on our sixth grade camping trip, shortly before she broke up with me; she said she wanted more, I knew what more was supposed to mean. I liked talking to her, and hugging her soft sweatshirts, but more seemed like suddenly I would never breathe again. Except sometimes that’s how I felt anyway.

We were one of the first couples in our class, or at least in my head. The other couples were the one who everyone thought was a slut, with two different guys, and then the four others people said were the most popular. Much later, the one who everyone thought was a slut said to me: no one could understand it, because they knew you were a faggot. Wait: did she really say that to me? Later, I mean after the end of everything that we could imagine, for me at least, I would become a slut, and then we would be even, but she would never know that.

In the background of this photo is one of the guys who all the girls liked, or soon they would like him. One of the guys who used to call me faggot, but that was all of the guys who the girls liked, I mean the girls who didn’t like faggots. I fantasized that all those guys would drag me into the woods somewhere and then make me suck their cocks one by one. I look distant in this picture too, and Andrew in the background looks tough and angry, I don’t really recognize anyone else. Probably I didn’t recognize them then either, all boys and this was the time when I would look at boys and only see monsters. Except for the one or two who were my friends but mostly I preferred the adults who pretended something different on the outside.

A lot of the girls were different too, so I liked them better. I don’t remember what Robyn and I talked about, but I know that I liked to give her huge bags of Skittles, they were her favorite candy and I’d slip them in her backpack in between classes: I wanted other people to eat, somehow that made it easier for me not to. Here in the picture there are maybe 10 of us and she’s the only one who looks present enough to give a smile that’s almost not fake. I mean she’s the only one smiling at all, maybe girls were supposed to smile.

Back to 1985, even in my best moments it’s like there’s someone else in the room with someone else. But I can read one of the titles on my bookshelf this time: Butterflies. Oh, and up top: at least 19 Agatha Christies and a large volume that probably contains several more. Three four-leaf clovers in tiny gilded frames, no wait in one frame there are three so that makes five total. A big spool of gold sewing thread; a blue globe just above my head, which one is floating?

I am floating, we all know that. If I float long enough then I can figure out how to float away.

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