THE BOY THE WORLD FORGOT TO JADE

    Do you know why I still think of you? Your chest. Because of that bare chest which refused to understand the humility of age. We once joked you'd be Hitler's wet dream. It was a vulgar truth. You were––at only seventeen––everything you were meant to be.

*

    In the beginning, I'd watch you sleep. Felt this heavy tenderness for you. I'd watch your chest rise and fall like a boat, wondering where you went in your head without me. Sometimes, I'd even wake you up, hoping you'd bring back something beautiful.

*

    We were twenty the first time I let you inside me. The bathroom of your grandparents' house. We were walking to the kitchen and you pushed open the bathroom door, grabbed my wrist, and pulled me inside. You put your mouth on me, unzipped my jeans, and grabbed my ass so tight that you left a bruise. (I never told you.) I remember your hair in my mouth, and that your neck didn't taste the way I expected it would. Not salty, but...something more like iron. I could tell you hadn't showered. I could taste the person you were yesterday; everyone you had ever been.

    (Where did you go while you were inside me? What did you find there?)  

 

*

    You said you were sorry it happened like that. I told you it was okay. I said that I liked it. (God forgive me.) I never told you why. And you never asked. Darling boy, I used you to destroy something beautiful. I used to think that something was you. And then...one day...inside of an old couple's bathroom...I realized it was me.

*

    I played the game––for three years. Pretending you were me. Plotting the little ways I'd make you betray some part of yourself. Patiently chipping away at you bit by bit. Stealing something I didn't know how to hold––pride. I wanted to know what it was like being so beloved by life––by fortune you had never earned. You see, when you fucked me, it was really I who was fucking you. I who was watching you humiliate yourself for a woman who did not love you.

 

*
 

    To this day, I still think of your chest. Of that stupid fedora you refused to take off. Of the pair of Levis that made your ass look almost sacred. I think of the fact that any of this still makes me wet, and how much I hate myself for it.

 

    When you read this––years from now when your chest has forgotten what it once was––I want you to remember that these words are yours. That you wrote them on me, every day, for three years.  Because, one day inside of an old couple's bathroom, you showed me who I was. And it was then that you began writing the story of my life.

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[©2020 by Ariel Maccarone]