I never told the real story about how my uncle Liam died.

It was just too awful. Too unbelievable. People would think I got scared and made something up because I was a kid at the time and that’s what kids do. Everyone knows he had a few too many beers while he and I were fishing. Everyone knows fell out of the boat and drowned when the weather got bad and the water got rough. Everyone knows I couldn’t pilot the thing by myself and it went into the rocks. That’s what I told the police and that’s what they believed. Didn’t matter that they never found the body. Fishermen go missing all the time. Their bodies don’t get found, either. The current around here sweeps everything away. Blood included. Continue reading “I never told the real story about how my uncle Liam died.”

Something horrible is happening to me on Grindr.

So. Many. Penises. Since Eugene left me, I must have looked at a thousand of them. Cut, uncut, black, mocha, tan, pink, beige, thick, thin, long, hairy, shaved, trimmed, veiny, smooth, micro, macro, and even the elusive gargantuan. I’ll be honest with you, though: it’s not even like I was open to the idea of a hookup at that point. It was still too soon. The emotions were too raw. That said, I wasn’t going to be ashamed of myself for looking at pictures of dicks to help pass the time. I like dicks.

After a few weeks of browsing, I started involving myself in actual chats. You know, more than the basic “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine” type of stuff I’d been doing. Most guys didn’t really want to talk about much; they were more interested in meeting up and banging. I wasn’t ready for that, though. I was polite enough with my rejections, and most of them were cool with it. Not all, but most. Continue reading “Something horrible is happening to me on Grindr.”

The story my grandfather told about why he got sent home from Vietnam might be the worst fucking thing I’ve ever heard.

I’m sharing the story because I was forced to sit through it during New Year’s Eve dinner and I’m so freaked out and god damn itchy that I need to get it out of my system. I’m sure some of you are going to breeze on by this little tantrum here and go right to the meat of the story because you’re thinking, “hey, I’ve got a strong stomach.” Well, go for it.

Boring stuff out of the way: he was drafted, and since he was short and skinny, he was a perfect tunnel rat. Those were the guys who wriggled their way through the ridiculously narrow tunnels the Viet Cong used to transport personnel and weapons, set boobytraps, and all that. And when I say narrow, I mean narrow. Here’s a pic.

So, gramps was wriggling around in a tunnel one day and a few bad things happened. First, the two other people with him got killed by a solitary VC while they were standing around the hole. Being a few feet underground and about twenty feet through meant grandpa couldn’t see who attacked them or know if anyone survived. He later learned he was the only one left alive, but he assumed the VC attacker would soon start throwing grenades into the tunnel and he’d be done for. After a few minutes with no sign of any incoming attack, grandpa breathed a sigh of relief and starting moving forward again. A little while later, though, it starting pouring rain. The tunnel began to fill with water. Continue reading “The story my grandfather told about why he got sent home from Vietnam might be the worst fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”

Sprouts

My sunflower seeds started talking to me last month. I couldn’t believe it; I’d been lonely for such a long time. It felt good to have friends. I bet it was my mom who asked them to keep me company. I miss her terribly.

The clearest memory I have of Mom was when she told me that all the beauty in the world grows from something small. I was helping her in the garden, and we’d just planted sunflowers. My favorite. A couple days later, she showed me the tiny, burgeoning sprouts that would eventually become the towering, yellow flowers I loved so much. She repeated what she told me about beauty. I remember being amazed. I’d wake up every morning and head outside and check their progress. Each time, they were a little bit bigger. Continue reading “Sprouts”

Under My Teeth

Something’s living under my teeth. Whenever I chew, it screams. I had to stop eating. Now I blend everything up and drink it so I don’t have to hear the sound anymore. Brushing my teeth is out. More screaming; bloodcurdling shrieks stopping only when I don’t apply pressure. Even when I sleep, if my mouth closes and my teeth click together, my ears are pierced with the sounds of agony. Continue reading “Under My Teeth”

Tiptoeing the Line of Consent

“No,” I insisted. “Absolutely and unequivocally. No.”

I studied his face. It looked like he was prepared to accept what I was saying, but somewhere in his eyes I saw what I’d been hoping for. Something I barely wanted to admit, but nonetheless what I wanted most of all: he understood that behind my protestations was a plea to be convinced.

He opened his mouth and I studied his tongue. It was pink and firm and marked with tastebuds. The sheen of saliva on the muscle was both inviting and repelling; I loved how it felt inside me. I enjoyed the sensations it produced. But it left things behind. When he pulled away, I would feel the air on the wetness it deposited. It was cold. Discomforting.

I met his mouth with mine and let his tongue slip between my lips. It brushed against my own and I tasted his saliva. His mouth was still salty and slightly bitter from our earlier acts together. Not altogether unpleasant, but still noteworthy. I assumed mine tasted similar. Continue reading “Tiptoeing the Line of Consent”

My street was blocked off last weekend and guys in hazmat suits were doing something at my neighbor’s house.

We weren’t allowed to leave our home; the suited men were everywhere and kept insisting it was for our own safety. They wouldn’t give us a hint about what was going on.

Being right across the street, I stayed glued to my front window. It was fascinating at first. Then interesting. Then tedious. Still, I felt like I had to keep watching. There was something going on in there and I needed to know what. Nothing on television gave any indication something was wrong. Our cell phones had no service. It was as if the signals were being blocked.

Toward the end of the first day, I’d started to feel a surprising amount of apprehension. My wife, too. It felt as if we were about to receive terrible news, despite not having any reason to. Continue reading “My street was blocked off last weekend and guys in hazmat suits were doing something at my neighbor’s house.”

The Little Ghost

When the little ghost first starting coming to me, he whispered nice things that made me feel good.

“You have pretty hands.”

“I love how you do your nails.”

“How did you get your skin to be so smooth?”

He stayed with me all day and all night. As the days went by, though, I must have done something to make the ghost angry. Instead of mawkish pleasantries, the messages grew negative.

“I’ve seen other girls with prettier hands.”

“What happened to your nails?”

“I’m sorry your skin looks so dry nowadays.”

I started to get upset. I’d grown fond of the little ghost. Since he’d always been so positive, it was comforting. But once he started to get mean, I wondered what I’d done wrong. I didn’t want my ghost to feel like I’d disappointed him. Continue reading “The Little Ghost”

My Constellation

December 10, 2015.
My last day on Earth.

From the moment I was capable of proper self-reflection, I knew there was too much of me. I filled more space than any person should. I would study the area around myself and imagine lines drawn between my body and the objects nearby. The lines were too short. Stout, vulgar lines barely spanning the interstices I used to prove I wasn’t sharing mass with the walls and furniture.

A plan bloomed within me and seeded the foundation of my identity. As I was shuffled from foster home to foster home, I began to restrict the amount of food I consumed. The general lack of care for my wellbeing, which I’m certain would have devastated the psyche of other adolescents, was my greatest advantage. With each refused meal, the lines separating me from the mass of the world grew longer. I bathed in the reinforcing glow of success. Continue reading “My Constellation”

Guuuuuuuuuuuuuys I’m saaaaaaaaaaaaad :(

So, um, remember when I told you about the baby I’m gonna have? Me too, lol. It’s gonna be so great. Oh but yeah that’s not why I’m sad.

You know how my parents aren’t really ever around and stuff? Yeah, it turns out they like…stopped living? Like a while ago? And I’ve been living with foster parents for like a year?

Haha no jk they’re fine but they’re on vacation lol. It’s cool they know how mature I am and let me be alone and watch my stupid brother even though my dumb sister got all dead and stuff. But yeah here’s why I’m sad. And no, it’s not poor gay Kevin (I call him Gaykev now.)

I promised my parents I’d go to church on Wednesday night and I did thank you very much. I walked all the way over there and went down all those flights of stairs and sat at mass for five hours until the Gift stopped bleeding. And breathing lol. Continue reading “Guuuuuuuuuuuuuys I’m saaaaaaaaaaaaad :(“