I took Kath to an event downtown called “Jazz in the Park,” something that the city put on every year in spring. I was having a lovely time trying to teach Kath to do the Charleston, while we listened to the band play on the stage. However, it quickly becoming increasingly apparent that Kath was not having as much fun as I was.
Kath looked despondent when she asked if I wanted to go back to her house. A sinister looking grin slid across her face as she explained that her parents were out of town so we would be able to hang out alone.
I was thirteen.
I knew what hanging out alone meant.
I was also just thirteen.
I didn’t really know what hanging out alone meant.
The onslaught began as soon as the front door closed.
Kath pushed me onto her sofa and climbed into my lap while undoing my tie. Our lips touched and my head began to reel with excitement. My brain stopped and suddenly I was a super hero. Nothing could destroy this moment, and nothing could hurt me. She turned her body towards me and straddled me and we kissed more deeply. I played along and put my arms around her, pulling her closer to me by the small of her back. She ground her hips against me and removed her shirt, then her bra. She pressed herself into me. Her pale flesh was warm and soft. The backup generators in my brain were starting to kick on and I began to feel nervous to the point of almost feeling sick, but I continued playing along.
Kath unbuttoned my shirt as our tongues danced elaborately in each other’s mouth. My hands explored her body while her hands explored mine. I had never seen or felt bare breasts before. They were so strange – small mounds of fat and flesh with even softer, light pink nipples on them. They were soft and warm, like the rest of her. I wanted to touch them more but the lights were coming back on in my brain and something was grinding to a halt.
Kath reached down to unbutton my pants as I instinctively pushed her away. My brain had finally caught up to the situation and things were definitely going way too fast for me. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle this sort of situation. I wanted to cry, I felt terrified. I looked to Kath for some sort of understanding or comfort. That’s when I noticed that her expression had changed from playful and sexy to horrified and angry.
Now that she was at a distance, she could see my exposed chest. She could see my shameful secret I had kept from her.
I have never felt as vulnerable as I did when she was examining me in those few seconds. “What is with those scars?” she blurted out. “What the fuck is wrong with your skin?” she screamed. “I-I was in an accident over the summer. I’m fine now, they’re just scars,” I tried to explain. “They’re disgusting! You’re disgusting!”
“Get the hell out of here, freak!” she shrieked.
I buttoned my shirt and grabbed my tie off the floor. I ran out of her house and over to my bike. I rode half way home until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I fell off my bike. I then got down on all fours, and started crying uncontrollably. Violent, nervous, shaking crying. I let everything out. Six months of frustration and hurt feelings were brought to a head that night.
I was a lonely planet encompassed in the deep darkness of that night – everything was spinning at a thousand miles per hour and I felt like I was falling through space. The tears came bursting out of me as hot magma running down my skin. Then came vomit erupting from my burning, liquid-iron core. My features were made uglier and more strained with each explosion. My shakes were earthquakes, destroying the nomadic civilizations in my mind.
I cried in that stranger’s lawn located somewhere in the mile between our houses for a long time that night. No one came out of their houses to talk to me or help me. I wonder now if they even heard me.
I lay on my back, trembling next to my puddle of puke for close to an hour. The viscous bile smell was disgusting and made me want to get sick again, but I felt too weak to move anymore. My head throbbed, wanting to split open at its invisible seams. Unable and unwilling to move, I just stared at the night sky, wondering what I had done.
I eventually got back on my bike and rode home. When I got there it was around eleven. My mother and step father were both passed out drunk in their room, likely with enough booze in their systems to down an elephant. I didn’t have to bother sneaking in.
I stumbled upstairs to my room and sat on the edge of my bed in the dark until I was too exhausted to stay awake any longer.