Thursday, August 23, 2012


Lara:  My captor, my keeper, my kidnapper… my father, he wants to be called my father… (gasp, squeeze back tears, force air in and out, must breathe, must breathe, Lara, don’t give up…)
My father wants me to tell him a story.  If I tell him the right story, I get to leave this room, go to the bathroom down the hall, where I hear the other people go, talking and walking and shitting and flushing as if I am not here.  They do not know I am here, or they do not care, I don’t know, but I want to take that walk, and piss in something other than the giant coffee can he leaves for me.
Please, father, I only want to be human.
I don’t dare tell him that.
I don’t dare tell him
So I tell him about the time, when I was twelve, and we lived outside of Oakland, and me and my friend Amanda, we went to the train tracks with this boy who was thirteen,
no I can’t remember his name, yes, I’ll make one up, anything, I just want to use the bathroom, father.
Me and Amanda and Teddie, we went to the train tracks, and Amanda and Teddie danced back and forth over the tracks, and I wouldn’t because I was afraid of the third rail I’d heard about, and Teddie laughed at me, laid down across the tracks, said, “You think there’s really a train going to come on these tracks?  Where would it go?  Where would it come from?  Shit, how can you be so stupid?”
So I walked on the unused tracks with them, weeds poking through wooden slats, bugs swirling as we stepped, sharply biting my ankles.  And eventually we came to an abandoned station.  Teddie jimmied open the door, and he made Amanda wait outside for a minute while he led me in, and then he, then he…
I can’t say it, I don’t want to say it.  Yes, I do want to use the bathroom, okay, OKAY!
I’m sorry, father, I didn’t mean to yell.  Yes, I’ll finish the story.
… then he grabbed me close and started rubbing his body hard against mine, and I knew what he was doing, but I couldn’t stop it, or maybe I wouldn’t, and finally he yelled, and then he slacked, and then he slapped me and said, “Look what you made me do, you horny bitch,” and he pointed to the wet spot on the front of his jeans, laughed, took off his flannel over-shirt, and wrapped it around his waist to cover the spot, all the while laughing, and Amanda came in and said, what’s so funny, and I couldn’t even talk.
Thank you father.  Thank you. 
Father unlocks the door with the key he keeps in his front pocket.  He takes my arm and walks me to the bathroom, which has cigarette ashes in the sink and hairballs on the floor, and I don’t care if it’s gross, I’m just so happy to pop a squat with no one watching, and to flush.  I flush twice, because the sound is so beautiful, and I stand there and let my tears fall into the swirling water and wonder for the thousandth time, how did I get here.

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