This is an excerpt from my memoir, and was previously published in the Oklahoma Review, a literary journal. I will warn you all before reading that it is graphic at times, and very dark, so if you can’t handle the heat, then this isn’t your kitchen.
**Background before you read: at this point in my memoir, I am a 14 year old girl, recently gone through puberty and discovering that suddenly, my body is more important than who I am as a person –i.e., my breasts, which are the focus of apparently everyone’s conversations, have now sexualized and shamed me. I have been bullied and stared at, yet I am still just an eighth grader trying to figure out what is happening to me. In general, the confident girl I once was has gone by the way side. I have started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I am extremely vulnerable.
In the Hands of Men
Now it’s a year later, and the summer before my freshman year is dragging. I spend my time at the swim club or with friends, especially Buddy, but I never tell them about the “Newton Boys” or Jimmy. After that one phone call, I talk with a few of the guys over the phone, even though I haven’t met them. The one guy who does call me all the time, is Jimmy. And after talking with him on the phone off and on for almost a year, the only things I know about Jimmy are that he loves music— Jane’s Addiction in particular, has long hair, and is twenty-two. He says the word dude a lot, and has a gritty like rocks against bare feet type of voice, as if he’s twenty-two going on eighty.
“When am I gonna meet you, girl?”
“I don’t know,” I tell him, terrified.
What if he doesn’t like me?
I don’t know what twenty-two year old men want; I can barely figure out guys my own age.
“Well, I’m nervous,” I admit as the little hairs on my arms stand at attention. A man wanting to meet little old me!
“Girl, it’s all good. Don’t worry.” and that is it.
Jimmy has short explanations and opinions on everything. To me, that’s just strange considering that in my house if someone wants to tell you what he or she thinks, which is always, you better sit your butt down. So after a long period of coaxing with short words, and claims that, “Girl, it will be all good,” at the end of June, I meet Jimmy. Continue reading