Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ma Jolie

I’ve carried the terrible secret for years. Finally I’ve found the courage to tell it. Perhaps it’s not courage. Maybe I’m just too tired to bear the burden alone. I just know I can’t go on like this anymore. And now that he's come back into my life, in a way, it's unbearable.

It happened more than 25 years ago. I was driving cross country on some business -- the details hardly matter. Outside Collinsville, Illinois I picked up a hitchhiker, a tall young black man with caramel skin and a dazzling smile. We spoke of many things. He seemed to know my soul. I felt an instant friendship growing in me, as between old friends. When it grew dark I invited him to share my motel room.

Big mistake.

It started with his complaining of a backache. I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll just say that he insisted. I didn’t want to. It just got out of hand. What was supposed to be therapeutic became sensual. Don’t ask me how it happened. He just seemed to control me. That voice, that driving, compelling voice. Ugh. I feel so dirty, still. I can hardly say it. Yes. With release. But that’s not the worst of it.

He took out a can from his knapsack, and before I knew what was happening he was dangling smoked herring from his toes and making me bark like a seal. I felt so degraded. He called me his tee jolie blond and told me he’d eat me up like graton. I feel so dirty.

It goes on. I can’t bear to speak of it. I snuck my keys out of his shoe and crept out of the motel room while he was showering. I felt lucky to be alive.

And that’s why I will never, ever vote for Barack H. Obama.

Sometimes I wake up in the night in a cold sweat. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at all. But sometimes, when the wind shifts and I catch the wild scent of the teeming ocean in the air, I can’t help but feel the touch of strong long fingers in the breeze that tosses my hair.


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