bright nor dirty
It was the off bright walls.
It was the beige and green carpet.
It was the no kind light in the whole
apartment so that everything
was bright. And dirty.
It was a super-real moment. my metahumiliation.
It might not have been so bad, if the kitchen light had not been so
The light did nothing to hide Manny’s shape – of the muscle-man circus performer – bald with a one-piece tank-leotard, lifting dumbbells with giant steel balls on each end, rather than discs. The kind of shape you find in a nursery rhyme book on your grandparent’s shelf. Bald, or a ponytail. At this point, he was lifting just eggs from the dirty refrigerator. He was somewhat short but what he lacked in height he more than made up for in girth. i guess. One of those Midwestern-grown circus ball dumbbells with all the earrings but don’t let the flame-decorated boots fool you.
In any case he had a lot of thick piercings, but this didn’t mean he was experienced. He didn’t know what to do when Ben pushed me into the hallway – not a stitch of clothing on. The tiger tattoo climbing up the left side of my thigh only exposed my nakedness further.
He pushed me through the doorway and left me standing on the filthy green carpet unfortunately waxed. i was a 10, 12, 13 year old girl. Or boy i had no sex. i was stripped. i was a bright white bulb white orchid potato flower shining with tender just dug from the clean dark this delicate skin barely containing the life inside. just a prick.
i was torn. Torn between what this situation could have been, and what it was.
What i wanted was to do whatever Ben would tell me to do.
i wanted so to please him, to shower him with yes and devotion.
i wanted this – more than i want most things – his exposure of me to be special.
What it could have been – Ben beaming with pride at the shapes and shifts of my body, at the new, glowiness of my skin, at the way i was constantly open to him (as though my head were in a perpetual about-to-turn-to-him state my mouth always just
about to open with reception or words new for him) and ready to respond to any touch – sinister with wanting to assert his what he had to demand a humiliating task be done and it be done. something beautiful in the exchange. Manny grateful for a glimpse.
What it was.
i know the feelings of beings.
Manny a protected Midwestern boy. Polite, but not obedient would not grant me/Ben a single glance. The Gardnerian radiance seen only by the kitchen, living room (both dirty) and gray cream walls.
How bad is this. Should I be raging now.
Throwing appliances, bringing forth the math of rage.
Would I scar my psyche permanently with the dichotomy of arousal and wrath?
I thought for sure
for sure any second he would drop the cruel parody.
I couldn’t tell – was he sociosadistic, or just.
but couldn’t tear myself my eyes away as though i was cheating or stealing but the only victim in the room was me.
(was i a participant in this game? it would seem not due to such protest of earlier.)
he was an innocent little fucker, and saved me from the ultimate humiliation. (or did he seal me in it?) would i not have been saved if he had turned to look at what Ben was showing him in his... pride. i was relieved, but what did he really save me from? did he steal?
(i had wanted to obey. but not that way. not that way).
what i felt was torn but truth i was bound.
what i wanted.
what was happening
forced to show myself
not being looked at
his other girlfriend. somewhere else. in another room.
probably not as bright.
 all that i had at the time. all that i was. the of the same-name-ness.
 following his ego.
 before. before being pushed through the door.
 bound to show and bound to not be seen.
Chandra Smith is living and working in LA in the vast. There are large vats of film and tape and she likes being caught coddled in the web and wrought useful. She changes her name and her medium and still isn’t sure “screenwriting is not writing” is true. She’s told these days there is poetry in film in poetry. She tends to be a believer.