A girl who tries to figure out sexuality between two people.
Joey came into my life. Joey was the guy who lied about every piece of his life just to get by. He looked like a guy, but he really wasn’t. That’s what got me into the psychiatric ward. I remember my jeans tearing and my eyes tearing up. Joey, Joey, I cried, only if I knew how to help him. The poor guy, how do I tell him he is a good person without thinking he is just some messed up transgender?
My mind quieted down as I entered the second floor of the hospital. The hospital was called 2 South. I cried. I mean I really cried. In fact, tears ran down my face and my knees buckled up. I quickly opened the metal door that detached myself from reality and ran into mentality.
A nurse tried to sit me down at a table. His long black hair and sleeve tattoos made me think I was in for a heavy ride. His eyes tortured me with a gangster look. He asked my dad to sign an admission form. I wouldn’t budge, nor listen to his sudden tone. My feelings burst out like bubbles that popped before touching them.
I got sent to my room. There were two halls. The left hallway was for the girls and the right hallway was for the boys. I assumed there were different halls so patients wouldn’t get raped or have too much sex intentionally while the nurses weren’t looking. My room was down to the left. Finally I got to my room. It said Jane on a piece of paper slipped into a slot to the left side of the door. I crawled under the thin sheets.
Another nurse, plump and old sat next to me, trying to calm me down. I cried. She said if I didn’t shut my mouth the doctors would have to restrain me. Immediately, I calmed down.
My dad had gone to get take out and ordered me Chinese food. In an hour he came back. I heard his flat clogs skid across the dirty white floor. He was concerned about me. I was too.
“Bye,” I cried. He waved his left hand. I cried and fragments of despair lifted the bad emotion inside me. I ate fast and left the rest for dinner. I never ate my meals. From the ward, a girl named Lizzie sat across from me. She was the one who had sex 24/7. She said she was bisexual, so that must have meant she had more sex than usual. When people had too much sex it annoyed the hell out of me. I climbed into bed that night waiting for illusive objects to come closer to my sight.
The objects shaped pictures and shady grey lines. The picture looked like Joey’s eyes. I thought of his dark brown eyes glistening in the sun.
In the morning, I sat in the lonely day room, waiting and waiting for comfort. I didn’t quite get why I was there or what was wrong with me. I felt like one of those loser kids who were sent to residential while I was sent to UCLA, the hospital where I was admitted for the second time.
“I’m Alison and you can call me Dr. Alison.
“Hi,” I pulled my hand quietly out of my front right pocket, “Who are you?”
“I’m your therapist.”
I quickly stood up and shook her hand, “Oh.” I was not amused, but after I saw her body movements I was. At first her sense of tone got loud and imperfect. I was pleasured by her body because I liked people that were tall. Her blonde layered hair draped down to her shoulders.
“Let’s go into the dining room and chat, is that okay with you?”
“Sure,” I would do anything for her. The dining room was the place where absurd people played piano in the back and where patients nearly stuck forks in their arms and burned their skin with ice and salt.
It was dirty and the vents made the room stuffy. Three chairs sat around the tables. The piano was against the wall, some patients played while others dreaded the perpetual sounds vibrating across the room. I suffered from the sound too. It felt like my eardrums were knocked out as the patient stopped playing. Each note echoed and its raspy tone went bang, ka-boom. I starved myself for about 2 weeks and I only ate what my parents gave me.
“Why were you admitted to the hospital Jane?”
“I am clinically insane.”
She looked at me like the phrase I just used, was funny or something. It wasn’t. I didn’t intend for it to actually make sense either, I just used it to catch her attention.
I decided to get to the point already. “So, there was a guy named Joey.” She still wasn’t listening. Was I really that weird? Or was it just the way I flirted with her? “I fell in love with Joey and . . .” I was so ashamed to move onto the next sentence.
The attraction between Joey and I didn’t last very long because he latched onto my friend Lauren. She was a real bitch who didn’t really like Joey so that was good. That meant there was more for me in this relationship. Her knotty straight hair was thick and her eyes made her face look like a dead fish. How unattractive. Her height was about 5’5” and she wasn’t very able-bodied, it was more like tall and anorexic looking. Her tone was quite rude as well. She must’ve had mental problems like the rest of the world.
One afternoon my friends, Joey and I went to a café and he had to pee and it was really sad because he was not able to use the bathroom with the female signage because he appeared as being a man. Lauren was supposedly a pretend psychiatrist trying to be a psychology buff. To me, she was a coward who didn’t really know shit about who to take care of in any case or situation, which was probably why she took notes to help herself remember such fatal issues and failed miserably.
Joey emailed me one day. I was thankful because I got to talk to someone who gave me a lot of insight. Apparently he said that I was biased because I was only on Lauren’s side and not his and I was confused. I thought he meant bisexual. This actually happened. He said that his eleven-year-old brother was dying of a stroke. No one believed him but me because I cared for him.
Later on she told all of her friends and my friends about Joey’s problems and appearances. She told them that he was a she and made fun of him.
“Joey’s a girl,” Lauren said.
“Joey’s a girl?” her friend’s said.
“Yeah.” I felt so bad for Joey.
“Joey flirted with me and I thought he was a guy. I was so happy that I fell in love with a guy, but then my friends told me he was a girl and that changed the way I thought about myself. I remember the time when we went to lunch. All my friends were there and he never went to the bathroom because he had to use to women’s room but he didn’t look like a women. After, my friend’s and I went to the mall in Santa Monica and my friend finally told me that Joey was a guy. I guess I shouldn’t have wanted to know what went on with him, or else I wouldn’t feel so bad.”
“Did that change your sexuality at all?”
“No, I’m totally straight,” I was puzzled as to why I was unsure of my sexuality at that time. It didn’t all sort out in my head. It was more like a Catch-22, either I had the answer or I didn’t. This time I couldn’t choose. But I was wrong. I wasn’t informed what I Catch-22 was, but I felt it was that because my life was a huge contradiction.
I sat and stared at her blue eyes that appeared to roll occasionally. Dr. Alison’s pale skin smoothed out her face and her lips touched together while I imagined she licked saliva off them. Her blonde hair sat perfectly straight on her shoulders.
People cluttered the hospital. Nurses, doctors and therapists tormented the place. It seemed like patients were in prison and I was the one outside watching. The green walls blinded my eyes and the old carpet stained the pathway.
“Let’s talk about Joey,” Dr. Alison said.
“I just described to you my whole story.”
“He was a girl you know.”
“That means you are a lesbian,” she hoped I would say yes.
“I told you already, I’m straight.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“What do you want me to do then? How can I show you that I am attracted to men?”
“Don’t show me, just tell me . . . that you are straight.”
“But I already did, Dr. Alison.”
“Do you have feelings for me?”
“You’re a lesbian.”
“No, I’m not,” I became weary of myself, like something huge was going to happen that I wouldn’t have been aware of.
“If you loved Joey and he was a girl, then you are gay.”
“ . . . Yeah,” I waited for her response.
“Wow I’m so proud of you.”
“Oh I’m not.”
“I loved Joey and his last name was Himmel. I lied. His real name was Joe Himmelman. Let’s rephrase that. He lied. He said he was a dancer and from Britain. Then I slowly fell in love with his jagged reflection. He said he was a surfer.
“Did you love him,” asked Dr. Alison.
“Are you sure you weren’t accidentally lying?”
Alison got out of her plastic green chair.
“Bye . . . Dr. Alison.”
I could feel Joey there. His mouth touching mine, but in my head he was a girl and not a guy. I never got a chance to say good-bye and I couldn’t see him ever again. That was the first time I ever had slight attractions to someone. To someone that wasn’t the correct gender and to someone I was quite depressed about.
“Bye,” It was getting late so I walked away and hurried to my bed and dreamed. My body sweated. My pores tingled.
My feelings felt content and relieving. I finally got to sit and ponder the thought of reminiscing. I liked that. My sexual desires reached its epiphany. There was excitement.
“Jane, you can’t be in bed. It won’t do you any good.”
“No, Jane. You’re not.”
Alison took me out of bed to ask me some questions, “What do you want?”
I felt cold chills down my spine that lasted until it surrounded my shoulders.
“Do you know what Asperger’s is?”
“No, I’ve never heard of it Alison,” I said sarcastically.
“Do you ever obsess over things?”
“Maybe, maybe not?”
She was furious. “Be serious and don’t lie.”
“Do you socialize a lot?”
“That I don’t do, does that mean I am retarded?”
“No, it is just a different part of you that you have to figure out, that’s all. You should be proud of yourself.”
I settled in, “Thanks.” I waited that day for a family session with my parents, Alison and Georgia the social worker. Georgia played with her old hair. Everyone in the hospital was assigned to a social worker and she was mine. Her old parched blonde hair looked vapid. Her rigid teeth were probably false. She was stressed and she never said hi or anything. My dad wore a black nylon velvet vest.
“What does she have?” my dad asked.
“Asperger’s and she is a lesbian,” Alison said. My meeting ended. It was 5:00 P.M and almost time for dinner. My parents and I walked briskly up to the second floor and said good-bye while I got situated in my chair and sat at a brown rounded table.
At dinner, Lizzie sat next to me while I vehemently said that I talked too much about my problems. “My problems are really deep. I get anxious and depressed all in the same day and I am really proud of it as well. I don’t like eating and I like my therapist. I met a a transgender and I fell in love with him and then I get very down after a while and that is why I got sent here.”
My roommate Daisy sat next to me. She was quirky, you could tell by her name that she was a little off. Her stomach was on the pudgy side as she over ate. Her dark brown hair used to be down to her shoulders, but then she cut it off herself without going to get it trimmed at the salon. I ran to bed knowing that I’d never get out of prison. My iPod automatically turned on in the right pocket of my mustard colored jacket. The sound closed in my ears. I was tired so I took off my shirt. Daisy barged in while I took off my bra hoping she would not catch me in the nude, but she said she didn’t care. I didn’t care either. I got up to brush my teeth and asked if someone could open the locked bathroom for me. I took my toothbrush with me, and my dirty retainer.
The bathroom door closed behind me. I took a piss in the toilet, flushed then brushed my scummy teeth. I felt blood between my gums and food on the roof of my mouth. I put down the toothbrush, swished water in my mouth and put on my retainer. I ran back to my room, which was right next to the nurses’ station. Daisy had fallen asleep really fast. I think it was because she ate too much. She was known for that. I went to bed as fast as I could and snored myself to sleep. Tonight when I though of Joey I imagined his tone and the way he talked to me.
The next day I got ready for occupational therapy. We took the elevator down to the first floor and turned left towards the door. The place had many storage rooms and shelves to keep crafts and sharp tools away from patients. I made candles. The crayons stuck to my hands like glue and the heat steamed up the vents and created lint on the ceilings. One night Daisy had a bad dream and she heard voices too. I thought she would kill me. It was the way she yelled and shrieked her voice up high. It didn’t feel very comfortable. Her white hands pounded and pushed on the glass door and the nurse’s almost had to restrain her. It was pretty scary.
She kept asking, “Do you hear those voices?”
“No, why would I? Who knows.”
Her hair was still jagged. My candle was blue and Daisy’s was green. Hers was colored with specks of blue and orange and the wick stood up half an inch more creating a knot. It smelled like old laundry detergent. My nose didn’t like it. I coughed. The fumes dominated the room. The patients were asked to go inside because occupational therapy ended.
We walked around the corner to the courtyard where everyone participated in recreational therapy. Daisy threw me the ball and I caught it. The rubber football glided across my slippery hands. It flew in the air and created a pathway that went from side to side. The size of the ball bothered me because I could not grip it. The feel of the ball created an unfamiliar texture on my fingers. The rest of the people played tennis and basked ball. One little boy threw a tennis ball at Dr. Alison, so she picked it up and scolded him.
“Time to go in,” the nurse said. His pants were the kind that nurses wore when working, except his were a solid color instead of flowery. His colored face was round and he was a big man.
His arms had tattoos on them and the pictures had trees and leaves. He looked like a little boy. One of those boys that were in a gang or something and his tooth was gold. It was one of his teeth on the side. He laughed at my face when I cried like a little baby. I didn’t agree with the way he laughed at me because it was really rude.
On Tuesday afternoon I attended a meeting scheduled with doctors. I sat smiling, which was a waste. They didn’t smile. The words coming out of my mouth didn’t make sense. The doctors’ heads looked down, no one talked. I only saw the smile on Dr. Alison’s face. It was probably a sign that she thought I was a good girl.
‘So what brought you here today Jane?” one of the doctor’s asked that interviewed me.
“You asked me to come, so I came.”
‘Why did you come here to the hospital in the first place?” I felt like I was the boss. I could tell them what to do and everything. I never answered because I was too intrigued by her looks. The interviewer’s hair waved to the left. I watched it swing and glisten. The brown curly strands became parched as I took a look. I live in a mental hospital, I said to myself.
Some of the patients were abused and they felt really comfortable at the ward like it was a cozy hotel. I liked it too. I got a lot of attention. The attention was nurturing because it gave the patient a chance to calm down and behave. I felt alone and that felt good because I could stay to myself and not be bothered if I was in a rough patch. I cried myself to sleep, weeping with in my sweaty clothes. Everyone in my hospital heard me but they didn’t care because they probably did the same.
The food didn’t look very good because the eggs in the morning wasn’t nourishing, apparently there wasn’t any milk in the ingredients. I met patients with scars on their arms. One girl had 21 scars on her arms because voices in her head told her to cut herself. I wanted to emulate her pain because I was really depressed.
On my last day Dr. Alison took me out on a walk instead of sitting outside for a therapy session. I thought it meant hanging out with her, but it was really supposed to be looked at the other way. It was a professional session and not just for hanging out.
We walked to a cookie store. That day I went to the same cookie store, but forgot to tell her that so I ate twice as many cookies as usual. My stomach felt full of shitty ingredients. There was too much milk, chocolate and loads of sugar and I was exposed to too many junk foods that made me break out.
On Tuesday’s the patients went out to a restaurant, but the anorexics went on another day because they could not be exposed to too many different foods because they could risk bloating and getting fat. Every time the anorexics ate they would have to eat a certain portion of food and exactly that amount or else they would get scolded because later in the evening they would have to purge.
While I transitioned into my daily skills I got ready to go back home. It was like I started my life over again with a new beginning. The gloomy stage of depression, anxiety and being a lesbian was too much too handle. Whenever I heard the word lesbian my throat froze up and I could barely breathe. I tried to look like more of a soft butch than feminine and that’s how I accepted myself. I let people know that I was a lesbian instead of myself. Scratches evolved on my skin scarring up my arms with red blood. I went to a hospital at age sixteen, came back clean. My face tingled and I clenched my fists that day. I walked through my neighborhood, and the trees grew taller. My feet felt jelly-like creating steps that bounced up and down. I touched a tree near by and thought to myself.
Tomorrow I would start a new school. Sherman Oaks High School. At school the kids had awkward faces. It almost looked like they were going to kill one another. My heart pounded faster. A boy with an athletic body walked up to me. His long brown hair looked greasy. He probably never washed his hair.
The boy’s clothes seemed warn on the outside. They were shaggy and torn and it looked like a dog had bitten his clothes. He was not very attractive. His hazel eyes glanced at my brown eyes and I felt shocked because I just met the guy.
A tall guy walked in front of me. He looked like a principal. He was. He looked studious and I would hope so because it was school and when you were in school students and instructors must look smart.
“How are you?” the principal asked. I shrugged my shoulders as I faced him. I walked into an office. The walls were white and sterile and the seats felt like hard cardboard that stuck on your ass so you couldn’t move. My tongue moved in circular directions that I couldn’t control. I felt claustraphobic around this particular person with black glasses and curly grey hair because he asked too many questions. His breath smelled like fresh mint so that was good because at least the room smelled good. My breath felt sticky like I didn’t brush my teeth but I did right when my mom woke me up for the meeting. Scary thoughts rolled back and forth in my mind. I couldn’t feel my face. A headache surrounded my cognitive thoughts. In the meeting we talked about my enrollment.
“So you’re going into 11th grade?” the principal said.
“Yes,” I could tell this meeting would take a long time.
“What classes do you like?”
“English. I’m a writer.”
“Really? Well, there are many writers out there.”
“What college do you want to go to?”
“Santa Monica Community College, then UC Davis for junior year and either UC Irvine or Iowa State University for graduate school,” I was happy that sentence was over. It was long.
“You want to graduate with a writing degree?”
“Yes, I do, actually.” I coughed intentionally and stopped talking.
He closed his book and finished jotting notes. “Okay Jane you can go now.”
“Thanks,” I said. I walked out of his office with a smirk. All he really wanted to talk to me about was my schedule. The meeting was bogus and I regretted it all. I hate this school, I muttered to myself. The guy with greasy hair talked to me. I did not answer. I could sense he was hitting on me.
“Hey, watch it,” I said.
“Sorry, so sorry, my name is Sydney.”
“Oh.” I didn’t really care for his name. I was focused on getting to class. He walked away. I was glad, but he probably was not because he was very attracted to me. I forgot to tell him I was gay and that was probably a wise choice.
Later in the afternoon we talked on the black top during lunch. He flirted with my face and my face denied his quirky gestures. I thought for a while. Should I tell him I am gay? I wondered.
“I want to tell you something, but . . .”
“What?” he said.
“You might get mad, that’s all.”
“Come on, go ahead and tell me.”
“No, why are you gay, why? No.” He didn’t want me to be gay because that way he couldn’t be my boyfriend. After that thought, I ignored him the rest of the afternoon. Our class walked inside because lunch was over. There wasn’t a warning or anything. No bell, sound, just a staff member ushering us to class.
The classroom board read, “take out a piece of paper, a pencil and stop talking." My friend Sydney was in back of me tapping his pencil like a bongo drum. My response was, "Shut up, Sydney" He always talked about his electric guitar and how he played real fast. He chattered away about his drumming as well. He always mentioned doing something that was rapidly fast and it made no sense. It took me a while to figure why. It was because his brain was quite slow.
Thirty minutes were left of class. There wasn't a bell, any warning or signals. Soon I became furious with him. He wouldn’t shut up. So I told the head clinical director. This was what I told her, and I couldn't believe I told her but I did. "Sydney is harassing me and I am gay."
“Don’t worry, Sydney hits on all the girls.
“Still I don’t appreciate it.”
The clinical director was still and her voice didn’t make a sound. I wondered what she was thinking.
“I’ll talk to him about it,” that’s what she said and then she walked away.
"Okay. I'll tell him how you feel. He does that sometimes.”
Sometimes I wished I were locked up in a hinged and closed closet. So I wouldn't have to come out or put myself in a predetermined box.
A cab drove me home. And after that I felt bad like I had no place to go, like I was a foreigner or something. I guess it was just because it was my first day of school and I was nervous. Nervous because of what Sydney said to me.
When I came home I thought about Joey. I pulled out a journal and wrote about Joey.
After I finished my journal, Sydney called. I found it a bit peculiar because the only reason for him calling me was to hit on me over the hard-line. He called again after I hung up. I denied the phone call.
It was time for dinner. Cooked pasta lay on the kitchen table waiting for me to devour it. I did so. The warm breeze of smelling pasta made my taste buds ache and my teeth chatter. The chills ran down my face. It was like when smoking hot air fills my lips and then I would have to spit the food out because it becomes too hot to handle. I finished dinner. I brushed my teeth, went to bed and soothingly fell asleep. I woke up at 8:00 A.M.
I went to school that morning, walked to class and said hi to Sydney. He responded quickly and was fast to greet me because all he wanted was to talk about his attraction towards me. I pulled my hand away and walked away. All of the talking went to waste. It seemed like he loved me, but he really didn't. Aside from talking on the phone, we spent days hanging out during lunch.
Sydney walked up to me and we talked. He talked about himself and I did too. He told me that his mom abandoned him as a baby and she gave him drugs as a boy. At first I thought he was a Joey type of guy because I thought he was a liar. I was wrong. He was really hurt and I was too. After talking for a while we quickly became good friends.
My principal looked me in the eye. My eyes gave a vivid stare down his rounded white face. Ugly, dirty and wasted thoughts rotated in my head. His wrinkled plaid shirt glistened in the sun like rhinestones. His nose was pierced and his hair was grey. He probably used massive hair products that glued to his roots. But I never imagined that far because it might have made my stomach queasy. I did.
"Hi, I was wondering if you could help me find my next class?" I said.
"No." At that time I felt ashamed because no one answered in a tasteful way. Everyone walked by my acne-covered face.
I waited and waited until thoughts came in through my brain and sat in my mind. Anxiety rocked through my body. I jerked forward at my seat and my teacher asked me to stop sleeping. Last night I didn’t get enough rest or something. My eyes felt goopy and dripping sweat nearly shut my eyes.
The class ended. I headed over to math class and felt monotonous, creating dreamed pictures and changing the view into illusive objects. I moved my chair a half step nudging my face into Sydney’s book that he silently read. He looked quite content but I was furious with him because he aggravated me by reading which I didn’t do so that meant that he was smarter than me, which wasn’t true.
The time was 3:15 P.M. I climbed in a yellow cab and my chauffer drove away. My ipod played a soft-spoken tune, which drifted my breath into a calm and mellow sleep. Suddenly, I woke up. My thoughts were in dissaray. The cab driver came to a full stop. I got out of the car and ran inside. My pants stuck to my legs like friction from the heat. The humid air was a discomfort to my face as well.
I washed my reddish and dry face and got ready to get into my mother’s car and walked outside. My mom sat in her white Volvo waiting for me. The car pulled in front of the school. It was dirty with bird stains in the creases.
I was going to see a new therapist. I couldn’t wait to meet her and introduce myself and get help. My arms shook. Finally I walked into a bright white office and sat on a blue cozy coach facing her desk.
“My name is Jane.”
“Hi Jane, my name is Sara.”
“Nice to meet you.” I trusted her because of the way she talked to me so I started going into details about my life.
I met a boy at school but he was actually a girl and his name was Joey. After I told Sara my problems she summed it up for me.
“You assumed that Joey was a boy, but he wasn’t.”
“Yes,” I said.
“I was wondering if you could help me sort my thoughts out so I could feel better.”
“Yes, but tell me more.”
“Joey thought I was funny, so that is complementary.”
“Yes, it is, it is always exciting to hear that someone admires your humor.”
“Tell me about your life. What do you like to do?” she asked. That was such a general question and I didn’t like general questions because they were too complex.
“Well, I like to write, sing and play guitar.”
“What do you write about?”
My head twitched to the left side. “About my problems.”
“It makes me feel good.”
Sara talked to me in a way that a therapist normally doesn’t talk to a patient. Her angry expression molded her tiny face and her crooked yellow teeth weren’t pleasurable because I hated when people didn’t brush their teeth. I didn’t realize how trustworthy she was until I began chatting with her.
“Yeah, sure. That is what I am here for,” Sara smiled and giggled too. I was relieved. My problems could spill out on a piece of paper and mean something.
“Did that change your sexuality at all?” she asked.
I couldn’t believe she asked the same question as Alison.
“That’s what I am trying to figure out.”
“Oh,” she sounded interested now. Her head perked up like a happy puppy.
“Then how do you want me to help you?”
“I don’t know.”
“You could start telling me about yourself and your past.” I ignored her face and her lengthy sentence and did not share my thoughts with her.
Sara jumped to conclusions and my mind jumped back. She snapped at me. I couldn’t handle the way she talked to me. I left just like that, in one second my hand clutched the door knob, I pulled the wooden door towards me and escaped one shoe after another. Sara didn’t care and I didn’t either.
The flesh on my bones tore in and out, to the point were I could have sworn that knives clung to my skin. Tears ran down my cheeks and I purposely ran into a near by wall. Nothing hurt. There were minor scars holding the pain like glue stuck to rubber. My skin felt hot and it trembled and my breathing stretched out, not allowing my esophagus to tread water smoothly.
The force of the wind outside shoved my legs into the car. I shut the door. My mom hopped into the car with her head level so she could see out of the nearest window. The car started to move. After the humming engine turned off, our car parked in front of the driveway. I jumped out crying and walking with my arms waving and hitting my hands on the blue door.
My focus was set on tomorrow’s school day. Anxiety bled though my bare skin. Masculine and feminine thoughts about Joey consumed my system. I deprived myself of sleep. Nothing could ever change the way I thought about myself. My mind chewed itself down. Raw thoughts settled around in, out and through. I held my temper tight and wouldn’t let go. It controlled my daily necessities.
I spoke to Sydney on the phone, told him I was insane. He agreed so I hung up the phone and sobbed in tears. My mom was on the home phone so I gracefully tried to interrupt her but then the words spilled out into a yell.
“You don’t interrupt me on the phone Jane.” She didn’t say good night to me. The door to her room was shut. I slinked into bed and fell asleep.
Strange words echoed and floated in my thoughts. It was morning. The cab came speeding down my driveway. I could hear the shrill skid rubbing against the concrete. Fifteen minutes later I was at school. I went to English class. I said to myself, today I will figure out how to deal with my feelings about Joey.
In an hour I would go to therapy with Sara. What should I say? I pondered the question a thousand times. I could never discover what had happened. I opened the creaky door. Sara flickered the light switch. It turned on and then I sat on the couch. It felt round and maluable.
“Sara. I need to talk to you,” I hesitated.
“What’s wrong?” she worried.
“Everything. Oh. Pretty much my life.”
My head felt like melted candy eroding against my hair.
“Let’s talk about it.”
“Okay,” I was glad.
“Joey made me feel very nervous when he talked to me.”
“How did you feel about it?” That is all therapists say. Silly. I know.
“Disturbed,” I said. The continuation of my story felt lewd. “So basically,” a pause of breath, “I felt aroused towards him as a transgender man that was actually a woman. I was attracted to his personality and nothing else. And that was the end. All my thoughts molded around one thing. Love.
“Oh,” Sara’s voice became rapid as minutes continued in our conversation. “I need you to sit here.” I felt like I was doing a disservice because I didn’t feel like I was in the right place, like I was doing something wrong.
The hour was up, “Bye,” Sara said. I shook her hand. “See you next time.” I did not say good-bye. It was 3:15, I rolled around the corner and felt ashamed. I even had a bad hair day. It was greasy, sticking up. It went poof. I felt mentally unfit. The way I felt when everything was detached from my life. Or the way I thought. Everything was wrong.
Joey never remembered me. His lies were over. I was thankful for that. All I need to do was feel good about what I had accomplished. It felt like my chest was situated in a different position. Just like when I carried a concise conversation with my chest impeding.
While I worked thoughts out, they seeped out the other side of my mind. I dropped the thought and couldn’t handle it. The thought of being a lesbian didn’t sink in yet. The noise. The loud knocking noise lingered in my head and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, nor did I notice where my life fit in. I came home.
The streets that I walked on created specks, grains and rocky cement on my feet. I kicked each black pebble. While kicking that solid pebble, time moved faster for me and I wondered about myself. What purpose did I have in life? I said. I did not know this. I felt the way that most people felt when they just got back from a mental hospitalization It felt like my brain drifted into a soft mellow sleep and when I woke up, this sleep turned into a hard, throbbing headache that lasted for days.
Yes, it was a big day, but not big enough. It was a day where everything surrounding myself grew weary and difficult to handle. I was unwilling to share my thoughts. I ran out of mentality into reality, but not the kind of reality that you would expect. This reality still ended rough, raw or even unbalanced. I wasn’t who I was and I wasn’t the same ever again.