Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dream Theater: What I Did, and What It Did to Me

Photo by Petrified Collection/Getty Images
I had sex, to begin with. Wild, abandoned, fuck-you-like-an-animal sex. With T_____ and some other guy. Right here at home. In almost every room of the house. 

The neighbors and their son and all his teenage friends saw it. Apparently the blinds had been left open just enough for them to watch the whole thing. Soon J_____ knew about it too, then his mom, and then his entire family.  

He broke up with me immediately. No questions or discussion, even though I pleaded with him to reconsider, to wait for at least a few days, to give me another chance because it had only been a one-time thing. I promised I'd never, ever do it again.

The truth was, I wasn't even sure how it could have happened, how I'd made such a foolish and irresponsible mistake. And then, on top of it, to be found out by nearly everyone else. It just seemed unbelievable. Yet everywhere I went there were knowing looks, smirks of disapproval and scorn.

I ran away. It seemed to be the only choice. I got in my car and drove. First to Iowa City, but the news arrived before I did, then all the way to my high school in Knoxville. Even there, people knew what I'd done. They'd seen it just as surely as the people next door.

All the students and even some of the teachers hassled me about it. They called me names and pushed me away. Moving from one classroom to the next was the worst. The hallways were packed so tightly I could barely move. 

How would I make it through the rest of the school day? At least it was a Friday, I thought. That would give me the weekend to lay low and figure out what to do, some way to make things right. 

Then I realized that leaving early might be the best thing. I fought against the crowd to get myself turned around and headed toward the office so I could let them know. 

I was almost there when I remembered I was an adult. I wasn't in high school any more, I didn't need to be there, I didn't have to tell anyone that I was going.

Outside the building I found a beautiful spring day of blue and green. The school was on top of a very high hill. At the end of a long staircase, with many landings and wrought iron gates across each one, I could see the street, and freedom. 

I ran down the stairs, only to discover that the first gate was locked. I hauled myself over it, and then the next and the next and the next, not caring if I fell or got hurt. I just wanted to get away. 

A cop waited at the bottom. I didn't say anything to him. I just kept walking. I was so relieved to finally be out of there, and promised myself that somehow I'd figure a way out of all this mess. 

Then there were two cops. The first grabbed the back of my shirt. The second stepped in front of me and asked, "Where do you think you're going?"

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