I just can’t control it lately. I’m messed up, messed over, crazed and running in circles, can’t figure it, so messed up. I suppose you’d never know it. Because you never guessed how difficult and savage the teen years were, how cruel. You can’t see me even now in this old, graying body. We only see ourselves; we know no one else’s despair. We don’t know each other, not really.
[Excerpt from PERSEPHONE IN HELL]
“[Sir Billy’s steel]
Billy was insistent. If Glory was ready to puke, he didn’t care. “Aw, come on,” he said with a nasty whine. “You know why we came out here. Don’t play all innocent with me.”
So much for chivalry. I’m tired and I just want to go home. The bleachers are damp. My foot aches.
He pulled her toward him and kissed her with an ugly impatient passion. “Stop it, Billy! Cut it out!” she demanded. He wouldn’t listen. He held her with one hand while the other pushed its way under her shirt to her bra. He shoved his hand under it and felt her naked breast. Gloria tried to pull back. I didn’t mean for anything like this to happen. I’m not ready for a boy like Billy.
She slapped at Billy’s face, and as she did, he suddenly let go. “No broad is worth this!” he snarled. She fell onto the bleacher seat. She hit her back and tumbled down the steel steps to the ground. She lay on the damp dark grass.
Billy was infuriated. He said, “I only went out with you on a bet to see if I could get you laid. You’ll never be popular. You’re a joke, always in la-la land. You’re probably a lesbian, that’s what everyone says.” Billy the Cruel walked away as though he were king conqueror of the world, back from a successful crusade. “I showed her,” he announced to the dark field and hidden woods. “Must be a lezzie.”
When he was gone, Glory pulled herself up off the ground and slowly limped through the field, past the diamond, past the carnival, past the gate, and home. She couldn’t remember ever feeling worse. Couldn’t recall a time when she felt less like the queen she had always imagined herself to be.
She closed the bathroom door, and with a dull razor she found in the drawer, cut fifteen slashes on her thighs and on her breasts. One slash for each year of my failure of a life.”
Vivid and disturbing, beautifully written. You take us right into Glory’s mind and we are unable to leave without a piece of her. I would disagree that we can’t know each other at all because some things, like despair, are universal, and the beauty of writing like yours is that we do understand it. Better days to you, my friend :-).