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I usually have a nap in the afternoon. Today I had a dream that my friend and I were standing in a gravel baseball field. We were both retching violently, vomit splattering up onto our shoes from the gritty ground. For some reason we both found it very amusing. Our heaves were interrupted by great chortles of laughter. Air from our lungs fought with the stews from our stomachs to be the first out of our mouths. Eventually, we both toppled over in pain and weakness and hilarity and found ourselves rolling around in the dust and our own regurgitations.
I wonder if you'd still be sexy if you weren't a librarian. You're not muscular, you dress poorly, and last week I was shocked to discover that you'd shaved your head. Still, I fantasize about you sitting on my lap, reading to me from my favourite book. About dancing with you between the shelves, volumes falling to the floor in a trail behind us. I would slip you my phone number as I hand you my library card if it wasn't so disgustingly unromantic. I'll just have to keep dreaming and keep pretending I'm not familiar with Mr. Dewey Decimal.
It's my father's birthday today. I played the polite forgotten son and called him as soon as I came home from school. There were long pauses in our conversation - pauses he would have avoided by sending me a card in the mail. I would call them uncomfortable pauses too, if I didn't think he was comfortable. Maybe he doesn't know I can tell he's watching Jeopardy! while I'm talking, trying to remember the capital of Indonesia instead of listening to the things I'm trying to tell him. Maybe he'll learn to listen next year, at forty-five. Happy birthday, Dad.
If I have to hear another person complain about the price of gasoline, I'll have an aneurysm. I don't want to hear how difficult it is for you to afford to keep destroying the earth. I don't want to hear about how you had to wait in line for two hours to fill your tank on ‘cheap gas night'. If you must pollute my lungs with carbon monoxide, do so silently. I will, however, listen to anyone who wants to tell me they've sold their car and that from now on, they'll be taking the bus to and from school.
Do you realize what causes your ears to ring? It's the sound the probe makes when it's being signalled. We all have them. They've been programmed into our DNA to develop from organic materials. You know They are checking up on you when that high-pitched tone pulses from your inner ear. Don't be foolish and think, "Oh no! They know I know!" Don't imagine thick syringes plunging into the back of your head. Don't dare picture a green glow outside your bedroom window. Close your eyes and think of something peaceful. Tremble, if you must. Just don't think about Them.
What are you thinking about? Are you recollecting the past forty years and thinking about what you could have done differently? Are you still convinced that you have failed as a mother? It's your birthday and there's really only one gift you need: the assurance that you couldn't have raised us better. I want you to look at both of us today and think of the people we've become. Do we look like the children of a failure? No. We're the products the love and wisdom harboured in a single mother. We are wonderful people, Mom. Can't you see that?
You are lucky I'm ambitious, Mr. Writer, for I keep a dictionary at my side when reading. Any unfamiliar words that pop up can be easily defined by flipping a few pages. However, the majority of readers are not as motivated as I am to learn new words. Your magniloquence is perceived as narcissism, not intelligence. Why not tone down your flowery language so regular people can enjoy your work? I understand that some words convey a more specific meaning than their simpler synonyms, but the latter tend to do the trick. Ideas should not be written solely for scholars.
Yesterday my stepdad bought me a Betta splendens, aka the Siamese fighting fish. These little guys like to live alone in small, shallow pools of water, so he came with a tiny "Betta condo". I tried to act pleased about getting an unexpected gift, and normally I genuinely would be, but I can't help but feel guilty for owning this poor fish. What if he's a rare, social Betta splendens and wishes he could swim around in an ocean somewhere? Fish aren't ornaments. I desperately want to take him back to the pet store, but it would offend my stepdad.
Um, could you please stop kicking my chair? I'm trying to concentrate on the assignment. Thanks. Excuse me? Maybe you didn't understand me the first time. Don't kick my chair. Thank you. Stop kicking my fucking chair! I'll show you what I'm going to do about it if you don't stop it. Little faggot? Oh I'll show you little faggot! BAM! Oops. I guess I don't know my own strength. I told you not to kick my chair, though. In fact, I told you three times. You son of a bitch! You got blood all over my new sweater! BAM!
Here's to Maya Angelou, Ashley, Margaret Atwood, Aunty Karen, Baba, Juliette Binoche, Erma Bombeck, Peg Bundy, Carla, Maria Callas, Cher, Margaret Cho, Cinderella, June Cleaver, Cloé, Sheryl Crow, Daria, Ellen Degeneres, Emily Dickinson, Jane Doe, Foxxy Cleopatra, Mary Katherine Gallagher, Glenna, Whoopi Goldberg, God, Macy Gray, Halley, Sarah Harmer, Gloria Hole, Janet, Jess, Jodi, Norah Jones, Helen Keller, Laura, Harper Lee, Lindsey, Madonna, Mother Teresa, Mom, Rosie O'Donnell, Oprah, The Powerpuff Girls, Queen Elizabeth I, Mrs. Righetti, Julia Roberts, Betty Rubble, Rupaul, Winona Ryder, Sadie, Sokha, Gwen Stefani, Susan, Amy Tan, and many other women who make the world tolerable.
I hate when we have company who don't know I'm gay. It does quite a number on my self-esteem. Before anyone arrives, I feel the need to close my bedroom door so they can't see the pile of XY magazines stacked next to my dresser, and hide all the Queer As Folk and Cher CD's I tend to leave scattered around the house. I usually pop out of the basement (where my computer is) once, make my cameo, then return to the cyber world where I can be myself. Pretty bad, eh? When your own house isn't a sufficient hermitage.
My cat's going to die on my 18th birthday. I just know it. He's my guardian angel - sent to help me with the agony of childhood. He's always been there to make me laugh and to remind me of life's better aspects. Just petting him is therapeutic. However, his once-strong and healthy frame has turned soft and bony, and I can tell how stiff and sore he is after waking from a nap. I keep telling him to let himself go, that I'll be okay without him, but he‘s holding on, waiting to see his boy become a man.
I'm going to have to start waxing things soon. I was okay when I realized that I have legs like a Sasquatch. I was fine when I saw a trail of fur beginning to creep up from my loins to my navel. I didn't even mind the little patch of hair sprouting from the middle of my chest. But the thin, blonde fluff in the crack of my ass and lower back is really pissing me off. Hey, body, why not throw some of that extra testosterone into my face? I've yet to have the sexy sideburns I so desire.
I met this really cool girl today while manning a PFLAG booth. Her name is Niki and she is officially my new infatuation. She phoned me later on in the day and we ended up talking over some jasmine tea. She told me stories of how she ran away from home her senior year and how she'd like to be a bushwoman, living off the land. She's got me thinking about humility and ways to bring my true beliefs into everyday life. I bet she wouldn't care about my hairy ass/back if we were to dance naked in the woods.
Every Saturday morning I tutor at the library. I usually get there about an hour before my tutee and sit at a table in the children's section, where I can watch little kids run around. Already, someone reading this is thinking, "Oh my! We have a pervert here!" Shame on that reader. I've recently come to the conclusion that children are the only real people. They do what they want, resist instruction, and generally have a wonderful time. Is it perverse to want to see some people who still know true joy, people only semi-corrupted by the world around them?
"What are you watching, Brad?" he asks in disgust. On the screen, there are two men kissing on a beach, fully clothed. The tone in my stepdad's voice shows that he assumes it's pornography. I want to scream at him, but it would upset my mother. Why does he immediately think that any movie with gay themes is pornography? I shouldn't have to feel embarrassed about watching it, but I do now. Go beyond your heterosexist assumptions, Asshole, and you'll see it's a film called ‘The Garden', not ‘Donald Does David.' I shut it off and relocate to my bedroom.
When she's not playing bingo, thieving from her local Kmart, or singing hymns from the front pew in church, my Baba (Ukrainian for Grandma) creates the ugliest things imaginable out of yarn. A widow, she sits watching daytime soap operas from her craft table and makes true gems. I once received a knitted fashion wonder: lime green shorts adorned with brown tassels. Sometimes she'll sell her wares at a craft show, only to find that no one will buy anything. It's when this happens that my heart breaks, and you can find me shelling out ten bucks for button-bedazzled coasters.
If I were to become a woman for a day, the first thing on my agenda would be to have an orgasm. Ever since I discovered that orgasm isn't restricted only to beasts, I've been dying to know what it feels like for a girl. So, if that day ever cums, I'll postpone bra shopping for an unforgettable experience in my boudoir with a vibrator. A genuine penis would be ideal, but in 24 hours, the chances of finding a straight man who can successfully stimulate are very slim. I must know, ladies: how much pleasure can one pussy pack?
I had finished devouring my cheeseburger and fries, and I was about to clamour out of my chair and run to the McDonald's ball pit, when my Mom grabbed my arm. "I think you're getting too big to go in there, Brad," she said. She was right, of course; my head had grown above Grimace's height-limiting hand long ago. I tried to cut my feet off that night, but stopped at the sight of blood. Even now, every time I see that big, smiling, cone-shaped, purple fast food mascot, I feel the urge to rip his arms from their sockets.
There's one other gay boy who's out in my school. His name's Christopher, and he's quite smart, but I can't stand him. He tries to impress everyone with his worldliness, but it really comes off as arrogance and nerdiness. He enjoys speaking in the Middle Earth language, and wears a t-shirt depicting a computer and the words ‘BYTE ME'. Don't get me wrong - I love brains - but he tries too hard, and is planning on using his powers for evil - I once overheard him announcing his love of capitalism. He hasn't earned my friendship - only pity.
All week long my friends have been annoying me, yapping about this board game that they found in a thrift store last Sunday. Patented in 1969, Chug-A-Lug is the game every group of youngsters need at their next Friday night sloshing. ‘This card entitles you to drink a shot out of the belly button of your choice' is just one of the asinine game cards. My friends are even costuming for this game's christening. I, ‘having a stick up my ass', chose to stay home tonight. I said I'd play when the boys don't mind my tongue in their navels.
"99 dreams I have had
And everyone, a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In the dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here it is - a red balloon.
I think of you and let it go."
I'm only recently familiar with this beautiful song by Nena. Suddenly I want to rent a helium tank and buy 99 red balloons. I'd get a bunch of students to help me release them. In summer, I think. 99 peace-inflated balloons rising into a bright blue abyss.
I tend to romanticize Internet friendships, falling into infatuations that end in disappointment and depression. My most current crush happens to be on a member of 100Words.net - Twillhead. However, I don't know if I've fallen for the man behind the words or for the words themselves. I'll probably never know, for he lives somewhere in eastern USA while I dwell in lonely Regina, Canada. I'll probably never know, for he's middle-aged and I'm a mere 17. Such a cruel thing, the Internet. When will it stop thumbing its nose at me? Or rather, when will I let it stop?
I'm worried that my first batch will be removed from the site. A few days ago, the warning on the page where the words are to be logged inspired me to make sure all of my entries are exactly 100 words. I was shocked to find that my entry for February 20 contains 101 words! I promptly emailed Mr. Koyen to notify him of my problem, hoping he would be able to edit out the extra word. So far, he has not replied. Also, I've been counting isolated dashes as words because my word processor does. Have I fucked myself?
Much to my amusement, I've discovered that many of my high school's football players are slaves to tanning beds in winter. This may seem commonplace for people from big cities, but until recently, men in this behind-the-times town who've ‘fake n' baked' were considered fags. Although I love the look of dark, rippled muscles, I find it slightly hypocritical of these football fops to give themselves melanoma for vanity's sake and then call me queer for my fabulousness. I'm glad this stereotype is diminishing, but I won't let it die until I tire of poking fun at its surrounding irony.
In this salad bowl of a world, it's hard being a tomato amongst the carrots and the radishes and the cabbages and the celeries and all of the other vegetables. Often times they badmouth the bananas and the apples and the mangoes right in front of you, forgetting that you too are a fruit. When this happens, you feel obligated to speak up for yourself and your friends, but it's difficult when you are so outnumbered. You take comfort knowing that you are more than just stalk and leaves - you are firm, juicy, ripe, and red. You have substance.
The things I love most about winter are the breathtaking hoarfrost mornings. When I was little, I used to believe that if I went outside and stood very still on a hoarfrost morning, the same white shroud that enveloped the trees would do the same to me, transforming me into a gelid snow princess, and that I too would sparkle in the light of the street lamps. Back on those mornings, I'd find a large icicle to serve as my sceptre and proclaim, "I am Princess Bradley, ruler of all Ice People!" and march my little queer self to school.
Things I scribbled in the margins of my notes during boring classes today:
SWF, 68, N/S, enjoys lawn bowling, geraniums, and bridge, seeks SF, 50+, N/S, for long conversations, love, and strap-on sodomy.
Where's the weird white boy with the withered wart?
I hope my Baba makes it here safely today. I don't trust her behind a wheel anymore. The last time I was in her passenger seat, she made a left turn into a lane of oncoming traffic. Help her old head, God.
Where the hell does the school board get these teachers?
Make the creepy boy stop staring!
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