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Keepin’ it in the family (incest is the best, the true tale) 5 when it happened the first time (i don’t know how i remember that) she must have been ten maybe thirteen? my cousins came to stay with us, in the summer, in the heat her name is sherry ann, i am anne but i was always henry, tom, or mark. we played house often i was the father, some indescript nuance she was always the mother i wanted to be. when she felt sorry that i whined, or wouldn’t give in she would play daddy, some definite wretch. one year around christmas before christmas, we wrapped fake presents, she was santa, i was mrs. claus. there were no reindeer. when we were done and the adults were tripping over empty beer bottles, or baking cookies or too busy screaming at each other to notice or whatever it was people did those days we slipped into my grandmothers bed and lick lick lick lick “anne you’re the best” she said to me, no one has said it since. tongue in mouth where do you want it, but it wasn’t the first time it wouldn’t be the last. we’d play spin the bottle pretend camping, tents built cotton. we’d get in the shower together. to the garage we’d go, once or twice really, it happened so much, i don’t remember or have suppressed. to the broken down transom, on black leather, i couldn’t see but said “it tastes bad,” had it before? Had it always? one day i said, when we were playing barbies, “lets go take a shower together” “no we are too old for that now” i was ten then, and rejected! oh the loathing! such a dismissal! didn’t she understand I wanted to get off? the last time it happened, i was 12, before my spinal fusion, she was now 17, 19?, before my first nervous breakdown. before i knew. quick in the back room, he wouldn’t leave. he was sitting by the door, they were on to us. he kept asking “what are you doing.” “go away” “its none of your business” “go away” whether he sat there listening i don’t know. usually, the whole thing, was so silent wet lips on hot flesh so silent warm legs around a prepubescent body. those were the sounds. time goes by, maybe a week, and then it happened. my own personal Chernobyl. one of those fucking infomercialesque news updates about AIDS comes onto t.v. “It appears that all homosexuals are susceptible to the HIV disease” me and grandma, that silver couch, the curtains were pulled and it was sooo dark in there. “Gram, what is a homosexual?” I say, 12 and naive “A man who sleeps with a man, or a woman who sleeps with a woman” the panic, the hell, the horror suddenly, i knew, there was something very wrong with me. no no, don’t jump to conclusions...it wasn’t that I had been sleeping with my cousin secretly for 7 years, presently, that wasn’t a concern but that I had aids, or would soon, and that I would die. field of vision shattered. I wanted to get up and run. I stopped eating, I couldn’t, the panic consumed me. in one month i lost 30 pounds from my frail frame. Father was very, very concerned especially when he asked are you anorexic? I just replied I’m too afraid to eat, I have aids. You have what? Sherry kissed me, and I have aids now, because that means i’m gay. notice the severe understatement of “she kissed me,” I made it sound like some sort of kiss on the cheek cause i knew there was something extremely wrong with me. at the core of me i had been damaged, irreconcilably i had, in ten seconds, went from annie, to something else i did not know or understand. whoever i had been, had been ripped from me 12 with no identity, besides, the homosexual that is going to die of aids. who has licked the cunt of a woman, and not only that but someone in her own family! and as stupid as it could sound i never knew it was wrong i never knew feeling good was wrong. of course father told me one day, after it was too late, “if someone ever tries to touch you there, or there” pointing at my chest and crotch, “don’t let them, it’s wrong, you’re still a child” the way he said it i thought he meant that it would hurt, wrong in that it would cause pain. I was confused but not afraid, or ashamed. as unreal as it may seem i never knew until that day that fucking day my life was melted down and i showed my first signs of manic-depression, the day i made the “break” from reality, that gentile slip into something else other than what i was. the day i lost my personhood, and self esteem, and became a thing, oh the wonders of t.v. After the weight loss, father took me to the family physician then to the psychiatrist I went. i hid it well, after i found out i wasn’t dying things returned to “normal”. no more trips to the talking doctor. me and sherry never were together again, nor ever talked about it, or ever really saw each other until my later teens, when i would go to buy acid, or ecstasy, or coke, or anything else to help me get out of the grave we buried each other in. both knowing. both knowing. hiding for so long, hidden for so long we haven’t seen each other in 3 years and i wonder did she ever tell anyone? now at 25? 27? with two children. does anyone know? sometimes i wonder, when i bring it up in therapy and my doctor, squirms and avoids talking about it. does it turn him on, does it make him sick? when i casually mention it as if it was nothing, to a friend. are they offended, are they afraid, do they think i’m a pedophile? but i am no longer afraid the consequences, they were myths. sometimes when i am with a lover, having a hard time getting off, sprawled on top of me like that last time, looming weight pushing me into that blue. no wonder, i like to be smothered, i think of her.
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