Throwing caution to the wind

“At this moment, I didn’t feel shame or fear, but just sort of ‘blah.’ Like when you’re sittin’ there and all the water’s run out of the bathtub….” Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek), “Badlands”

True enough.

This is what I wrote the other night that made me cry myself to sleep. I want to incorporate it into a larger story somewhere down the line, which is why I wrote it out. But it’s too true, and so is a kind of standalone piece.

Belying the title of this post, all I can say is ‘Forgive me.’

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AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION:

A group of people, including myself, She, and He who I like/love; however, She and He are together. A game of Truth or Dare that is way past unbearably uncomfortable for me (because of its overly racy content thus far) is about to get a whole lot more so….

At least no one’s had the gall to ask me such personal questions.

She asks, “Truth or Dare, Mouse?”

I say, “Truth.” If you’ve been keeping tabs, I’ve only chosen ‘Truth’ the whole damn game.

She asks, “What’s the wildest, kinkiest thing you’ve ever done in bed?”

I blink.

Playful ‘Oooh’s from most everyone else, like they’ve got me now.

Well, they do, in a way.

I say, with no amount of irony, “I assume you mean other than sleeping.”

She begins to say, with a laugh, “Falling asleep on your partner is hardly….”

I interrupt. “Let’s try this again. To answer your question would require my having done something in a bed other than sleeping.”

After a pause, She asks, “You’re a virgin?!?”

“Brilliant, Holmes,” I say. “I’ll have it emblazoned on my forehead if you wish.”

She looks quickly around at the group, incredulous, before looking back at me and asking without thinking, “Why?”

“Don’t answer that,” He says, suddenly glaring at Her.

“No, I’d like to answer that,” I say. “That is the name of the game, after all.”

A slight pause, then,

“Why am I still a virgin?” I give a self-deprecating shrug. “Not like it’s rocket science. First of all, I read The Bell Jar. Knowing my luck, I’d be one of those one-in-a-million type cases, and I really don’t want to go through something like that.”

Somebody gets it. Eventually. (If you don’t, go read that book; it’s towards the end.)

I continue. “Second, I resent the whole ‘sex as power’ thing. It shouldn’t be about power, right? Is it? Shouldn’t it be equal?”

“It is if it’s right,” He says.

I stare levelly at Him. If only He could see how much I love Him….

“Is it really?” I ask. “I don’t care. I don’t want it.” I look away from Him, and now look squarely at Her. “Thirdly, and, oh, I can’t stress enough how important this is – who would want me?”

A pause from me as everyone reacts to that.

I continue, looking down at the tabletop now. “I’d like to ask an honest question to all the men present. And I don’t want to hear anything from you. I just want you to think about it. If you didn’t already know me, would you want to? If you weren’t already attached or married, would you look twice at me? Would you think I was pretty at all, or worthy of getting to know?”

A pause again.

I continue, not looking up. “I know who I am. I know what I am. I know what I look like. I’ve never had a boyfriend before, never even been kissed before, so what would I know about anything? No one would want me. But there’s more to it than that. My mental afflictions make things difficult. I’ve been told I’d be an unfit mother because of them. And I honestly don’t think I’d know how to cope if I were to mean the world to someone else. Plus I’ve been told I’m too trusting and too nice a girl, and that men don’t want nice girls, so no man would ever fall in love with me, that he’d only use me for sex, and I’d let him get away with it, so more fool me; I’d have been better off a whore.”

Everyone reacts again.

“Who told you that?” He asks softly, almost angrily.

“A counselor,” I answer. “But to be fair, she was a bitch to everyone.”

“That’s not the point,” He says sharply, but then words fail Him.

A pause again.

“The bottom line is,” I conclude, “love and all that wonderful stuff isn’t in the cards for me. And that’s the honest truth behind that.”

A silence.

“I’m so sorry, Mouse,” She says. With a slight smirk.

I don’t even react. “No, you’re not.”

Her eyes widen. Almost sincere. “Oh, no, Mouse, I really am.”

“No.” I say again, a little more emphatically. “You’re not. You got everything you wanted out of that question. You got the absolute truth and you got my abject humiliation in front of everyone.” Especially Him. I give her a sarcastic thumbs-up. “Kudos.”

(C) by me, Mouse, August 27, 2013

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