the devaluation of me ...
... tired and groggy from school and work, fighting the
night before and rising at 4am ... the knock on the door
that afternoon was so very loud, how in the world did i
miss it the first time? .... calling out that i'm on my way
as i race out of the bedroom and down the stairs ...
whoever it is on the other side of the front door pounding away
like they didn't hear me and the house shakes with it ...
my irritation flashing because i know that i could be heard
easily through the thin walls and single pane windows ...
... at the clattering schNick of the door's lock the
pounding stops and .. knowing that the screen door is
latched on the inside i go ahead and swing the door open
quickly ... to see Dan ... to instantly feel the danger and
anger that radiates off of him .... he's always been
dangerous ... even his closest buddies who disliked me were
always careful that i was never left alone with him over
the years that we went to school together ... and i
couldn't help wondering what he was doing here now ... some
70 miles from home... but common sense figured he must be
here to see Jake ...
.. yet ... when i told him that Jake wasn't home he said
that he knew and he reached for the screen .... i remember
the jolt of fear that ran through me like an electric
current as he reached for that flimsy screen ... it's ominous
rattle and the burning in his gaze as he was thwarted by
that puny latch and his large form stepped up to the thin
fabric ... as close as he could get to me through it's mesh
... his voice deep with meanness and rage as he told me that
it was my fault Jake didn't party anymore .... his threat to
hurt me, to make me sorry, if that didn't change ... and i
remember the taste of my fear as he slammed his fist into
the wooden casing of the screen door and the relief as he
then turned and left ....
... that night when Jake arrived home from work i told him
about the incident ... and i remember my deep, soul slicing
pain as he called me a liar and refused to believe me ...
my fear .... my feelings of being unprotected ...
.... a year later we all are gathered around my "P.I.T.A"
1966 Chev stepside ... working under the hood and hanging
out at Sonny's garage ... Chris, Kris, Dan, Sonny, Mick,
Jake and i ... after a while i get bored with the
conversations and go to stand on one of the cherry picker's
legs .. using it as a stool so that i can stick my head
under the hood with Sonny and learn about what he's
doing ... he's a patient teacher and it keeps me distracted
for a while until i hear some conflict going on behind
... the words "ask her .. don't ask me, ask her." coming
from Jake's mouth catching my attention ... and being the
only female there i know it's about me ... and as i pivot
around upon my "balancing beam" i ask them what it is they
want to know ... i ask them, "ask me what?" ....
... and suddenly the silence within the garage becomes
deafening ... heavy and thick as i look around and none of
them will meet my gaze except Jake ... as our gazes meet i
ask again and Chris' movement catches the corner of my
eye .. pulling my attention to him as he moves toward me
until i'm leaning back against the truck to put space
between us ... off balance and uncomfortable as his body,
his face, comes within a mere breath of my own ... my gaze
moving between Jake and Chris ... imploring Jake to say
something .. anything .. but he looks away and says
nothing ... and i am confused .. puzzled by his
behavior ... and so my gaze moves back to Chris and in the
heavy silence i ask again "What?" ... my body jumping as
his hands cup my hips on either side .. my discomfort
rising significantly as he leans closer and his clear quiet
voice brushes my ear with the warmth of his breath ... "We
want to know if you'll do a train with us." ...
... as i asked numerous times what a "train" is, the
silence was once again complete and heavy ... but Chris'
hands on my hips had become tight, possessive ... and i
became increasingly uncomfortable .... i told them "no" ...
that "i don't know what it is and you guys won't tell me so
the answer is no." .... and Chris released me and walked
away .... the silence then broken as their conversations
resume as if nothing had happened ...
.... later that night after returning home i cornered Jake
into telling me what a "train" is ... and he explained, in
detail ... telling me that they had been bugging him and
talking about it for months ... asking him over and
over .... i didn't understand how he could have let them
ask me that ... how he could have put me in that
position .. that situation .... i didn't understand how he
could let his friends disrespect me like that whether i was
present or not .... i felt betrayed ... devalued ... dirty
and ashamed even though i'd not done anything wrong ....
... i have so many of these incidences ... and they all eat
at you ... each one taking it's daily bread off your
soul ... destroying your self esteem and feelings of
.. conflicts between friendships and love ... that is
really where i am going with this ... friendships have such
a huge power over some people ... pushing them to do things
they wouldn't normally do ... whether it's alcohol and
drugs or disrespecting and degrading loved ones ...
... the thing that happened between Russ and i .... i am
beginning to wonder if Julia's poisoned tipped fingers were
not involved in the disintegration of that friendship ....
yes .... we fought ... but there was no reason we couldn't
have recovered ... no reason unless someone else’s fingers
were in the pot churning the stew ... namely hers ...
*sighing* ... i am almost certain that the change in him is
at least partially due to Mike and Julia's influences ...
and this is so disappointing to me because i thought what
Russ and i had was so very special ....
... my fear is that somehow that poison will continue to
spread .... to Jeremy ...
... it's not that i really believe that it could happen ..
cuz i know it couldn't ... or wouldn't ... but the fear ..
the worry is still there anyway ... and i hate that it's
there ... because i know it's so unrealistic ... so silly
to even think or feel this way with him ... maybe just
writing this will give me relief from that fear ...
... and i will continue to work at conquering these past
incidents and the feelings they bred ...