Print Story Come inside and be afraid
By nightflameblue (Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 06:33:50 AM EST) (all tags)
Of this impressive mess I've made
If you take a look now you will find

A series of events leaves me set for the ride through the past and blixco's entry pushes me down the path. So, what the hell. Let's have a look-see at my personal list of stupidities.

I have thrown away my vice
Done away with paradise
See what's going on inside my mind
Please let me out
Please let me out
Please let me

To understand the flailing that came, you must first understand the beginning. Or the near beginning. Or the vague place I consider the beginning even though it really isn't the beginning. Am I getting through? Probably not.

We moved from Iowa when I was only three or so. A couple years after that we took a joint-family trip with our next-door neighbors from the old joint up to Duluth during the off-season. Yeah, that's right. Cold, wet, nasty weather.

And somehow I still remember the way this girl looked in a bathing suit. She was cute as hell, and I was a ladies man of epic proportions back then. It was before life taught me that I'm really not all that. Five year old stud me spent more time hanging out with this girl than my old friends from the old neighborhood. Didn't seem to matter to them, they spent most of their time torturing small lake creatures and trapping them in man-made sand-traps around the shoreline.

She was the daughter of the people who ran the place we were staying, a series of cabins painted this odd lime off-green color and separated by large expanses of trees. What weirds me out is, after all this time? I can still see her perfectly. I doubt I'd recognize her if I saw her today, because I see the seven year old her. That's right, the older woman. Hellz yeah, I went for experience back then. I can see her dark hair, wet and matted in the pale, clouded afternoon light. I can see her blue eyes, boring into me as we walked together along that mudslide (not smart, but we survived).

And my first kiss, stolen in a moment away from the adults, hiding in the woods, supposedly playing hide and seek, but really just an excuse to get away from everybody else.

And the heartbreak when I left, not even getting a phone number or address so we could keep in touch. Just a wave and sad look as we drove past her on the way out, my parents telling me it would be stupid to try and maintain contact with someone I barely knew.

I still tear up when I think about it. It wouldn't have been stupid. I can say that now, thirty years later. Fuck you mom and dad, you never did get it.

Branded like an animal
I can still feel them burning my mind
I do believe that you made your message clear
I think I'm losing my mind
I think I'm losing my mind
Deprivating, isolating all that I feel
Leaving me with images I know are not real
Are those words of condemnation that I hear
I think I'm losing my mind
I think I'm losing my

And the girls that began to be born in the little neighborhood we lived in. All of them younger than me, the oldest by only one year, but most by five or six or more. I was their big brother, to all but the eldest. The guy they leaned on when bad things happened, the guy they hung with when good things were going down. Best friends that, as the years passed, grew to weird tensions as the younger girls developed crushes or fixations on me that I wasn't always entirely uncomfortable with. Not that I ever pursued because, well, that would just be icky.

But there's a certain beauty in that type of friendship. A strange beauty that not everyone understands. Being hero to a little gang like that? It does things to a guy, especially when he's a teenager. I never went through that phase of seeing girls as conquests. They were always my friends first. Which caused all sorts of problems for me down the line, but while there, in that place, was a great place to be. I never lacked once for a shoulder to cry on, in the times when it was needed. A gentle touch, a hug, a soft kiss on the cheek to remind me that there were people out there that cared. I was surrounded by that shit in a way that most teenage boys would probably, had they known, have been jealous of. But, most teenage boys would have lost it all in short order as they'd think each little moment of intimacy was a free-ticket to . . . what most teenage boys are interested in doing.

So when we left that place, I was set up with this weird impression of the relationships between boys and girls, men and women.

But I get ahead of myself.

Come inside now I implore
Do you think you can restore
The crucial pieces missing from my brain
What seems to be the matter dear
Why do you cry and shake with fear
I've only had the best dub me insane.
Please let me out
Please let me out
Please let me

Enter someone we'll refer to as RC. You see, RC? She was gorgeous. I met her in third grade, and we became fast friends rather quickly. She was short, really short. And me, being one of the taller guys in the class, well, we were quite the pair to see roaming around together I'm sure. And we did, a lot.

I had my first few dates with RC, though we really didn't call them that. It started simply enough. She had after-school activities. We usually sat together on the bus, so when she wasn't there, I'd get home, grab my bike, and ride back to school to meet her. We'd ride together and stop at this little dairy-freeze type place and take turns buying each other treats. We'd sit at the little picnic tables they had out front and tell each other about our day.

We progressed into high school to occasionally heading to a restaurant together, or just hanging out wherever. Lots of awkward moments where we'd end up somehow holding hands, or arms around each other, or weird little intimacies, but it was what it was and we never talked about it. We liked each other, and that was enough.

We drifted apart in the last year or so I lived there. She started serious dating with other guys. I never knew if it was because she thought I didn't want to be serious, or if she just saw me the way all the girls saw me, super-friend guy dude. I didn't come up with that idea until much later, but again, I get ahead of myself.

I was never really bitter about it. Not until...well, you'll see. I mean we were just friends, never anything else, no matter how my stupid brain twisted it up together. And so, when we moved away, I barely even said goodbye to her. One of my biggest regrets in life. The lesson from my parents still holding me to weird expectations. "It's pointless to try and maintain contact."


Branded like an animal
I can still feel them burning my mind
I do believe that you made your message clear
I think I'm losing my mind
I think I'm losing my mind
Deprivating, isolating all that I feel
Leaving me with images I know are not real
Are those words of condemnation that I hear
I think I'm losing my mind
I think I'm losing my

And we moved.

There was an awkward few years, let me tell you.

The girls I met then, they didn't play by the same rules I'd been taught growing up the way I'd grown up. One of them would say we should get together sometime and I'd think that actually meant we should get together sometime. You know, hang out, talk, friendly moments, and whatever.

But it never seemed to actually mean that. What it meant was, "hey man, you're cool, but don't ever try to get alone with me. Ew."

Because, you know, I was a guy. And guys are all about the raping if they get you alone.

I remember the day that became clear to me. New girl started at the grocery store one week. She was cute, real cute. Friendly as could be, with me anyway. I caught her staring at my ass while I was packing groceries into someone's car on drive-up. A strange, shy smile as she pushed her long, blond hair back behind her ear after I caught her. Now, I saw that as some sort of sign, but still, I held back. I'd been shot down left and right on anything outside of "let's hang with the gang" so many times at that point, I was getting more than a little gunshy.

So, when she approached me a couple hours later and asked if I'd like to go out sometime, I sort of assumed she was interested in, oh, I don't know, going out sometime. Now, I had no delusions. I knew better than to assume a sure thing. I thought maybe we'd go out, chat, and maybe I could have five minutes alone with someone again, after the two years or so I'd been away from home without so much as a single, solitary touch from a girl. After all those years where hugs and little pecks were as commonplace as salt and pepper to most people, it was like I was hanging out in some weird other-dimension where none of the laws of physics truly applied.

Here's my patheticness at this point: I'm thinking holding hands, hugging, maybe a kiss on the cheek would be cool.

Well, I'm thinking wrong.

Three different times after that I asked her when would be a good time to go out. She'd casually say she was busy each time. Apparently for the foreseeable future.

I let it go.

Finally, a few weeks later, I asked one more time if she was still interested in going out sometime. *DING*DING*DING*DING* RED FUCKING FLAG ALERT BITCHES!

She ran. And I don't mean figuratively. We were in a public place, surrounded by people we knew, and she fucking ran.

A couple minutes later I'm approached by someone that had known her far longer than I and told, in no uncertain terms, to leave her the fuck alone. Why? Because I was too serious and I was scaring her.

Now, anybody with any common sense at all would shut off at that point, right? Good thing I had no common sense.

One of the checkers saw/heard/pieced together everything that had happened there, and asked me if she could spend a day with me sometime. She was a very pretty girl, kind, soft-spoken, ridiculously touchy-feely with everybody but me. Up to that point anyway.

Suspecting I was getting the round-robin jerk-around, I gave her a flat-out no.

I left the job a few days after school ended and headed out to find a "real job." Bleh. Well, I went back to visit with the boys one night and she was there. She asked if she could have a minute with me before I left. Curiosity overcoming trepidation, I said OK.

She got her day with me via a moment of pleading, a hug, and a soft kiss on the cheek. I still remember the words as she hugged me, "I don't know why, but I want to spend time with you. Please let me."

Well, fuck me. Only a douchebag would say no to that. And I may be a lot of things, but a douchebag ain't one.

So we had our day. It was glorious. We went for a walk together, holding hands and talking. We ate out. We went to my house and I played guitar for her. We talked more, holding each other on the couch as we got to know each other more intimately. And I thought it was pretty damned brilliant.

Rumors flew around the store. Without me there to inject my two bits on what went down, the rumors became vicious. By the next time I stopped in, she was furious with me. I had no idea what I'd done. I only had contact with one person that worked there other than her, and he didn't know what the hell was going on, only that people were saying her and I were "going out."

I still remember those words too. "I'm not in a place where I can have a boyfriend right now. You need to back the fuck off."

I never talked to her again. I backed the fuck off. She had another boyfriend within three days. I was devastated when I found out. I had been played. Brutally.

I Don't know how much I can take
The secret thoughts inside me wake
I've lost what was within me
Oh sweet insanity

Enter meltdown, phase two.

I needed a place where things felt familiar, right, sane. I headed back home, spending a few days living with an old male friend from school and trying to regain my bearings. I became semi-obsessed with RC and memories of how comfortable things had been between her and I. My old buddy said, "dude, just fucking call her already. She's still a really nice person, and I know she misses ya. Here, I think I've even got her number here somewhere."

I called her.

Fucking stupid dumb motherfucker I am, I called.

We spent an evening together, her and I. A beautiful evening spent reminiscing, cuddling, remembering what was, confessing what we'd both hoped would be.

And that crazy fucking retarded moment at that party she took me to. I'm so stupid. After all our confessions, all our shared hopes, she drags me to a bedroom and kisses my cheek and gives me this look and all I can do is say, "thank you." What the fuck is that? Fear, that's what it is. Fear, and stupidity, and mixed fucking signals leaving my brain a steaming pile of cow dung over the years that had stretched between us.

But see, you're missing a piece. Another part of our confessions was the confession she gave me. She'd been raped not long after I left town. And not just raped, but beaten, bloodied, destroyed physically. She'd been in the hospital for days recovering before she was well enough to rest at home. No one had come to see her. Not one of her supposed friends.

She remembered me then, and the quiet, comfortable moments we'd shared together. Always so safe, always so safe.

So I had taken that moment as a test. Was I really still me, that guy she'd always trusted?

I answered with a resounding yes. Alone, in a bedroom, loud ear-bleeding music in the next room drowning out any sound we might make, and her giving me every sign she was ready. I held her, and we wept together. I still don't know if she wept because I didn't, or wept for joy that she'd found one more moment with a guy that didn't turn into sex.

We said goodye for forever, holding each other again on the step of that old house out in the country. Cuddling and talking, crying once again. She promised she'd come and visit me, as soon as she could get the time from work. I promised I'd help in any way I could, if she just let me know what she needed.

I think that may have been the first time I really fell in love. I sat in the car, dazed, after she'd said goodbye for the final time. My buddy came out to the car ten minutes later asking what had happened. Apparently RC had run through the house, bawling her eyes out, and she wouldn't talk to anyone about why. He asked if I loved her, and I told him I think I did.

The next week, back at home, back to work. Her and I were chatting on the phone most nights, making plans, putting things together for her visit. When suddenly, she drops this bombshell. "I'm seeing $newguy. I'm kinda hoping he gets me pregnant so I can move out of my parents."

My whole fucking world fell apart.

The next few days, weeks, saw me go into a tailspin of self-defeat and desperation. I barely acknowledged girls that said hi or smiled at me. I pretty much closed up shop and called it a day. Fuck that noise, it wasn't fucking worth it.

I went to see her one last time, god fucking knows why. I asked her if she was happy with the path she found herself on. She said yes, and that she felt like there was something really, really wrong with me. Told me I should probably get some help.

I told her I was beyond help and gave her one last hug, kissed her forehead, wished her the best in her life, and I left.

I've never spoken to her again either.

Now I try again to find
The thing that was my mind
Behold the undersigned
Who said I've lost my mind

And some fucking how, I ended up dating a girl that was an ex of one of my old friends from the grocery store. Though dating is probably absolutely the wrong word. He handed me her phone number and told me, "dude, get her to stop calling me. I don't care if you have to fuck her to do it, just get her to stop calling me."

I figured I could use the action, maybe it would fix whatever it was RC had told me was wrong with me.

We spent a couple nights lounging around her house, playing with her little rat-looking dog and getting to know each other. For some strange reason I gave her a necklace, because my priorities were fucked. She gave me a stupid loud kiss and told me thanks. She told me she wanted to go to my old home town with me someday, because I talked about it all the time and she wanted to see where I grew up.

So, stupid me, I started making plans.

She wanted to ask her parents permission. Seemed like an odd thing for a person our age at the time to do, but I thought whatever. Told her to ask them and let me know what was up.

I never heard from her again.

A mutual acquaintance told me a couple years later she wondered why I never called her back. Heh. I don't know, may have something to do with the whole false hopes bullshit brigade finally wearing thin on me at that point.

I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind

Turns out, there was something really fucking wrong with me. Really, REALLY fucking wrong with me.

Let me switch to another band for a moment - Souls at Zero - An open heart is an open wound

They were right.

I'm gonna assume most of you remember the saga of lovebitch from a past life around here. If not, it's out there, waiting to be discovered.

And there's my list of dumb.

I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind
I've lost my mind

And me craving the simplicity of the old relationships back home with those girls I grew up with was what made my wife fall in love with me. Walking her to her door and asking if I could just have a hug shocking her and sending the whirlwind of emotions that would capture us into motion.

So in the end, the beginning was what mattered. All in between memories and smoke. To be drafted upon for inspiration in the dark of the night, crafted and shaped into words that might mean something to someone, somewhere, some day.

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