Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Night of Blood and Flowers

I was born with a misfortune. My friends could all scratch the "9" from their id and carefully, oh so carefully, type in "5" or "4". There wasn't any improvement to be had from "0."

Some how that digit became a higher wall, in truth erasing two small numbers is no different from erasing one. Or so little that it should not have been. But somehow it assumed an enormity of a Long Wall between Beijing and the barbarian hoardes.

So I ignored the whole problem. It simply dropped into the dark abyss, with my ID, and my purse, into the yawing dark slit of my hand bag, zipped up and forgotten about. As with my complete lack of attention to any other appropriate prepartions for what I was about to do, it simply dropped out of my mind and into gentle journey down the languid twists and turns of denial, that river in Egypt we all spend so many of our days boating upon.

The costume was jeans and a shirt, I was, in fact, supposed to be going to study at a friends. I was, she was, and we were, just not what our parents thought. Her older sister, with a sly wink, had said that she would cover. Being college age her voice sounded "adult" and she would play "aunt" who was holding down the house. I had packed my real clothes in a bag, dumped them out my window just as it had gotten dark.

I left the door when the horn sounded, making appropriate noises of parting from my parental units and down the stairs. Clopped noisily down, they let me wear the black high risers as a harmless affectation (they never did figure out why I did bell bottoms, then so horribly out of fashion) , good for me because they took for-ev-er to lace up. I opened and slammed the door of the car, my friend started engine and the radio loudly and lurched it forward. This provided cover for me to roll the window down and open the door again slightly. The car rolled forward a dozen meters, and I popped out, grabbed the bag sitting on the clump of snow that it had landed on, and was back in the car, holding the door in place until we were out the driveway, around the block and I could slam it shut in place.

Before we were even really safely away, I was pulling out the black clothes I had selected and the big black pleated skirt with leather laces holding together the panels. I put the black rayon blouse that sort of looked like silk if you didn't look too close over my shoulders loosely, and then pulled my arms in from my pullover and rolled it up. There was a brief moment when the bra that I had shoplifted for the occasion peaked out at the world and I hastily began buttoning the blouse. The skirt was the far easier trick of putting it on and wiggling out of my jeans. By the Jersey Turnpike I was applying black lipstick, eyeshadow and rubbing in circles a whitish blush to give me that undead look.

It was 8pm, and the club started taking people at 9. We were clubbing goth, and I had decided, without deciding, that tonight I was going to go as far as I could go.

She peeled us off the right exit, and we found an abandon lot not to far away where we could straighten out all the details that were crumpled from the ride. Loli-goth was not a word we knew, but it was a word we wore. We picked "the tomb" night at the small club, because they almost never had a line. Parking the car in the only actual lot took a few minutes, and there we met, or was it encountered? I've forgotten whether it was planned, the two other friends who pulled this routine with their parents of pretending to study late, but tearing down the highway, homework already done, to club, and club goth.

We were the line, and the bouncer relented. I found a way to filter my way back, after their fake ids had passed the test. Instead, I fumbled for a moment in my bag. We both know what that meant, my friend looked back at me with glaring anger bordering on hate, because she knew what it could mean. One way way way under age could spell doom for the whole expedition. There was a grinding sound from within the club and lights played on the black door that was open a crack. Already the stale smell of old beer was out there.

I reached up and I kissed the bouncer, and nibbled on his ear. Something impelled my lips to say "I'll be back out soon." It was a slow soft coo I didn't know I had in my voice, that fluttered into his ear that was brushed by my lips as I said it. My hips were stretched up, and I was on the tip of a toe, my body leaning into his.

He ran a hand down the outside of my thigh, over the panels of the skirt. My heart settled backdown, and then I startled as he expertly poked his fingers between the laces of the panels, his finger chaffed up the inside of my thigh, a small wave of flesh before it, a taut pulling behind it, a catching feeling at the point of contact. He pressed the fingers up, and an startle hit me as he touched the ridge of flesh between my legs, and tried to swirl his fingers in a circle. There wasn't there what he thought was there, he was too far to the right. But I wiggled my hips and faked a smile that I hoped was good enough and gave him a flash of my eyes as I had seen a hundred screen heroines do.

He waved me on, pretending to have checke something, and pinched my right ass cheek as I somewhat fawnifically (meaning wobbly in that way of finding your platform legs) half stumbled into the waiting bodies of my friends. At the time I imagined that their arms reached out to embrace me or at least catch me. I think instead they were already turning to get in, and simply were grazing me, glad that I, the youngest, hadn't just messed everything up.

The door swung half closed, to be pulled open again by the people behind us, they were boys, older, but still with that gangle that clings to them for long after we have gotten all our curves in place. One had a shock of hair that had been washed and slept in recently, as if he had tried to get something done in the afternoon and taken a nap instead. One tosseled lock jutted down across his left forehead and was in the way of his eye. It was something out of anime, and I responded. He was already staring at me, and I think aware that he was staring at me. I was aware that I had let myself stare too long at him.

This was going to be the one, as simple as that, because he was going to follow me all night, or at least the hour and a bit we had before having to turn around, peel back down the road, strip the make up and deposit me at my house by the requisite 10:30. I let my eyes drink in a but of his hollowed out cheeks, his still angled jaw that had not acquired any jowels of age... my real thing then was older men, so I looked for all the signs of experience and power, and found their absence in every inch of his cheeks that didn't need shaving.

No, I am not going to tell you his race, because that is a huge part of the point of goth. We are all pale white. We all have black hair. We are all wearing the same clothes. We are all dead or hoping to be dead, even though we barely know what it means to be alive.

What I, the writer, should do now, is spend paragraphs on how I flittered about the various stations of the cross, pretending to go to the bar, the dance floor, the conversation area. You know, pacing, get you to hang on it all, set the scene. Because I know why your reading, and you know why I am writing. And that is the problem. I don't remember enough of that to write about the yellowed lampshades, the cracked black leather of the couches, the unvarnished slats of hardwood floor, the curve of the black plastic bar with cigarette burns gouged in it. It's just flashes, because all the time I was conscious of a rising dread and heat that mixed somewhere between mi diaphram and my thighs, a kind of vague mixing as if I was hungry and ready to throw up at the same time.

Until I plopped on the couch and stared across the conversation area and out towards the bar, it is all flashed pictures in my mind, mixed to the soundtrack of the music and the churning in my body.

And plopping there, I saw him trying to dance and look at me only as much as he felt comfortable with, which was a great deal more than I felt comfortable with. But he made no move towards me. He just kind of shook their lamely on the floor. His thin legs accentuated by his black jeans, his hard but still underdeveloped muscles peaking through the grill work of his top, and the calculated rips on his sides, his boots almost dragging between the moments that he suddenly jerked it up.

What I was filled with for him, is the opposite of desire. I didn't want him, didn't want to want him, and knew as sure as if I had been a fire hydrant, that I'd some how in the rules of the club, been pissed upon, and only a bigger male could take me. Problem was, it was all the passing for drinking age types, like me, who were there.

Now normally I would have been very verbal, showing off how well I passed for college freshman girl, talking about classes and papers. But tonight I was sitting there, a flower. I'd been flowered, sitting there, waiting to be nipped. My butt felt like it had grown roots to that spot. The minutes, precious minutes, clicked by.

And then nature decided to take a hand in things. There was that pressing sudden urgency. The four cokes I had downed to be up at this hour and bright eyed, having awoken at 5 am to study, had caught up to me. I got up and my walk was off kilter from trying to pull my muscles in and some how stain across... hmmm... there is a particular place, it has an antanomical name, but it is "there" and you know the there I mean when the only thing on your mind is getting to the magic door, and you know you have that pretending to be happy desperate look on your face that says "ladies room! coming thro-who!"

Of course, he was in my way.

Of course.

Oh yeah, of course. Because he took my getting up as making a move for him. Not having had the courage to come and talk to me. He thought my face was lit up for him

Dork. Dork. Dork. Dork.

There comes in every journey down denile when you hear the roaring sounds of the cataract, the heaving rumbling sounds you feel in your feet and up your legs, and in your body that reality is about to intrude upon you. You know why you are doing what you are doing. You know why you weren't being bright and talking and handing out your woodcut printed cards that look (oh) (so) (cute). It's because you've come here for the night of blood and flowers. See. Even the you still hangs there.

I came there.

I wanted finally to have something resembling sex.

It was my night of blood and flowers.

I. Not you. Ugh. See how long this hangs on? How many misdirected alleys. It wasn't the sex, but the sex. I'll get to that. Now. No more delays.

I was moving purposefully to the black square cul de sac hall that goes to "guys" "chicks" and then a turn that goes out the back or another door that is "employees only." He banged into me behind me as I stopped in front of the girls door. He was looking into my eyes as I turned. A kind of blank "now that I've caught it what do I do with it?" incomprehension. Half my being called out to be four feet through the door and into the safety of "chicks" and half wanted me to get this over with.

"I'll be right back." I forced a giggle. "I've got to do something."

Don't be nervous don't be scared. Be prepared. I retreated through the door, gave a flirtatious look backwards (when did I learn to just do that?) and let the door close.

In the dank one on toilet recess of this small black walled room, with its rust stained sink I surveyed and looked for some spot where communal agriculture wasn't about to break out any minute with the bacteria. I finally wiped the top of the toilet with the tp I brought with me (always always always have a mini roll packed in plastic! Only a guy thinks that a towel is enough to take on the gal-hax-see!).

I pulled out my diaphram and contraceptive jelly. I had pilfered one from my dad's office, easy enough, and you can get the "lube" as we called it, any place. My fingers were shaking, and enough of my mind was together to realize that I wasn't really all that wet, but wetter than I though I would be, just from raw anxiety, and he wasn't going to be ept enough to lick the stamp before sticking it, and there was no time... precious minutes... to eptify his probably virgin brain. I at least, had a dirty mind and could do the thinking for both of us. What thinking there was anyway.

I shimmie down my cotton panties. The elastic is almost out on these, but they are my most comfortable pair, that has been with me for a year of living strangely a double life of quiet grade grub, and girl looking for trouble. Down over my black and white thigh highs, down over my lace ups. Down. Gone. I shove them in my purse, because there is no wa-ay I am going to let them touch any surface here.

So I put my one boot easily up on the toilet seat, spread myself in a rather clinical way with one hand, fold the rubberesque apparatus half filled with grey jelly, slide up, twist it with the tips of my fingers, and push it back into place, I think. I'd practiced this in front of a mirror at home several times. You know, anything that is on the final. Just get up early, and your parents will think you are studying for school.

I then grab the tube again, and smear some around the rim of my opening. There is something desperate going on here. It is numbing and cold and slick only in a sticky way. The door swings open and bangs my butt. I didn't lock the door. I expected it to be another girl. I spin land gracefully, give my best "what do you think you are doing here" glare. And see him.

Wretch. Loaded, still bladder full. And there, he, is.

I don't even have time to protest, how can I with the accoutrements of being avant-sex still sitting on the toilet, before there is a lip lock. My hand is still covered with jell and I am smearing it off on the wall, acquiring dust at a rate about equal to the loss of jell. Finally his pushing me back enough to let the door slam close gets me in rage of the stack of unused tp, and I am able to grab, wrap arms to an embrace around his thin waist, and wipe with both hands. Unwrap, drop, maybe it hit the sink. I don't remember. Do they still say "ew gross!" now? We did then.

My heart is beating. It is pounding within my ears. I am pushing, half pushing, pressing, half pressing, him away. He is incredibly sweaty, he is gripping me. My nipples feel his chest, and are pressed back in like two small hard weiqi stones back into the soft firmness of my breasts. I feel a flush wave pass over my body. He is giving me a fumbling kiss. It can't be rape at this point. I want it, or at least want it over. My lips feel full, my breasts feel full. Lord ever does my bladder feel full.

I hear a zrcriptcha. Zipper, his. I'm not wearing panties, I am suddenly cold between my legs and a roar of cold sweat. My skin feels like it is a reptile leather, soft and supple, but without feeling. The combination of his mouth sucking on my neck, raising a monster hickie, his body pressed on me, the feel of his arm somewhere jutting into my oh so urgency ugh filled. Can you tell this was what I was thinking?

I finally found a solution, I sat down, my hands reflexively brushing up the back of my skirt, and I let my self pee. And pee. I looked up and him. He looked down at me.

There was a half mumbled "sorry" from him. He almost turned to go, but then his eyes stared down, and I knew he could see something, perhaps what ever of my cleavage there was to be seen. He was transfixed.

I wiped myself and stood up. This time I kissed him. I twisted my head to get the noses properly aligned. And I planted my lips on his. He grabbed my arms.


He stopped, and with that casual long armed reach back half stepped, and just latched the door without even looking.

He was back pressing into me. I kissed and kissed and hoped to float away on kisses. I wanted to have done it, but I wasn't sure I wanted to be there for it. I wasn't even clear on the moment when the head of his dick pressed on my outside. I could feel the skirt had been lifted, and it rested over his forearms, but when, actually he met me...

This is the moment that you can never describe. I had, as I've recounted, put things in myself before. And not just birth control. I'd done tampons for ballet. If the hymen is the flag of virginity, mine had long ago struck its colors. It wasn't that. It was that... Well, you can't tickle yourself, and this was a tickling. As numbe as I was from the jelly, as over charged as I was from fear. There was this rattling in my skull from side to side. Admitting that this is what I was here for, but not here for.

He was sort of flopping against my body. He managed to get a bit of himself in and out, as if he was an inch long and I was an inch deep. The stickiness produced a vague sloshing feeling. I felt the muscles on the sides of my entrace clench and then surrender and relax a bit more, I felt my insides catch against him, and still feel something that made my neck, of all places, sweat. This went on for some repetitions, maybe 15 or so, and then there was a banging on the door.

There was a voice.

My friend's voice.

"Are you OK? Lil-lian. Are you ok?"

No. I was not OK. But I didn't want to be.

There was a pop as he pulled himself out. He shoved something in my hands, a small scrap of paper, I would later know he'd written his number on it. He pulled up his pants.

"Bye cutie. Please call me. Lillian" The name he'd copped from my friend was smarmy sweet on his lips.

In the car, later. I felt stinging. There was a trace of blood on my panties when I looked down to check at the smear of now pasty white fluids. I would feel that sting for days, even though there was only that trace of blood that one time. It would be three scrubbings in hydrogen peroxide before that stain would be reduced to a slight pink floret against the white. My insides were cramped. My period would come days early. My intestine's felt curled and gurgly, and at the same time fizzy.

I never saw him, that club, or that skirt again. I packed it away, in a box, hid it in the attic. I carefully made sure the box was lost when we moved just before I left for college.

But there would never be another fumbling moment like that, because I felt myself a flower, that could bloom before the world. There was a feeling on my cheeks, and in places which I only knew the names of from pictures, that suddenly had a meaning the way "Shanghai" has a meaning when you take a boat along the curve of the Yangtze and see the old and new buildings mingled in together. It becomes a place, a place you've journeyed to and come back.

My parents knew I'd been up to something, because over the next several weeks several times transgressions that would have been laughed off, were given harsh punishments. My next exam, the doctor, who knew my father, chattered in a nervous groove. On the way back out I went to the receptionist, and said "I'd like to change doctors, I want a..." an instead I pointed at a name "I want doctor Hsieh please."

And that was that was that was that.