The Cut Up Truth About Sex.
I remember biting on her ear
I had the whole thing in my mouth
and what we had was a failing to communicate
because the practice of talking and not saying anything
became synonymous with the chaos and confusion of sexuality.
They tell you what you want to hear just to suck you in
and that always puts you in a precarious position
in an extraordinary lapse of memory
too busy to bother remembering details
of mainstream science and legal systems.
Someday; I will learn enough about sex to give it up,
remembering science is for the ultimate benefit of humanity
or so everyone thinks…
My grandmother had a Virginia Slim in her right hand, and a tumbler half full of whiskey in her left.
She took long drags, overlooking the spread of newspaper columns laid out on our tiny, formica dining table.
Then, she exhaled. Long trails of grey tobacco smoke finding a home on the ceiling. It coraled itself there for minutes on end. The tar, staining yellow the spackled sheet rock. Permanently. Our whole house smelled like a wet ashtray.
She had no clue that I had just lost my virginity the night before. And beyond that, she had no inkling I was self conscious about it. If she did, I would be devastated. To think of her, thinking of me as anything less than a decent grandson.
She sat in silence. Puffing. Sipping. Exhaling.
Across from her I filed through each column. The sports section, entertainment, astrology, the goings on locally here in Tampa Bay. I was writing at this point. A lot. Every experience written down, filling up pages within multiple journals.
But this experience left nothing in me. A void. An odd lapse of memory.
Therefore, nothing came out of me.
In a cloudy retrospect, there was no real pleasure in the immediate anticipation. There was minimal memory of the actual act. And the aftermath: a frightening, inhuman reaction to an experience that was supposed to be, from what many had told me, life changing.
From the front page, I snipped paragraphs. From the Op Ed page I cut lines. Randomly laying them, like Scrabble pieces, on a blank sheet of notebook paper.
One line, then two. Then a makeshift paragraph of my own. A stanza. A sequence of stanzas. Three total.
My grandmother looked down, silent still. The words, disjointed, jammed together to form a cloudy coherence only to me.
She mashed her cigarette into her orange acrylic ashtray.
The last of the smoke rose, and she walked through the kitchen and into her bedroom.
On the ruled notebook paper, placed, almost randomly, was the above sequence of cut up lines from the Tampa Tribune. A self created inkblot test, to decipher, years later, what I felt was the truth about sex.
May 24th, 2015.