11:48 p.m. - January 16, 2003
I presume he picked me because in some way I was weak and easy prey. This is what I really want to know, Why me and not somebody else? What was going through his mind all those times? I want to hurt him so he feels the pain and humiliation and the sheer hurt and then take everything away so he feels nothing at all and require him to bounce from stimulation to void the same way I do with my relationships, back and forth like a thaumatrope. The lack of bedrock, permanent queasiness. Uncertainty. Being on guard, always on alert. Suspicious.
There must have been a turning point when it ceased being a game with lollipops from Disneyland and him ruffling my hair and turned into a chase and desperation. I remember admiring him and it sickens me to say that, but it's true. Maybe I looked up to him, he a high school (college?) football player with a loud car and he saw something in my eyes. He lived next door and I would sit on his driveway as he worked on his car, fetching this or that, me hanging onto his narrative but I don't remember any words, just the picture and the warmth of the cement under me, me in blue shorts and a streak of grease. He taught me to kick a soccer ball over the practice wall at school and I persisted until I could do it every time. And then I think about the nubs on his bed's comforter, how I'd run my fingers over them and he would be on top of me.
I don't remember the first time. I don't know what or how it happened but I do remember him laughing and saying Your parents can't hear you scream your head off and maybe I gave up because it was true. Nobody could save me because nobody could hear. Maybe I yelled or screamed. No, I don't think so. I think I yielded, the animus subdued. I never told anybody and there came a time when I would hide and he would chase, when he would surprise me in places, when no matter what I did he would beat me and find me and I would creep around corners, stay in my room, and still it wasn't enough.
A frequent dream I've had for years focuses on climbing over fences into people's backyards, avoiding the streets, walking the fencetops like a gymnast on the high beam. And it is a good night when I make it home and a capsized boat in the dark when I wake up because I didn't and I'm thinking these dreams are metaphors for my walks home from school when I'd scurry and run or dart from objects the eight or nine blocks to home. I'd take circuitous routes going far out of the way to avoid him and other times I would stay at school as long as possible and school became my halidom because Mr. L. would give me a ride home if I stayed late enough.
Maybe it was a trade-off, an example of father-substitution. I don't know. I do know I can't shake the guilt I feel, that somehow I was complicit, encouraged him, brought it on myself. That is the hell of this, I'm thinking, the uncertainty of everything. That's bullshit. There was no uncertainty in the outright terror I felt then and still feel today, the terror at seeing him in the kitchen grinning that grin, translating for my parents and feeling trapped in my own home. Him chasing me through the tunnels in the park, the scratchy sound of sand on cement the voice of the bogey-man in my nightmares. The times when I would hear nothing and fixate on an object and watch the dust motes in the light and cry without making a sound and knowing I had no place to go.
That's all for tonight.
Thank you for listening.